College Football Picks: Syracuse vs. Northwestern

Ross Benjamin

Wednesday, September 4, 2013 8:44 PM UTC

Wednesday, Sep. 4, 2013 8:44 PM UTC

Free college football picks for the Week 2 matchup between the Syracuse Orange and the Northwestern Wildcats. We examine the current betting lines, hoping to find a betting edge.

The #18 ranked Northwestern Wildcats will host the Syracuse Orange in their 2013 home opener. Northwestern comes off an impressive 44-30 win at Cal in their season opener and covered as a 5.5-point favorite. Syracuse opened the season with a 23-17 loss at the hands of Penn St. in a game that was played at Met Life Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Orange were able to get inside the number as an 8.0-point underdog. These two teams played in an absolute thriller a season ago at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, with Northwestern prevailing 42-41 in what was the season opener for both programs.

According to the latest College Football odds, Northwestern is currently a 13.0-point favorite in this contest. No total is currently on offer, but we do believe that the spread is worth looking at for our sports betting purposes.



Pat Fitzgerald is in his 8th season as head coach of the Northwestern Wildcats. Under Fitzgerald the Wildcats have gone 50-39, and are coming off a spectacular 10-3 season in 2012. Northwestern has won their last 6 home openers with their last loss coming in 2006 versus New Hampshire. Last season they were a perfect 5-0 SU&ATS as a home favorite winning by an average of 20.4 points per game. In addition they’ve gone 8-0 SU&ATS in their last 8 games overall as a favorite. The Wildcats have won 8 of their last 9 home games with their only loss coming last October 20th versus Nebraska 29-28.

In last week’s opening game win over the Cal bears Northwestern had their offense in high gear. In addition to scoring 44-points they accumulated 508 yards of total offense, including 209 yards on the ground. Starting quarter Kain Colter left the game early after sustaining a head injury and didn’t return. Colter is listed as probable for this Saturday’s game. The Wildcats backup quarterback red-shirt junior Trevor Siemian stepped in and did a terrific job going 18-29 for 276 yards and a touchdown. The ground attack was led by Treyvon Green who rushed for 129 yards on just 16 carries (8.1 ypr.). On the negative side, the Wildcats turned the ball over 3 times, the defense allowed Call to go for 548 yards of total offense, including 455 yards through the air.

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Scott Schafer made his head coaching debut with Syracuse in last week’s loss to Penn St. Schafer is the former defensive coordinator of the Orange, and worked under former head coach Doug Marrone. Syracuse has covered their last 4 games overall as an underdog, while winning 3 of those 4 outright. The Orange went 8-5 a season ago under Doug Marrone, culminating with a Pinstripe Bowl win over West Virginia 38-14 as a 4.0-point underdog. Syracuse finished last season by going 6-1 SU&ATS in their last 7 games.

Syracuse blew a golden opportunity to get off to a good start last week versus Penn St. Down 23-17 they got the ball back with a little over 2 minutes remaining near midfield. Unfortunately the drive came to an abrupt end after quarterback Drew Allen threw his 2nd interception of the game. The red-shirt senior transfer from Oklahoma was making his first ever college start. He was less than impressive going 16-37 for 189 yards. The vaunted Orange ground attack was held in check as they rushed for just 71 yards, and averaged a paltry 1.9 yards per carry. The offense looked out of sync all day long, and needs to clean up numerous things if they will be competitive versus a nationally ranked team this week. The Orange defense did a decent job allowing the Nittany Lions just 353 yards of total offense, created 3 turnovers, and held Penn St. to an excellent 1 for 16 on 3rd down conversions.

What’s My Angle?

Any home favorite of 16.5 or less that comes off an away favorite ATS win, they covered by 17.5 or less, they scored 28 points or more, and they’re facing an opponent coming off an away underdog ATS win but straight up loss is 38-9 ATS (80.8%) since the start of the 1980 season. Keep that in mind when making your college football picks, and you should come out on top.

College Football Free Pick: Northwestern -13.0 (very small lean)

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