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Brennan Armstrong of the Virginia Cavaliers warms up prior to the game against the Miami Hurricanes at Hard Rock Stadium.
Brennan Armstrong of the Virginia Cavaliers warms up prior to the game against the Miami Hurricanes at Hard Rock Stadium. Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images/AFP.

The Virginia Cavaliers play in their first conference game of the season, and they're road underdogs to the Syracuse Orange on Friday night. We're breaking down the betting with our Virginia-Syracuse picks.

Both Syracuse and Virginia are coming off wild last-second victories. The Orange rallied from a 29-25 deficit with 51 seconds remaining to stun Purdue 32-29, scoring the game-winning touchdown with seven seconds left. Meanwhile, the Cavaliers improved to 2-1 with a 16-14 victory over Old Dominion, capping a six-play 56-yard drive with 1:01 remaining and kicking the game-winning field goal as time expired.    

Are we in for more fireworks in this ACC battle?

Here are our top picks for the college football Week 4 game between Virginia and Syracuse (odds via PointsBet, FanDuel Sportsbook, and DraftKings Sportsbook; Pick confidence is based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

Virginia vs. Syracuse Game Info

Date: Friday, Sept 23, 7 p.m. ET
TV: ESPN
Location: JMA Wireless Dome, Syracuse, NY
Weather: Indoors

Virginia vs. Syracuse Odds Analysis

This spread ranges from -8.5 to -10 at most sportsbooks. Syracuse is one of the most popular early favorites of the week, receiving 92% of the tickets and 87% of the cash.

FanDuel is the only sportsbook currently offering a total of 53.5, as all other major sportsbooks are one point higher at 54.5. 

Virginia vs. Syracuse Picks

Check out the latest comprehensive and most trusted Sportsbook Reviews by SBR.

Virginia vs. Syracuse ATS Pick

Virginia +10 (-107) ★★★

Syracuse holds a considerable edge in this game scheduling-wise, as the team is playing its fourth consecutive home contest. The Orange have won the first three by a combined 61 points to start 3-0 for the first time since 2018. However, there are concerns after Syracuse's latest victory, which is why I'm down on the Orange going forward.

Orange quarterback Graham Shrader completed 79.2% of his pass attempts (third in the FBS) through the first two games. But the Boilermakers were his best competition yet, and they frustrated him to the tune of a 40.0 completion percentage and 35 yards in the first half.

The Orange's offensive line couldn't keep Purdue's front out of the backfield, and Syracuse's compromised passing attack stifled running back Sean Tucker's production. Tucker was limited to 2.3 yards per carry after consecutive games with 100-plus yards rushing. 

There are plenty of single-digit spreads out there, so make sure you grab one of the lines at +10 if you're a Virginia backer.

Virginia vs. Syracuse O/U Pick

Over 53.5 (-110) ★★

Virginia's 16-14 final score against Old Dominion doesn't tell the whole story of how well its offense played. The Cavaliers totaled 513 yards, but they only notched 16 points due to fumbling twice inside the Monarchs' five-yard line. 

Cavaliers quarterback Brennan Armstrong ranked second in the country in passing yards per game and total offense in 2021, and he was responsible for the sixth-most points in Division I. He was also one of PFF's highest-graded Power 5 quarterbacks entering 2022 after finishing among the top three in total touchdowns per game. He plays for an offensive coordinator in Robert Anae who's helped to set the school's single-season record for total offense three times in his first four seasons on the job. 

Thus, this Cavaliers offense is much better than the 17.7 points per game it's averaging. Additionally, Syracuse is a perfect 11-for-11 in the red zone in 2022, and the Orange should score often when they get close in this matchup.

The Over is 13-5 during Virginia's last 18 games against teams with a winning record. Expect its offense to rise to the occasion against an undefeated Syracuse team.  

Virginia vs. Syracuse Prop Pick

First-half spread: Virginia +6 (-110) ★★★

The Cavaliers frequently bounce back after poor offensive outputs. Virginia is 6-1 ATS during its last seven contests following games of scoring fewer than 20 points. And while the Orange are 7-1 ATS in their last eight home games, Syracuse is being overvalued with this number. The team's 31-7 win over Louisville doesn't look as impressive in hindsight.

The Cavaliers will stay within a touchdown through the first 30 minutes on the road.

Where to Bet on Virginia-Syracuse Picks

Here are our top-rated sportsbooks:

Virginia-Syracuse picks made 9/20/2022 at 5:56 a.m. ET