Free NCAAF Pick: Syracuse vs. Clemson

The Syracuse Orange and the Clemson Tigers butt heads this Saturday night in this Week 9 ACC Atlantic Division matchup at Memorial Stadium. The game is set to kickoff at 7 p.m. (ET), and it will be available nationally on ESPNU.

The Orange are coming off a 30-7 romp against Wake Forest this past Saturday as six-point favorites on the road. This win snapped a four-game straight up losing streak in which they failed to cover in three of games. Syracuse is now 3-4 both straight up and against the spread, and the total has stayed “under” in two previous road games this year.

Clemson continues to pad its overall record with SU victories in its last four games, but it has failed to cover in its last two in tighter-than-expected battles against Louisville and Boston College. This past Saturday the Tigers beat BC 17-13, but they could not cover the 5.5 points on the road. The total has now stayed under in their last three games.

Syracuse at Clemson Betting Storylines

This is Syracuse’s second season in the ACC after going an even 4-4 SU in conference play last year. So far its only win in the ACC this season was last week against the Demon Deacons after losing to Louisville and Florida State. The 30 points it scored in that win was a welcomed sign after failing to score more than 20 points in any of its previous four outings, which all resulted in SU losses.

The Orange lost quarterback Terrel Hunt earlier this month with a leg injury, and that took a bite out of both the passing game and the ground game. Hunt remains the second-leading rusher on the team with 307 yards. Prince-Tyson Gulley leads all runners with 418 yards on an offense that is averaging 192 rushing yards a game. The defense is allowing an average of 23.9 points a game, but this unit gave up 28 points or more in every contest during its recent four-game slide.

Clemson’s tight six-point loss to Florida State earlier in the season put a major dent in its Atlantic Division title hopes, but it clearly remains the second-best team in the ACC this season at 5-2 SU overall and 4-1 in conference play. The offense is averaging a respectable 34.6 points a game despite only tallying a combined 40 points in the victories against the Cardinals and the Eagles. The defense remains stout by allowing an average of just 20 points a game.

Cole Stoudt got the call at quarterback this past Saturday against BC and he threw for 285 yards while completing 64.4 percent of his 45 attempts. The Tigers’ passing offense as a whole is averaging 303 yards per game, which is ranked 22nd in the nation. Both Mike Williams and Artavis Scott came up big against BC with a combined 18 receptions for 200 yards.

Syracuse at Clemson Betting Odds and Trend
Pointspread: Clemson -15.5
Total Line: OFF

The betting trends have the Orange listed at 4-1 ATS in their last five road games, and the total has stayed under in four of those contests. It has stayed under in four of their last six games overall.

The Tigers are 5-1 ATS in their last six games at home and 5-2 ATS in their last seven conference games. The total has stayed under in their last six games following a SU win.

Last season in the first meeting between the two since 1996, Clemson crushed the Orange 49-14 as a 14-point road favorite. The total stayed under the closing 65.5-point line.

College Football Picks: Syracuse at Clemson Betting Predictions

I have been waiting for Clemson’s offense to explode again ever since it put up a combined 91 points against North Carolina and NC State in late September. I believe this is the week the Tigers return to that level of play with a dominating win at home that easily covers the 15.5-point spread.

Take: # 124 Clemson (-15.5) over Syracuse- 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25

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