Over 6 Wins () vs Syracuse Orange ()Date : 08/31/2018
Time : Syracuse @ Western Michigan 6:00 PM
Location : Carrier Dome
Pick, Prediction, & Preview:
Over 6 Wins vs Syracuse Orange
Syracuse has shown signs of competitiveness under third-year coach Dino Barbers as they have come up with some big wins but is this program ready to take the next step and make their first bowl game since 2013? Barbers has the pieces in place to be a real threat to teams in the ACC as he has developed a high-scoring offense which returns their lead man at the quarterback position. Defensively is where Syracuse will need to improve especially in the secondary where they were often caught giving up the home run ball to the opposing offense. The Orange will also need to replace their 2017 linebackers as they all ran out of eligibility but hopefully the insertion of two junior college linebackers improves a defense that gave up 32.2 PPG last season. Dino Barbers is dealt with one of the toughest tasks on the recruiting trail and that is trying to prevent the big-time recruits from the states of Florida and North Carolina from signing with their in-state schools but rather come up north where it snows. Barbers was able to snag a couple of 3-star recruits from Florida but overall as a class, Syracuse ranked 50th in the nation. Barber was able to keep the #3 player in the state of NY and Barber hopes that the 4-star ATH can come in and contribute this season especially at the receiver spot.
Over 6 Wins's Latest Performance :
Dino Barbers has this team on the fringe of making a bowl game even though he has finished 4-8 during his first two seasons at Syracuse. Syracuse returns a veteran quarterback and a defensive line who should cause some havoc this season which has oddsmakers believing the buzz in Syracuse. Oddsmakers have set the over/under at 6 wins which would also be the turning point in terms of making a bowl game or falling just short.
The Syracuse Orange should have a good chance at making a bowl game when taking a quick glance at their 2018 schedule. Syracuse has a couple of winnable non-conference games as they will travel to Western Michigan and host both FCS Wagner and a down UConn team. Syracuse home ACC matchups will include Florida State, North Carolina, NC State, and Louisville which are all tough matchups but they will get to welcome them at home rather than traveling. The two toughest matchups on Syracuse schedule is a 9/29 road matchup at Clemson and a neutral site game against Norte Dame. Syracuse will get to play their neutral site game in the state of New York but there should still be a good amount of Norte Dame fans there due to their widespread fan base. Since Syracuse welcomes in most of the tough ACC opponents you can imagine their road schedule is a little easier as they will go to Pittsburgh, Wake Forest, and Boston College.
Syracuse Orange's Latest Performance :
Syracuse is one of the most explosive offenses in the ACC and a reason behind that resides with their QB position as they have one of the best quarterbacks in the conference in Eric Dungey. Eric Dungey has developed into a fan favorite over the years as he has shown heart and effort through thick and thin but the senior can flat out play as well. Last season Dungey threw for 2495 yards but he was also a threat on the ground as he led all Syracuse rushers with 595 yards and 9 touchdowns. Dungey will have to find some new weapons at the wide receiver position as he lost 2 of his top guys in Steve Ishmael and Ervin Phillips (combined for 2251 yards and 11 TDs). Devin Butler is next in line to replace Ishmael and Phillips as the 6’3 junior is the most experienced of the group as well as the most well-rounded. Even though Eric Dungey shouldered most of the ground attack last year the Orange are still well off at running back as they return Moe Neal and Dontae Strickland who combined for 970 rushing yards in 2017. The Syracuse defense will have to be much improved if the Orange want to get bowl eligible as they don’t only give up a ton of points but lack turnovers as well. Syracuse will have to replace their top tackler from 2017 as Paris Bennett (115 tackles) graduated. Although the Orange are thin at linebacker they will be strong up front as they return their sack leader from 2017 in Alton Robinson who should benefit from another year in Brian Ward’s defense. Robinson is a force off the edge as the junior was able to compile 6 TFLs and 5 sacks last year in a limited role. The Syracuse secondary was shredded last year and they only recorded 4 interceptions but Dino Barbers returns 3 starters in the secondary. Evan Foster is a solid defensive back as the junior was 3rd on the team in tackles with 64 and 1 of the 4 guys who recorded an interception last season.
Player To Watch
Antwan Cordy, WR, RS Sr.
As I stated Syracuse is thin at the wide receiver position which prompted them to recruit guys as well as look elsewhere, enter Antwan Cordy. Cordy is a former safety for the Orange but the 5’9 slot receiver has missed most of the last 2 years due to injury. Cordy is an explosive player who can give a much needed boost to a weak receiving corp as he brings 5 years of college football experience into the wideout room. Look for Cordy to not only play a big role on the field but also use his seniroity to be a leader to some of the younger wide receivers. Cordy will contribute 300+ yards from the slot if the senior is able to stay healthy.
How Over 6 Wins & Syracuse Orange Matchup.
Vegas Odds, Offshore Odds, & Odds ATS:
Over 6 -110
Under 6 -110
In-Depth Analysis of each team:
8/31- @ Western Michigan- W
9/8- Wagner- W
9/15- Florida State- L
9/22- UConn- W
9/29- @ Clemson- L
10/6- @ Pittsburgh- L
10/20- North Carolina- W
10/27- NC State- L
11/3- @ Wake Forest- L
11/9- Louisville- W
11/17- Norte Dame- L
11/24- @ Boston College- L
Overall Record- 5-7
Against The Spread Selection: Under 6 Wins -110
My reason for the pick :
In my opinion, oddsmakers have too much confidence in Dino Barbers as I don’t see how this team’s win total was set so high due to the graduation of their top playmakers as well as their linebackers. Syracuse has a great quarterback and there is no question about that but he doesn’t have one pass catcher who cracked 400 yards last season which could be a problem. The defense was also shredded in 2017 and given the fact that they are missing their whole linebacker corp I can’t trust this team to be much improved on that side of the ball. Syracuse will eventually compete in the ACC as Dino Barbers does have this team trending upwards but this year there are too many holes to fill from their 2017 4-8 team. Take Syracuse under the 6 win mark as they keep their bowless streak on track.