The top Friday evening (8:00pm ET) game this week features a Big East matchup with the 14th ranked Mountaineers of West Virginia (5-1) traveling to the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, NY to take on the Syracuse Orange (4-2) in an ESPN primetime game. West Virginia rolls into the contest following two consecutive wins by a combined score of 98-26, including a 43-16 demolition of UCONN on October 8 in which they easily covered the 19 point line. WVU is 3-3 ATS this season. Syracuse won a 37-34 shootout at Tulane in their last game on October 8 when they were favored by 9.5 points going in, the Orange are 2-4 ATS this season.
The Mountaineers under Head Coach Dana Holgorsen feature one of the most explosive offensive units in the country. Quarterback Geno Smith has the passing game ranked 4th in the nation with 380.5 yards per game through the air, and WVU 13th in the nation in scoring offense with 40.8 points per game. The WVU defense ranks a solid 35th in points allowed with 21.5 per game, and 17th in total defense with 301.2 YPG surrendered. Syracuse averages 26.7 PPG on offense (72 among FBS teams) and ranks a dismal 96th in total offense with 333.5 YPG. The Orange defensive unit has been just as mediocre, ranking 71st in total defense with 397.3 YPG allowed and 69th in points allowed with 27.3 per game.
West Virginia vs. Syracuse Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
West Virginia Mountaineers -14
@Syracuse Orange +14
Over 59 (-110)
Under 59 (-110)
Betting odds taken from Bookmaker.com <– One of the best football betting sites (Credit Card Deposits!)
West Virginia vs. Syracuse Pick:
Syracuse upset the then-20th ranked Mountaineers last season in Morgantown by a score of 19-14 in a game where they harassed Geno Smith to the tune of five sacks and three interceptions. WVU had won eight straight head-to-head matchups prior to that game. West Virginia is 9-3 ATS in their last 12 games against a team with a winning record and 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 Big East games. Syracuse is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 against a team with a winning record and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 overall. The over is 5-0 in WVU last 5 games overall, and 4-0 in their last 4 games as a favorite. The over is 5-2 in Syracuse’s last 7 games overall. In head-to-head play, the under is 10-4-1 in the last 15 meetings between the two teams and WVU is 7-3 ATS in their last 10 meetings.
WVU should have a field day on offense against a Syracuse defense that ranks 112th (out of 119 teams) against the pass with 293 YPG allowed. Smith will be looking to atone for his horrible performance against the Orange a year ago and should have a monster game against one of the worst defensive backfields in the country. Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib can throw the ball as well, with 1,294 passing yards and 11 TDs on the year, and he should be putting the ball in the air a lot more than normal in an effort to keep up with the high-octane WVU offense. WVU will be motivated to score as many points as they can on the Orange as payback for last season, and coming off a bye week they have ample time to prepare a game plan to attack the outmanned Syracuse defense. The only opponents to hold WVU under 35 points this season are LSU, which has one of the best defenses in the country and Marshall in the opening game of the season that was shortened because of severe weather. Look for WVU to go over 40 points at least against the Orange and they could come close to hitting the over on their own. Take the over in this game as Syracuse will have to put the ball in the air more than they are accustomed to and will have success in the climate-controlled environment of the Carrier Dome.