Louisville-Syracuse Betting Preview: When Value Isn’t Valuable

Louisville-Syracuse Betting Preview: When Value Isn’t Valuable article feature image

USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Eric Dungey and Bobby Petrino

Louisville-Syracuse Betting Odds, Pick

  • Odds: Syracuse -21
  • Over/Under: 68.5
  • Time: 7 p.m. ET
  • TV: ESPN

Syracuse is entering rare air. Not only are the Orange ranked in the College Football Playoff Top 25 for the first time ever — they’re No. 13.

And not only is ‘Cuse favored against Louisville on Friday — it’s laying 21 points, the largest favorite it has been in a conference game since 2001 against Rutgers.

>> All odds as of 1 p.m. ET on Thursday. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and track your bets.

Louisville couldn’t be moving in a more opposite direction. The Cardinals have covered just once this season (a loss to Florida State) and are missing the spread by 17.2 points per game — the worst mark in the country by a touchdown.

Syracuse has also never received this kind of public support. As of Thursday evening, 86% of bettors were backing the Orange. Their highest is 85% against Buffalo in 2005 (see live betting data here).

How Inflated Is This Line?

By Collin Wilson

The point spread is purposely inflated against Louisville after it gave up 237 points in its past four games. The Action Network power ratings and S&P+ both make the game Syracuse -16.5, which has led to a little bit of contrarian betting on the Cardinals.

Syracuse might have some overlook to Notre Dame in Yankee Stadium next week, and its College Football Playoff ranking of 13th may provide a bit of pressure the Orange have not experienced before.

A second order win total differential of -1.4 indicates Syracuse has had plenty of help getting to 7-2 overall on the year. The Orange have been one of the luckier teams in the country, according to that measure.

Specifically last week the Orange had a 26% postgame win expectancy in a victory against Wake Forest. They were outgained and benefited from three Wake turnovers.

But Should You Bite the Bullet and Bet Louisville?

By Steve Petrella

As Collin illustrated, Louisville is the bet to make here based on value and Syracuse playing a little over its head. Trouble is, football isn’t played in a vacuum like that. In a single game situation, there’s zero guarantee a team in disarray holds up that value.

Reports out of Louisville indicate as many as 20 players have requested a transfer this fall. The Cardinals have fallen short of expectations moreso than anyone in the country. They’re an absolute trainwreck.

So to answer the question I posed in the larger text above: No. Don’t take Louisville just based on value.

Let me put it this way. Will you be more upset if you bet Louisville and it doesn’t cover, or if you stay away and the Cardinals do cover? For me, it’s the former.

Trends to Know

By Evan Abrams

Syracuse has not been favored by three touchdowns or more against a conference opponent since October 6, 2001 against Rutgers, when the Orange were a part of the Big East.

Syracuse’s head coach at the time was Paul Pasqualoni and their QB was R.J. Anderson. The Orange have played 128 conference games since last being listed as a three-touchdown favorite in-conference.

By John Ewing

The Orange have been favorites of three or more touchdown in 11 games against non-conference teams since that game vs. Rutgers, going 11-0 straight up and 6-4-1 ATS.

Bobby Petrino is on the hotseat in Louisville with the Cardinals 0-6 in conference play and 2-7 overall. History doesn’t suggest Louisville will cover on Friday.

As an underdog of more than a touchdown, Petrino’s teams are 1-15 straight up and 4-12 ATS, including bowl games.

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