Notre Dame-Syracuse Betting Odds: Are the Orange Getting Too Much Credit?

Notre Dame-Syracuse Betting Odds: Are the Orange Getting Too Much Credit? article feature image
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USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Eric Dungey and Dexter Williams

Notre Dame-Syracuse Betting Odds, Pick

  • Odds: Notre Dame -10
  • Over/Under: 65.5
  • Time: Saturday, 2:30 p.m. ET
  • TV: NBC

>> All odds as of 11 a.m. ET on Friday. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and track your bets


Raise your hand if you thought Syracuse would be Notre Dame’s toughest test in its quest to make the College Football Playoff. Anybody?

Dino Babers has the Orange playing their best football of the past decade, maybe even since the 1990s. They’re playing well on both sides of the ball, and have the best special teams unit in the country (per S&P+).

But Notre Dame will be a whole new challenge for Syracuse, especially on defense. The Irish rank ninth in yards per play allowed and top 15 against both the run and pass.

Market Moves for Notre Dame-Syracuse

By Danny Donahue

Notre Dame has drawn only 38% of bets and 27% of money wagered as of writing (see live data here). If it holds, that 37% would be the smallest backing the Irish have received all season. Still they’ve moved from -9.5 to -10.

While not sold on the Irish, bettors have been piling on the over in this game. Eighty-three percent have taken this over, accounting for 70% of dollars wagered. That backing has bumped this total up from 61.5 to 65.5.

Ian Book Expected to Play

By Steve Petrella

It’s no secret how much better Notre Dame’s offense has been with Book under center. He sat last week with a rib injury, but is expected to play.

In all but one game with Book at quarterback, Notre Dame has averaged at least 6.3 yards per play. With Brandon Wimbush, the Irish have had only one game like that.

Book ranks first in the nation in completion percentage and 10th in yards per attempt. He’s efficient and is generating big plays.

Can Syracuse Defense Keep Up?

By Petrella

That’s the handicap in this game for me. Syracuse’s overall defensive numbers aren’t awful on the surface — 68th in S&P+ and 81st in yards per play allowed — but the Orange have given up a ton of points in a handful of games.

Cuse gave up at least 37 points and 500 yards to: Western Michigan, North Carolina and N.C. State. Not exactly Notre Dame.

There are two main reasons I think Syracuse has been able to win games in spite of some monster offensive performances by the opposition:

  1. Field Position
  2. Turnover Luck

Syracuse has one of the best punters in the nation and the best average field position against on defense of any team in the country (25.7-yard line on average). On offense, the Orange rank No. 7 and start on average at the 36.7-yard line.

That means the Orange have a 12-yard head start on their opposition on every drive. They’re averaging 16.5 possessions per game on offense, so even if they lose the yardage battle by 100, it’s much closer to even thanks to special teams.

Field position is sustainable thanks to excellent special teams. Turnover luck usually isn’t.

Per S&P+, Cuse has a plus-13 turnover margin when it should be around plus-4. The Orange are one of the luckiest teams in the nation and gaining about 4.5 points of turnover luck per game.

Against an opportunistic Notre Dame defense, I think the turnover margin could come back down to Earth for the Orange.

Bet to Watch: Is Syracuse Getting Too Much Credit?

By Ken Barkley

Syracuse is a really tricky team to figure out in this spot for me. The total lack of quality in the ACC this season outside of Clemson makes it hard to use other games as a barometer to then predict the Orange’s performance in this game.

N.C. State? Wake? Louisville? Florida State? These are all teams either at their absolute nadir or at the very least shells of themselves from last season. That Syracuse was able to beat them deserves merit, but doesn’t exactly inspire confidence going against significantly better competition.

Western Michigan and UConn in the non-conference are now almost LOL-worthy. The Clemson game exists as this incredibly odd outlier because, of course, Trevor Lawrence basically didn’t play in that game after exiting early with an injury. The fact that Syracuse kept that game close — still losing, by the way, somehow — also doesn’t count for much for me.

What is most likely happening with the Orange in this market is too much credit.

Syracuse has won three straight, covering by double-digit margins. And despite the opponents, that’s going to create some kind of inflated number. Notre Dame’s offensive and defensive units are completely out of the league of all of Syracuse’s opponents … except Clemson.

This all assumes Book plays, of course. But despite Syracuse’s great season, there’s still a very large gap between the Orange and top-tier programs. That gap is not being reflected properly in this number, in my opinion, especially on a neutral field.

Maybe if this was one of those weirdo Friday night games in the Carrier Dome where odd results happen, the Orange would have a better shot.

The Pick: I like the Irish under double-digits

Trends to Know for Syracuse-Notre Dame

By John Ewing

In neutral site games featuring Top 25 teams, it has been profitable to bet on favorites and follow the crowd.

Since 2005, the favorite is 39-30-3 against the spread during these regular-season games. The betting favorite has also excelled as teams receiving at least 60% of spread tickets have gone 22-11-1 ATS.

When two Top 25 teams play, favorites of a touchdown or more (like Notre Dame) have gone 146-122-4 (55%) ATS since 2005. But if the favorite is on the road or a neutral site, it has gone 45-44-2 ATS.

By Evan Abrams

The Orange are 8-2 straight-up and 7-3 ATS this season and have won four in a row entering this showdown with the undefeated Irish.

Nineteen teams since 2005 have won and covered at least 66% of their games in the regular season and been a touchdown underdog against an undefeated team in November or later. The tighter the spread between the two teams, the more likely the team pulls the upset.

  • +7 to +10: 3-1 SU and ATS (+19.5 PPG)
  • +7 to +20.5: 3-7 SU and 7-3 ATS (+8.9 PPG)
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