Against The Spread College Football Picks For Syracuse vs. Wake Forest

Jay Pryce

Thursday, October 6, 2016 2:11 PM UTC

Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016 2:11 PM UTC

Former Bowling Green head coaches Dino Barbers and Dave Clawson clash when Syracuse travels to take on Wake Forest. The two present a contrast in styles, making a college football pick difficult. But fear not, we've got you covered.

 Syracuse Orange (2-3 SU, 2-3 ATS)

Syracuse is 4-1 SU and 5-0 ATS in its last five matchups against Wake Forest, outscoring the Demon Deacons 73-24 over the last three seasons.

New head coach Dino Barbers brings a much more pass-happy team into Winston-Salem this year. The Orange throw the ball 48.5 times per game, fourth most in the country.

Syracuse is prone to mistakes when it counts, scoring on only 70 percent of trips into the red zone (109th in FBS). The team has missed four of 17 field-goal attempts and its 7.2 yards per penalty ranks sixth highest in the country.

Defensively, the Orange stink. Its 45.2 points per game allowed are the most of any Power 5 team. The unit struggles against the run and pass equally, yielding a whopping 7.6 yards per play.

Syracuse allows 35.2 points per game in regulation time in its last five as a road dog in college football odds. It has lost its past seven ACC games away from home, last winning against Wake (30-7) in 2014.


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Wake Forest Demon Deacons (4-1 SU. 2-3 ATS)

Starting the year 4-1, Wake Forest has a legitimate shot at a bowl invite with a favorable home schedule from here on out (Syracuse, Army, UVA, Clemson, Boston College). Twice the Demon Deacons have won outright as road underdogs: 33-28 at Indiana as a touchdown pup, and spotted 6 points in a 24-14 victory at Duke. Wake went 3-9 SU the last two seasons.

Head coach Dave Clawson will play John Wolford at quarterback. The 6-foot-1 junior is the best passer of all his options, tossing for 686 yards, 3 TDs, and 1 INT on 66 of 166 passes this year. Wake is a rush-first team, however, with four running backs averaging 4.0 yards or more per carry.

Clawson has preached ball protection since taking over, and the results are great. Wake’s 0.5 turnovers per game rank fifth fewest in the nation, while its 2.2 takeaways rank 15th in the country.

The defense yields 19.5 points per game. It is highly vulnerable to the passing game, though, allowing 322.2 yards per contest (118th). 


Final Analysis

The Orange will have to go to the air to beat Wake, but the defense is too weak to hold out for a win in what should finish a close ball game. Clawson will look to establish the run to keep the potent Syracuse passing attack off the field. Barbers’ men allow 6.2 yards per rush. for my college football pick, I'd have to say that Wake Forest -2 is the play.

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Free College Football Pick: Wake Forest -2
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

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