Pick Notre Dame Spread vs. Syracuse College Football Betting

Willie Bee

Wednesday, September 24, 2014 2:59 PM UTC

Wednesday, Sep. 24, 2014 2:59 PM UTC

A pair of stout defenses duke it out in the Meadowlands this Saturday as Notre Dame battles Syracuse, and SBR has a preview plus a free college football pick for the contest.

Just as we pondered a couple of weeks ago when Duke met Kansas on the gridiron, this Saturday's battle between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Syracuse Orange has us longing for the college basketball season.

At least we know we'll get a chance to see the Irish and Orange on the hardwood, though we'll have to wait until Valentine's Day 2015 for the tip-off.  And I suspect by then, most of this week's football matchup will long be forgotten by that time.

Not that this meeting doesn't hold at least a little intrigue, nor is it completely one-sided according to SBR's live college football odds.  The neutral site affair will be ABC's prime-time broadcast (8 PM ET) from MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, and some of the chalk on the Irish has been erased with an even dozen points the present spread on the NCAA football odds with 48 for the scoreboard mark.

Notre Dame and Syracuse pigskinners are colliding for the sixth time, and first since 2008.  The Orange pulled off a huge upset in that '08 clash, going into South Bend as nearly 20-point underdogs before picking up two 4th-quarter touchdowns to leave with a 24-23 victory.  It was one of only three wins by Syracuse that season, and gave the Orange a 3-2 lead in this series.

Saturday's contest marks the second time the teams have tangled at a neutral site, Syracuse pulling off a 14-7 win at Yankee Stadium where the schools met in 1963.


Was 'Cuse Looking Ahead In Upset Loss To Maryland?
This was supposed to have been a matchup of undefeated teams, but the Maryland Terrapins changed those plans with a 34-20 upset of the Orange last week at the Carrier Dome.  The Terps bolted to a 31-13 first half lead thanks to a 90-yard bomb and long pick 6 during the game's first 30 minutes.

Syracuse closed as small -1.5 point chalk in that affair, so it was a huge upset.  Still, Scott Shafer's team came out very flat following a double-overtime win over Villanova in the season opener and rout of Central Michigan in Week 3, and we can't help but wonder if the Orange might not have been looking ahead to this matchup vs. the Irish,

Turnovers cost Syracuse 10 points in the loss to Maryland, and other than the 90-yard TD pass the defense gave up, the unit has been playing pretty well overall.  The Orange rank 28th in the nation giving up 325 yards and change per game, the front 7 tightened up against the Terrapin ground attack after allowing 'Nova 190 yards on the ground.


Irish Head To Jersey Following Bye Week
Brian Kelly and his lads have had a couple of weeks to digest their 3-0 start to the campaign, and should be champing at the bit to get back on the turf.  The Irish covered their first two games, but couldn't provide another payday for backers two Saturday's ago in a 30-14 win over Purdue, Notre Dame closing -30 in that one.

Both teams are likely to be missing a couple of key wide receivers, though that should present more problems for Terrel Hunt and the Orange than it will for Everett Golson and the Irish.  Syracuse's Ashton Broyld (leg), who leads the team with 11 catches, will be sidelined at least a couple of weeks while Amir Carlisle (knee) of Notre Dame is questionable.  Carlisle also has 11 catches on the year, second on the list behind William Fuller's 19.

There's a little rain in the East Rutherford forecast this week, but it's supposed to clear out by Friday and leave behind clear skies with Saturday's thermometer climbing into the low-80s before cooling back into the low-70s around kickoff.

I'm expecting the Irish to solve the Syracuse offense fairly early, get a lead and force Hunt to start throwing the ball.  And that could lead to several Orange mistakes, which is why the Golden Domers are my free college football pick.

College football pick: Notre Dame -12 at 5Dimes

Season: 19-13-1 (+4.70)

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