College Football Picks: Back Syracuse +115 Coming Off Bye Week vs. South Florida

Mark Lathrop

Thursday, October 8, 2015 12:54 AM GMT

In this AAC versus ACC showdown, Syracuse takes their game on the road against South Florida. Our handicapper gives his thoughts on the game on the way to giving the value college football pick in this matchup.

The Syracuse Orange return from their bye week to hit the road and face the South Florida Bulls in this non-conference matchup between the AAC and ACC. South Florida finds themselves 1-3 early this season, as a result to losses to Florida State, Maryland, and Memphis. The Bulls were underdogs in all of those three games and went 2-0-1 ATS. Syracuse is 3-1 this season and also 3-1 ATS, as they failed to cover as 8-point favorites at home versus Central Michigan. Those are a lot of numbers on paper that probably don’t have any meaning to this game, until they do.

Even though the records of these teams are opposite in favor of Syracuse, the very early line has the South Florida Bulls listed at +4 at Heritage. This is likely because of South Florida’s 6-2 SU record against the Orange in their last eight meetings, but also could be because of Syracuse’s quarterback situation. Syracuse QB, Eric Dungey, has been questionable but is “looking good to play” according to Syracuse head coach, Scott Schafer.

Very important is the fact that Syracuse had a bye week to get Dungey healthy. Also important is that in the last three years, Syracuse is 3-0 SU coming off of their bye week. So getting any points in this spot is a very good thing.

In their last game versus Memphis South Florida was awful on 3rd down, converting just just 2 out of 13 chances. The game wasn’t as competitive as the final score indicated, as a late touchdown in the final two minutes got the score within one possession, although that touchdown was enough to get a push on the spread at most sportsbooks. Although the Bulls were beat handily by Florida St. and Maryland, the covered against a huge 28.5 Florida St. spread by only losing by 20.

Sophomore running back, Marlon Mack, has been a bright spot for the Bulls this season. Averaging 98 yards per game and 5.4 yards per carry, he touched up Memphis for 107 yards in their loss. He’s going to be one to watch against Syracuse, as the Orange gave up 268 yards to LSU’s rushing attack, including 244 yards to LSU RB, Leonard Fournette. Although not in the same caliber as LSU, the Bulls will be looking to take advantage of that soft run defense. That will be tough though, because even though the Orange got torched by LSU they have one of the top 20 rush defense in the country by yardage allowed.

To be honest, I love this spot for Syracuse to get their first road win of the year coming off of a bye. It just seems like the wrong team is favored in this one, so I’m going to look past the spread and on to the money line. The O/U total is listed at 48.5, a total that looks rather sharp given the recent form of each team. If you want the comfort of some points backing Syracuse, you can still get 3, but that is looking to change as the public has been backing Syracuse as well. I’m going to take the positive college football odds in this one and get in on Syracuse at +115 early as one of my college football picks.

College Football Picks: Syracuse +115 at 5Dimes

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