Syracuse-West Virginia Betting Guide: So Many Unknowns in 2018 Camping World Bowl
USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Eric Dungey and Jack Allison
2018 Camping World Bowl Betting Odds: Syracuse-West Virginia
- Odds: Syracuse -2
- Over/Under: 66
- Date: Friday, Dec. 28
- Location: Orlando, Fla.
- Time: 5:15 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN
>> All odds as of Thursday afternoon. Download The Action Network App to get real-time bowl odds and win probabilities on your bets.
Syracuse has seen the biggest line move of bowl season after West Virginia star quarterback Will Grier announced he’ll sit out to prep for the NFL Draft.
While Syracuse has its starting quarterback, it may use two, plus a flood of freshmen across the board who haven’t played much.
Is there still value in backing Syracuse, or has the line moved too far?
Odds Moves for Syracuse-West Virginia
By Danny Donahue
Following Grier’s decision to sit, this line dropped from WVU -7.5 to -1.5, but even that wasn’t enough in the eyes of bettors.
Seventy-eight percent of bets and 91% of dollars have backed Syracuse at the time of writing, causing this line to move from +1.5 to -2.
A similar line move has taken place on the total. Following Grier’s announcement, the total fell six points from 74 to 68, and has since continued down to 66. While 59% of bettors are backing the over, 81% of dollars have landed on the under.
Trends to Know
By John Ewing
West Virginia averages 42.3 points per game (ninth). Since 2005, teams scoring at least 40 points per game have gone just 54-67 (45%) ATS in bowl games, per our Bet Labs data.
By Evan Abrams
Over the past five years, one quick way to lose money betting in bowl season is to back a team after the line move, when the public is also wagering on that team.
Since 2014, when a team has at least 60% of the tickets and sees the point spread move against them (-4.5 to -6, for example), it has been a recipe for a betting disaster in bowl season.
This is exactly the scenario in which Syracuse finds itself on Friday.
WVU Down 3 Key Pieces
By Steve Petrella
West Virginia is missing three of its biggest offensive assets — starting quarterback Will Grier, starting left tackle Yodny Cajuste and wide receiver Gary Jennings.
Jack Allison is expected to start at quarterback — he’s played sparingly in two seasons, and was a 4-star prospect out of the top level of Florida high school football in 2016. But Trey Lowe, a true freshman dual-threat, is also expected to play, according to coach Dana Holgorsen.
This could be a problem against Syracuse’s strong pass rush, which ranks 28th in adjusted sack rate on defense.
Who’s More Motivated?
Considering this is the first bowl appearance for Syracuse since 2013, you can count on Dino Babers having his kids ready to play.
On the other hand, I’m not sure WVU will really care. And while it may be smart for the aforementioned players to sit out a bowl game, it doesn’t help build the motivation case for the Mountaineers.
It’s tough to see them really wanting to win this game after coming up just short in the season finale against Oklahoma. Just think how different the entire college football picture would look like if West Virginia had won that game.
For starters, OU wouldn’t be in the College Football Playoff. Maybe WVU is thinking about those what if’s. Regardless, playing without three key offensive starters won’t help the Mountaineers’ cause.
Bet to Watch
By Collin Wilson
This is a tough game to gauge from a point-spread perspective. Before quarterback Will Grier and left tackle Yodny Cajuste announced intentions to sit out the bowl for preparation of the NFL draft, The Action Network power ratings lined this game at West Virginia -9.
This point spread has fallen in waves with the news, to -3.5 after the Grier news then to -1 with further announcements of the offensive game plan for the Mountaineers.
The latest wave of money has pushed Syracuse as 2-point favorites, giving this bowl the chance to be biggest swing on a spread from open to close.
I will have no play on the side, as we do not know exactly what Holgerson has in mind for the West Virginia offense. It could be possible the first three drives are scripted and the offense is adjusted for the remainder of the game.
I lean to a first-half under in this game. Everything needed to make a total, including pace and standard/passing downs run rate, is out the door with a Will Grier-less attack from the Mountaineers.
I expect fewer possessions and a slower tempo for the West Virginia offense. The first few offensive series should be low risk and low pressure, meaning there’s a high high probability we’ll see low efficiency and explosiveness.
Collin’s Lean: 1H Under 34