College Football Odds, Picks, Preview for Wake Forest vs. Syracuse: Betting Value Lies With Underdog (Oct. 9)

College Football Odds, Picks, Preview for Wake Forest vs. Syracuse: Betting Value Lies With Underdog (Oct. 9) article feature image

Bryan Bennett/Getty Images. Pictured: Sean Tucker.

  • The Wake Forest Demon Deacons and Syracuse Orange will play in an ACC battle on Saturday afternoon.
  • The Deacons have emerged as potential ACC contenders, but the Orange matchup up well in this game.
  • Doug Ziefel breaks down the game below and shares a betting pick and prediction.

Wake Forest vs. Syracuse Odds

Wake Forest Odds-6
Syracuse Odds+6
Moneyline-225 / +180
Time3:30 p.m. ET
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Syracuse welcomes a red-hot Wake Forest team for an ACC showdown in the Carrier Dome. The Orange lead this series, 6-4, all-time but lost their last meeting decidedly, 38-14.

Currently sitting in first in the ACC, the Demon Deacons have been a pleasant surprise in a dismal conference. They remain unbeaten and have handled their last three conference opponents. Can they make it four in a row against Syracuse?

The Orange are coming off a pair of games that were decided by last-second field goals. The lastest capped a crushing loss to Florida State, as Syracuse battled back in the fourth but failed to force overtime. Though, what may be more important is that it still covered as an underdog.

Are the Orange being overlooked again against the Demon Deacons? Let's break down this matchup to find out.

Wake Forest vs. Syracuse Betting Preview

Saturday, Oct. 9
3:30 p.m. ET

Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Wake Forest Offense

Wake Forest is led by quarterback Sam Hartman, who is having a career year so far. Hartman has an 11:2 touchdown-to-interception ratio and has the 15th-best QBR in the country.

The passing success of this offense is linked to two major factors.

One is the pace that Wake Forest establishes on opposing defenses. The Demon Deacons are 14th in the nation in plays per minute. That pace allows Hartman to take advantage of a tiring defense as he succeeds in the intermediate passing game.

The other major factor to the Demon Deacons' success is the play of their offensive line. The unit ranks ninth among all teams in pass blocking.

Even for all the success in the passing attack, the Demon Deacons run the ball at a 58% clip, and they have had inconsistent results when doing so.

Junior Christian Beal-Smith is the team's leading rusher. Beal-Smith has had a fine season, rushing for 312 yards at 4.9 yards per carry. He has struggled in his past two games, though, averaging only 3.4 yards per carry while recording a 12-yard rush as his longest run.

The Demon Deacons may be in for another rough day as the Syracuse defense gives up only 117 yards per game on the ground.

Wake Forest Defense

The Demon Deacons defense has held opponents to an average of 18 points per game with great performances against Florida State and Virginia.

What has been key for this unit this season is the amount of Havoc it creates. It has totaled seven interceptions, four fumbles, and 18 sacks. All that culminates into its 21st ranking in Defensive Havoc this season.

Wake Forest will hole a big advantage over the Orange's offensive line. It still remains to be seen if its pressure and turnover success will continue.

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Syracuse Orange

Syracuse Offense

If there's one thing the opposing defense can expect from the Syracuse offense, it's a heavy dose of Sean Tucker. The freshman running back leads the team in rushing and receiving this season. He has been phenomenal on the ground, averaging six yards per carry and rushing for over 100 yards in all but one game.

Tucker is the leader of a rush-heavy scheme by the Orange.

Though, behind him in rushing is quarterback Garrett Shrader, whose speed is utilized in the offense through many RPOs and read options.

All of these rushing weapons have found great success, as the Orange average 220 yards on the ground this season, good for 21st in the nation.

Syracuse Defense

The Wake Forest passing attack has been a tough test for defenses, but the metrics show that Syracuse may be up to the task.

The Orange have allowed only 167 passing yards per game this season, which is due to the tremendous play of their secondary. This defensive unit ranks fifth in all of FBS in coverage and second in big plays allowed.

These two factors loom large as the pace and scheme of Wake Forest fall right into the strengths of this defense.

Wake Forest vs. Syracuse Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Wake Forest and Syracuse match up statistically:

Wake Forest Offense vs. Syracuse Defense




Rush Success6581
Line Yards5153
Pass Success3356
Pass Blocking**932
Big Play1182
Finishing Drives6253
**Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Syracuse Offense vs. Wake Forest Defense




Rush Success7375
Line Yards10818
Pass Success78102
Pass Blocking**8571
Big Play4564
Finishing Drives8872
**Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling2033
PFF Coverage225
Middle 82865
SP+ Special Teams2467
Plays per Minute1473
Rush Rate58.1% (44)65.1% (14)

Data via College Football Data, FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF and SportSource Analytics.

The old adage is that styles make matchups, and we could not ask for a better contrast in styles.

Wake's fast-paced air attack could be left on the sideline as the Orange methodically pound their way down the field. The Demon Deacons may also face some adversity from the tight coverage of the Syracuse secondary.

If Wake's struggles in the run game continue, all signs point to the Orange controlling this ball game as they will be able to maintain success by running the ball and stifling Hartman.

Wake Forest vs. Syracuse Betting Pick

This game is hovering around the key number of 7. It was hit initially and has now stayed at 6.5, which is still a good number. I grabbed the 6.5 and will pounce again if it goes back to 7.

The Orange are 4-1 against the spread in their last five home games and 7-3 ATS against Wake Forest. Take the Orange as home dogs.

Pick: Syracuse +6.5

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