Louisville vs. Syracuse - ACC Opener for Cardinals & Orange

Dontae Strickland Rushes With The Ball

Ross Benjamin

Tuesday, September 6, 2016 9:10 PM UTC

Tuesday, Sep. 6, 2016 9:10 PM UTC

Our college football handicapping professional provides us with an early preview of Friday’s Louisville and Syracuse game. Go inside to read this very insightful betting article which concludes with a college football pick.

The Louisville Cardinals and Syracuse Orange will meet on Friday in what will be an ACC opening game for both teams. The opening kickoff at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse is slated for 8:00 PM ET, and it will be televised by ESPN2.

Current (9/5) college football betting odds at 5Dimes has nationally ranked Louisville as a 14.5-point road favorite. When making your college football picks, be aware that 5Dimes is one of the highest rated sportsbooks to do business with.

This will be the third consecutive season that these two ACC rivals have met. Louisville won and covered each of the previous two, by scores of 28-6 at Syracuse in 2014, and 41-17 at Papa John’s Cardinals Stadium a season ago.


Last Week
Louisville and Syracuse were both winners during last week’s season openers. Louisville walloped Charlotte 70-14 at home and covered as a mammoth 38.5-point favorite.

Conversely, Syracuse defeated Colgate 33-7 at the Carrier Dome, and they also covered as a sizable 23.5-point favorite. Each team dominated in all aspects of the game against vastly inferior opponents.


Awesome Starting Quarterback Efficiency
Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson threw his hat into the 2016 Heisman Trophy following last week’s scintillating performance. Jackson was 17-23 passing for 286 yards and 6 touchdowns. Furthermore, Jackson ran for additional 119 yards and 2 touchdowns. Yet, he compiled those superb numbers all in one-half of football. Louisville had a commanding 56-0 lead at halftime, and head coach Bobby Petrino opted to sit Jackson for the entirety of second half.

Syracuse signal-caller Eric Dungey’s numbers weren’t quite as gaudy. Nevertheless, they were exceedingly impressive, and especially so when considering he was running new head coach Dino Baber’s lightning fast tempo offense for the very first time. Dungey was 34-40 (85%) for 355 yards passing. Dungey isn’t anywhere near as an explosive runner in comparison to Lamar Jackson. However, he’s very mobile nonetheless and is more than capable of moving the chains with his legs.


Early Offensive Juggernauts
Although we’ve seen each of these teams play just one game, and against far less than quality opponents, their offensive execution was at an extremely high level. Louisville compiled massive 663 total yards and 70 points a week ago.

On the other hand, Syracuse wasn’t too shabby as well, evidenced by their 554 total yards. If there was a criticism in that regard, Syracuse needs to improve their red zone efficiency. They scored only 3 touchdowns and were aided by placekicker Cole Murphy who went 4-4 on his field goal attempts. If they hope to stay competitive with Louisville, the Orange can’t continue to settle for field goals when moving into scoring territory.


Final Analysis and Pick
Louisville will be unequivocally the more talented and deeper team in this game. Nonetheless, they also may be caught looking ahead toward a home date against Florida State which comes up in their next game.

Pertaining to Syracuse, this contest will serve as a measuring stick to gauge the level of improvement they’ve attained in Dino Baber’s first year. My educated guess is they’re still a year or two away from being an ACC contender. In any event, as better than a two touchdown home underdog, I’ll have a very small lean on them in this spot.


Free NCAAF Pick: Syracuse +14.5
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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