Syracuse Orange at Miami Hurricanes Expert College Football Picks and Odds
Syracuse Orange at Miami Hurricanes, Saturday Oct. 21, 3:30 p.m. ET
As everyone obviously predicted, Syracuse beat Clemson last week to make this game dramatically more interesting. I'm kidding, of course - Clemson's loss in that barn of a dome goes down as perhaps the most surprising result of the college football season to date. And now we are faced with figuring out if they can possibly do it again. Miami has everything on the line here. With the Clemson loss, chances are better than ever that Miami can avoid playing the potent Tigers in the ACC Championship Game, but before they can worry about that the Hurricanes have to keep winning to get into the game. A game that was totally meaningless a week ago now has intrigued attached.
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Syracuse at Miami Betting Storylines
Syracuse's unlikely win was fueled primarily by two things. First, QB Eric Dungey was very effective, throwing three touchdowns while avoiding any mistakes. It was no fluke - Dungey has been strong all year and has the confidence of a senior. Miami has a pass defense that is solid-but-not-spectacular, so Dungey has a chance to shine here. Second, the Syracuse defense was very strong, particularly against third down where Clemson converted just twice in 11 tries. Syracuse got a break, though, when Clemson lost QB Kelly Bryant late in the first half to a concussion. Miami's offense is solid and balanced but far from perfect, so it is far from impossible that Syracuse could again have a surprisingly strong day again. Statistically, though, what Syracuse did last week on defense was more of the exception than the rule.
More than what happened on the field, we have to consider what the mental state of the Orange might be. And that is hard to put a finger on. On one hand, we could see Syracuse enter this game with a swagger and a new sense of self-belief born from a career-defining performance for the players. Or, they could have spent the last week reading headlines and soaking in their new-found fame and come into this game totally unprepared. In other words, we could see the best of Syracuse or the worst. Helpful isn't it? Head coach Dino Babers hasn't had a lot of experience winning huge games like this and bouncing back strong since his head coaching career consists of two years each at Eastern Illinois and Bowling Green before joining Syracuse last year. He's an excellent coach, though, and he has done a good job at Syracuse so far, so we can't rule out his capabilities here.
Lately, Miami hasn't wanted the lead longer than they have to late in games. At Florida State two games back they scored the winning touchdown with six seconds left. Last week there were only four seconds on the clock when the winning field goal went through the uprights. That shows that this team has a lot of toughness and handles adversity well. But it also shows that they aren't dominating games - and at least in the second game they very much should have dominated. If this one is tight late again then Syracuse can draw on their experience from last week.
Syracuse at Miami Odds and Betting Trends
The game opened widely with Miami favored by 14.5, and that has since climbed to 16.5 in most spots. The two-point move isn't as significant as it could be because it is between two key numbers. If the number moves to or through 17 then it will be more significant. Syracuse has drawn nearly two-thirds of the betting action, so the line movement suggests that sharp money is on the Hurricanes. The total opened at 56.5 and has quickly climbed to 59.
The Orange are 3-0-1 ATS in their last four conference games and 4-0-1 ATS in their last five overall. They are 4-1 ATS in their last five road games. The Hurricanes are 6-1 ATS in their last seven conference games and 8-2 ATS in their last 10 overall. They are, however, just 1-5 ATS in their last six October games.
Syracuse at Miami Predictions and Picks
I really don't see how I can avoid Syracuse, so the thought of that doesn't fill me with joy. Syracuse is playing well against the spread, they should be confident, they have a good QB, and they are being given a whole lot of points against a team that is not running away from opponents lately. Syracuse is the pick but not a game I would mortgage the house to bet on.
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Read more articles by Trevor Whenham
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