Syracuse Betting Odds Preview
The Syracuse Orange won their last four games last year, including a bowl, finishing with eight wins for the second time in three seasons. But they then lost their head coach and starting QB to the NFL. So while the Orange might have headed into this season with some momentum, they're really a total question mark heading into their first season as members of the Atlantic Coast Conference.
With only 12 starters back last season Syracuse began with a “best-case” scenario of simply making a bowl game. The Orange then proceeded to overachieve, going 8-5 and pulling an upset victory in a bowl. The 'Cuse opened last year with a couple of tough losses to Northwestern and USC, and after falling a few weeks later at Rutgers sat at 2-4. But something then clicked and the Orange won five of their last six games, losing only to Cincinnati while knocking off then-unbeaten Louisville and Missouri.
Syracuse then capped off its second-half run with a 38-14 romp (as 4-point underdogs) over West Virginia in a cold and snowy Pinstripe Bowl. The Orange also finished 7-5-1 ATS, 6-1 ATS over their last seven games. But the cost of success was seeing head coach Doug Marrone leave to take over as head coach for the Buffalo Bills. This year the 'Cuse again returns 12 starters, this time for new head coach Scott Shafer, the team's defensive coordinator the last four seasons. Six starters are back on offense, including 1,100-yard rusher Jerome Smith (and his backfield mate Prince-Tyson Gulley), and three along the offensive line, and six starters return on defense, including five of the back seven. However, they'll have to replace QB Ryan Nassib, last year's top two receivers, and three-quarters of the defensive front four.
This year's schedule calls for a neutral-field opener with Penn State, home games with Clemson, Pitt, and a couple of the ACC's weaker sisters, but road dates at Northwestern, NC State, Georgia Tech, Maryland, and Florida State. It's that road slate that will probably keep Syracuse from matching last year's victory total.
ACC Championship Odds at 5Dimes as of July 30
Florida State +240
Virginia Tech +775
North Carolina +850
Georgia Tech +1050
NC State +7000
Boston College +8500
Wake Forest +15000