Louisville at Syracuse
This Saturday the No. 9 ranked Louisville Cardinals will try and remain perfect on the season when they visit the Syracuse Orange. Kickoff is scheduled for 12:00 EST at the Carrier Dome and will be televised nationally on ABC. Oddsmakers have listed the Orange as a 3-point home underdog with the total set at 58 points.
Why Louisville Will Cover:
The Cardinals improved to 9-0 overall and 4-0 inside the Big East with a 45-17 blowout win over Temple this past weekend. It was one of the few games this season where Louisville didn’t find themselves in a close battle. Their six previous games had all been decided by 10-points or less.
While the offense is centered around sophomore quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, I believe the key to Louisville winning and covering the spread will be their ability to run the football. Syracuse has allowed 632 yards rushing over their last two games against Cincinnati and South Florida and are giving up an average of 160.3 ypg. Louisville isn’t a great rushing team, but they have rushed for 150 yards or more five times this season and each of those resulted in a win by more than 3-points.
On the other side of the ball. Louisville appears to match up extremely well with Syracuse. The Orange come in ranked 20th in the country in passing offense at 308.1 ypg. The Cardinals counter that with the 19th ranked pass defense, allowing just 189.2 ypg.
There’s no question that Syracuse is a difficult place to play, but the Cardinals have been an excellent road team. They are 11-3 ATS in road games over the last three seasons. Louisville is also 9-3 ATS over their last 12 conference games, while the Orange are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 vs a team with a winning record.
Why Syracuse Will Cover:
The Orange are coming off a disappointing loss at Cincinnati, but it really isn’t all that surprising to see Syracuse struggle away from home. Four of their five losses have come away from the Carrier Dome, where they are 3-1 this season. Their only loss at home was a 41-42 defeat to Northwestern, who scored the game winning touchdown in the final seconds of regulation.
The thing that has me thinking that Syracuse is worth a long look in this game, is the fact that oddsmakers have set such a low line in a game where they know the majority of the public is going to pound the undefeated Cardinals. I currently show that close to 80% of the bets coming in have been on Louisville. That right there has me thinking the oddsmakers like Syracuse’s chances of winning this game outright.
Syracuse has been known to pull off some huge upsets at home. Just last year they stunned everyone with a 49-23 upset win over undefeated West Virginia as a 14-point underdog. I expect the Carrier Dome to be as load as it has all season and the Orange will be able to feed off that energy, especially on the defensive side of the ball. As bad as Syracuse has been against the run in their last two games on the road, they have allowed a total of 21 rushing yards in their two home games against conference opponents.