Louisville is 5-1 straight up in its last six meetings with Syracuse—4-2 against the spread—stretching back to their days as Big East rivals. Coming off a huge offensive performance, the Cardinals will be big favorites for Friday night’s meeting with the Orange at the Carrier Dome.
Point spread: Cardinals opened as 13-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark. (Line updates and matchup report)
College football pick, via Odds Shark computer: 33.8-8.4 Cardinals (College football picks on every game)
Why the Louisville Cardinals can cover the spread
Louisville opened this season with a 70-14 romp over Charlotte last Thursday, covering as a 38-point favorite. The Cardinals scored a touchdown on their first possession of the season, led 28-0 after one quarter and 56-0 at the half before taking their foot off the gas.
Quarterback Lamar Jackson picked up where he left off last season, throwing for 286 yards and six touchdowns while rushing for 119 yards and two more scores—all in the first half. And the Louisville defense held the 49ers to just 208 total yards and one offensive touchdown.
The Cardinals returned 17 starters this season—nine on offense and eight on defense—for their third season of their second run under head coach Bobby Petrino. Louisville averaged 29 points per game last season while giving up 24 points per game, and the Cardinals stand a great chance of improving both those figures this season.
Why the Syracuse Orange can cover the spread
Syracuse began its first season under new head coach Dino Babers with a 33-7 victory over Colgate last Friday. The Orange spotted the Raiders an early 7-0 lead, then they scored the last 33 points of the game, covering as 23-point favorites.
On the night, Syracuse outgained Colgate 554-143, and more than half of the Raiders’ yardage came on their first drive of the game. The Orange also received a wonderful performance from sophomore quarterback Eric Dungey, who connected on 34 of 40 throws for 355 yards and two touchdowns.
Syracuse returned 16 starters for this season—eight on each side of the ball. The Orange will go through a learning curve with the new head coach and his new systems, but last week was a good first step.
The Cardinals defeated the Orange the last two seasons by scores of 28-6 and 41-17, and not enough has changed yet to indicate Friday’s result will be much different. Syracuse might be headed in the right direction, but Louisville is the better team, playing on the road, where the spread is a bit more amenable. The smart money here likes the Cardinals.
Louisville is 5-1 SU in its last six games against Syracuse.
Syracuse is 5-0 ATS in its last five games at home.
The total has gone over in five of Louisville’s last six games.
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Source: Bleacher Report-ACC Football