Syracuse Orange vs. Louisville Cardinals Betting Picks

November 17, 2020

Date:Friday, November 20th
Time:7:00 PM ET
Network:ESPN
Venue:Cardinal Stadium
Spread:Louisville -18
O/U:56.5

The 1-7 Syracuse Orange will go on the road Friday night to face off with the 2-6 Louisville Cardinals at 7:00 PM ET in Cardinal Stadium. This has been a disastrous season for both teams and it can only get worse for one of them. The Cardinals come in as 18-point home favorites and we’re looking at a healthy 56.5 over/under. Let’s dive into how this game will go down and who will end up covering the spread. Make sure to check out the rest of my CFB Picks and Predictions for this packed weekend slate of football games.

Trends

  • Orange are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games on fieldturf.
  • Cardinals are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games after scoring less than 20 points in their previous game.
  • Over is 6-2 in Orange last 8 games on fieldturf.
  • Over is 7-0 in Cardinals last 7 games as a favorite.

When The Syracuse Orange Have The Ball

Not much has gone right for the Syracuse Orange through eight weeks. They’re one of the few teams out there who wish they played less games and not more. Their lone win came over Georgia Tech in week three, which mean they’re on a five-game losing streak heading into this one. The Orange moved a new youngster under center and they at least remained competitive against Boston College. With that said, it had a lot more to do with the defense holding BC to 16 points.

Freshman QB JaCobian Morgan got the first start of his career against Boston College and he wasn’t bad. He got into the Wake Forest game a week prior and went 7/7, never failing to complete a pass. He’s completed 70% of his passes through the two games for 245 yards and two touchdowns with just one INT. He isn’t going to push the ball down the field, but he also won’t be as bad as DeVito at giving it to the other team.

The Orange best player on offense is halfback Sean Tucker. Even with the terrible offensive line and play-calling, Tucker has averaged five yards per carry en route to 414 yards and three scores. The best bet for this team is to get him the ball 20+ times a game. He’s backed up by Cooper Lutz, who hasn’t been nearly as productive. Don’t be surprised if Morgan starts running it a bit more as well as he finds his footing in this offense.

When Morgan does drop back, he has plenty of weapons to work with. It starts with Taj Harris, who’s hauled in 36 balls for 507 yards and three touchdowns. Anthony Queeley and Nykeim Johnson are the only other two pass-catchers over 10 catches and they have 27 and 16. This isn’t a very deep set of receivers, but the three guys they do throw it to are very talented. Morgan just has to deliver them the ball accurately against a Louisville defense that will be hunting for turnovers.

When The Louisville Cardinals Have The Ball

The Cardinals have been just as bad this season, though they’ve managed to escape with two victories instead of one. They opened the season with a win over Western Kentucky and grabbed their other one against FSU just four weeks ago. They followed it up with back-to-back losses to Virginia and Virginia Tech, and neither game was very close. The Cardinals have to do a much better on both sides of the ball if they want to cover the spread against a Syracuse team that just played Boston College extremely tough.

The Cardinals are the more talented team and it starts at the QB position with junior signal-caller Malik Cunningham. He hasn’t had a great season, but it has had a lot more to do with the inept offensive line. Cunningham has still posted 1,907 yards and 15 touchdowns, but he’s also been picked off nine times. He’s added 417 yards and five touchdowns on the ground and has incorporated running the ball more this season.

The best player on this offense remains running back Javian Hawkins, who’s averaging 6.2 yards per carry with 822 yards and seven touchdowns on the season. He’s added another 16 catches for 127 yards and another score and is the guy Louisville wants to have the ball in his hands. He’s backed up by Hassan Hall and Maurice Burkley, who have only carried it 20 times apiece but have been solid when doing so.

There is no shortage of talent at wide receiver either and Tutu Atwell will end up being drafted in the first two rounds of the NFL draft. He’s hauled in 40 balls for 528 yards and five touchdowns and will likely see 10+ targets in this one. Dez Fitzpatrick and Marshon Ford are options number two and three and both are excellent complementary pieces to Atwell. It just comes down to Cunningham getting these guys the ball and keeping it out of the opposing defense’s mitts.

Spread Prediction

The Pick: Louisville -18

The Orange played Boston College tough and it’s the only reason this number isn’t closer to 30 points. The Eagles played down to the competition and I don’t expect Louisville to have any problem scoring in this game. The Cardinals have a plethora of weapons offensively and they have done a better job of late getting them the ball. They put up nearly 50 points against FSU, which is the last team they played as bad as Syracuse. Give me Louisville to win this one in a complete blowout.

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