College Football Betting: Louisville at Syracuse

College Football Betting:  Louisville at Syracuse

Syracuse football has been going in the wrong direction for several years now and new coach Dino Babers is the latest to try and clean up the mess. Things got off to a good start last week with a 33-7 victory over FCS opponent Colgate but despite the Orange win/cover it wasn’t particularly impressive–even if Colgate was a 9 win team in the Patriot League a year ago. Louisville’s win over Charlotte was much more impressive for several reasons, not the least of which was the 70-14 final score. The 49ers are in only their second year as a FBS team and should fare better against more reasonable class opponents this year.

What might have been the most impressive thing about Louisville’s thrashing of Charlotte was the stat line of the Cardinals’ Heisman candidate quarterback Lamar Jackson. All Jackson did was put up 286 passing yards, 119 rushing yards a Week 1 best eight touchdowns. Oh by the way–his 400 yards of total offense/8 TD onslaught came in just one half as Louisville took a 56-0 lead to the locker room. He’ll almost certainly play into the second half this week against Syracuse.

Syracuse’s rebuilding under coach Babers presents a ‘perfect storm’ for a Louisville route. On defense, the Orange are rebuilding with a new scheme and six underclassmen starters. On offense, Babers wants to play ‘up tempo’ to the point that UL coach Bobby Petrino has been musing about the ‘legality’ of how fast they play in the media. I’ve always been a sucker for uptempo offenses in college football but Syracuse isn’t Chip Kelly’s Oregon Ducks of a few years back. Now they’ll be trying to play a system that they’re still likely working to fully assimilate led by a Sophomore quarterback.

It might have all been too easy last week but this week is a nightmare matchup against a faster team with a bigger, better defense. And were I game planning to beat Louisville one major component of the strategy would be to keep the ball out of quarterback Jackson’s hands to the greatest extent possible. Syracuse, on the other hand, will be running an offense that gives Jackson more chances with the ball and using a defense ‘learning on the job’ to try and stop him.