College Football Odds, Pick for Wake Forest vs Syracuse: Bet Short Favorite
Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Syracuse Orange quarterback/tight tnd Dan Villari (89).
College Football Odds for Wake Forest vs Syracuse
Let's head out to Western New York, where the Syracuse Orange will host the Wake Forest Demon Deacons.
The Orange recently fired head coach Dino Babers, as it's been a complete dumpster fire of a season for Syracuse.
It hasn't been much better for Wake Forest, as this was an expected transition year after quarterback Sam Hartman transferred to Notre Dame. The injuries haven't helped their situation either — it's lost seven of its past eight games.
This is definitely an ugly matchup on paper, but typically, these are the games I can dig out the best betting value. Let's break down both of these teams and find some gold in our Wake Forest vs. Syracuse betting preview for Saturday, November 25.
There's no sugarcoating it with this Wake Forest offense — it's been flat-out disgusting. It's been a clown show carousel at quarterback, but it's now down to junior Michael Kern as the starter.
Last week, Notre Dame absolutely destroyed Wake, 45-7. Kern threw for just 81 yards, and this lifeless offense continued to show no signs of breaking out.
It would be a different story this week if this offense could run the ball effectively, an area in which the Orange struggle significantly, but the Deacs rank 107th in Rushing Success Rate and 109th in Line Yards.
My biggest concern in this game is that the offense likes to go pretty fast between plays, which is not what you want if you're an anemic group. Considering Cuse loves to run the ball, the Orange could easily dominate time of possession due to Wake's offensive game plan.
Not only that, this group finds themselves in the bottom 20 in Havoc Allowed, as well as Finishing and Quality Drives. This Orange defense has actually been pretty decent, so I wouldn't let their current program situation fool you.
Defensively, there's a slight glimmer of hope for Dave Clawson's team in this matchup. Oddly enough, the Orange have been extremely rush-heavy over the last month which is the strength of this defensive unit.
The secondary is horrific, but the Orange don't pose much of a threat through the air. This defense isn't stout by any stretch, but I don't see a world where this is a high-scoring affair.
For as bad as this defensive unit is, it's top-50 in both PFF coverage and tackling. This tells me it will limit explosiveness, and as long as the offense protects the football, it should make Syracuse work hard for points.
I'm not going to waste much of your time discussing the Orange's metrics because I think they are all mostly irrelevant heading into this game. With Babers gone, I can't think of a more motivated team playing this weekend that isn't locked into a bowl yet.
The Orange are 5-5 and have a shot to earn a bowl berth this weekend. I think there's going to be a terrific response from this group due to all of the fallout in the past week.
There's no better way to stick it to your recently fired head coach than coming out with an inspired effort the following week. I know this isn't the most talented roster, but it has a great matchup working in its favor.
Simply put, if Cuse wants to win this game, quarterback Dan Villari, a converted tight end, will have to be efficient on downfield throws. I realize this offense has been very run-heavy, but the one area to attack this Wake defense lies in the secondary.
If the Orange can move the chains on the ground, that should open this passing attack for more downfield options. I don't think Wake can stop anybody through the air, so it shouldn't take much for this offense to be effective.
Wake ranks 98th in Defensive Finishing Drives, so if the Orange protect the football and move the chains, that should be more than enough to win this game.
There isn't any doubt the added motivation and potential scheme change could provide a jolt to this group.
This Orange defense should be licking its chops for this matchup; the unit is top-50 in Passing Success Rate, Line Yards and Havoc.
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Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Wake Forest and Syracuse match up statistically:
Wake Forest Offense vs. Syracuse Defense
Syracuse Offense vs. Wake Forest Defense
Pace of Play / Other
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Syracuse -3 is one of the best spots of the weekend. I don't care what any other tout tells you, but considering the Babers era is in the rearview mirror, I can't imagine it losing this game.
Of course, the Orange can shoot themselves in the foot multiple times with awful turnovers and have some bad fumble luck, but regardless, I think the motivation angle is more than enough for them to come out with a victory here.
Also, the Orange will be fighting for bowl eligibility, which I'm sure they would love to secure.
This is an easy pick for me, and I think the Orange are stingy enough on the defensive side of the ball to eliminate any type of offensive threat from this pathetic Wake offense.