College Football Picks: Back Home Favorite Virginia -7 Against Syracuse

Steven Suarez

Friday, October 16, 2015 7:04 PM UTC

Friday, Oct. 16, 2015 7:04 PM UTC

The Cavaliers have only won one game this season, yet they're classified as pretty heavy favorites on the college football odds board at home to Syracuse this weekend.

Odds Overview
Looking over the college football odds, we see the Cavaliers favored by a touchdown at almost every sportsbook. There's not much time left until kickoff, and seven is a key number that you often don't see change, but keep checking back with to make sure you're getting the best possible number you can. Utiziling multiple books in your handicapping will save you money over the long haul.

As of now, the total is trading at an even 53 points


Virginia Cavaliers
A 1-4 record is poor no matter how you spin it, but it should be noted that Virginia has dealt with a very difficult schedule this season. The Cavaliers opened with consecutive losses to ranked opponents in UCLA and Notre Dame, and they've also played solid programs in Boise State and Pittsburgh.

Last week, Virginia was held to just 19 points in an eight-point loss to the Panthers on the road. Matt Johns completed 17-of-33 passes for 209 yards with one touchdown and one interception, with wideout Canaan Severin accounting for Virginia's only offensive touchdown of the game. Albert Reid was one of the few highlights offensively, as he ran four times for 74 yards for a ridiculous 18.5 YPC mark.

All in all, it was a forgettable performance on both sides of the ball for the Cavaliers, who have to be feeling down on their luck after losing four of their first five games of the season. We'd expect a bounce-back showing from Johns this weekend against Syracuse's shaky pass defense though, as the quarterback has certainly had his moments and has the talent to do some damage.


Syracuse Orange
Things were looking great for the Orange after they won each of their first three games of the season, but they've suffered a couple setbacks in a row ahead of this weekend's trip to Virginia. First Syracuse lost 34-20 at home to LSU before following that up with a bad 45-24 road loss to USF.

It was a terrible performance from the Orange's defense against the Bulls, who were just 1-3 coming in. Syracuse's offense wasn't much better, with Eric Dungey posting a miserable QBR of 35.6 in the loss.

Despite the recent defeats, the Orange have to be happy with the quarterback play they're getting out of Dungey, who has a tidy 7:1 TD:INT ratio thus far. He's managing things well, although you're not going to see many people calling Syracuse a super dangerous team offensively; they're averaging 176.4 passing yards and 165.2 rushing yards per game ahead of Saturday, which aren't terrible numbers, but they don't really have the talent to compete with some of the other high-powered offenses out there. 


NCAA Football Pick
Many are going to look at this spread and be sucked into backing the Orange. After all, they're getting seven points to work with, and they have the better record on the season.

But, we see this as a great opportunity to back Virginia at home. The Cavaliers have had a brutal schedule to start the season and are probably a lot better than the general public thinks they are. Meanwhile, Syracuse has only played one game on the road, and they were trounced by a USF team that's nothing special at all.

In summation, we're liking the look of the Cavaliers as they look to notch their second win of the year. The Orange have been a mess in their secondary this season, which puts Johns in a favorable spot to guide Virginia to a convincing victory at home. We're on Virginia as our college football pick this weekend.

College Football Pick: Virginia -7 at 5Dimes

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