Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Eric Dungey
Syracuse 2018 Betting Odds
- To win the National Title: +200000
- To win the ACC: +10000
- To win the ACC Atlantic: +4100
- Win Total: 5.5 (over -125)
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Syracuse 2018 Schedule, Betting Odds
The Action Network Projected Wins: 5.7
Bet To Watch
Syracuse Over 5.5 (-125)
I wrote back in May to take the opener of over 4.5 wins on the Orange. Since then, the win total has moved a full game north.
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My projections put Syracuse at 5.7, but Cuse will need a November to remember to get to six wins. Trouble is, Syracuse has not won a game in November since 2015.
Plenty of reasons account for the November slides. The Orange have frequently faced peak Clemson, Louisville and Florida State in November. Depth on both sides of the ball has also not recovered from late-October bye weeks. And most notably, famous jump-kicking quarterback Eric Dungey cannot stay healthy.
If injuries don’t take a toll on Syracuse, the November schedule might. Boston College and Wake Forest should have two of the most dynamic offensive playmakers in the ACC (AJ Dillon and Greg Dortch), while Notre Dame and Louisville return plenty of well-coached depth. That Louisville game is Syracuse’s only November home contest, too.
However, we could potentially get this ticket to the window by the end of October. Syracuse doesn’t have much of a chance against a Clemson team seeking revenge for a 2017 upset loss, but the Orange will be favored by at least a touchdown in early-season games against Western Michigan, Wagner and UConn. Add in coin flips against Pitt, N.C. State and North Carolina, and Cuse could realistically get to six wins by November if everything breaks right.
If we can get just a bit of resistance from an experienced defense in passing down situations (111th in success rate, 120th in explosiveness), victories similar to 2017 Clemson will follow. Even after the line move, I still like over 5.5 wins at -125. The Orange just need some good health and five wins before November rolls around.
What else you need to know about Syracuse
Looking for an upset on the schedule? Syracuse should be a live home dog against Florida State on Sept. 15. The current line is FSU -9.5, but my projections make it under a touchdown.
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It won’t be the first time coaches Dino Babers and Willie Taggart go head-to-head. In 2016, South Florida defeated Syracuse by 25 — despite getting outgained by almost 100 yards. The Orange had 10 more first downs and dominated time of possession. Taggart is an offensive genius, but Babers’ squad won that box score decisively. Take the Orange with the points and sprinkle a little on the moneyline.