No. 1 Clemson Tigers (9-0 SU, 5-4 ATS) vs. Syracuse Orange (3-6 SU, 5-4 ATS)
College Football Week 11
Date/Time: Saturday November 14th, 3:30PM EST
Where: Carrier Dome Syracuse, N.Y.
by Jay, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: CLEM -28/SYR +28
Over/Under Total: 57
The Clemson Tigers got past their biggest hurdle of the season last week with a 23-13 victory over Florida State. Not only did the victory seal the Tigers fate for an ACC Championship appearance, but it likens the possibility that they could run the table as they will be heavy favorites in all remaining games. A college football playoff appearance definitely appears to be in the works if the Tigers can just keep things together. Now the number 1 ranked team in the College Football Playoff rankings will take a trip up to New York this week for a meeting with the Syracuse Orange.
The Orange are losers of 6 straight games putting them at 3-6 SU on the season. Most recently they were manhandled by Louisville last weekend in route to a 41-17 blowout. The Syracuse defense gave up 579 yards to a rather benign Cardinals offense which really causes concern this Saturday as Clemson sports one of the most dangerous offenses in the country. Obviously, Syracuses chances for a victory do not look good and they are currently listed as 28 point underdogs. At first glance, the 28 points seems like it maybe kind of generous especially with the way Clemson has been playing.
However, this Syracuse team is a tough team to figure out when it comes to the point spread discussion. They have covered the mark in 5 of their 9 games this season and they typically play well inside the Carrier Dome. Despite the blowout losses to Louisville and Florida State, this is the same Orange team that kept things close with LSU and took Pittsburgh down to the wire. So what Syracuse team is going to show up this Saturday? Will it be the team that last week gave up 362 passing yards to a mediocre passing offense or will it be the team that put efforts together on both sides of the ball to keep things close in some of their big games this year?
It is nearly impossible to predict just what Syracuse team we will see this weekend. However, we can take a few guesses. Unfortunately, Clemson is playing great despite a surprisingly low scoring game last week against Florida State. Still, the Tigers offense is averaging 488 total yards and 38.7 points on average this season. Quarterback Deshaun Watson is playing fantastic completing nearly 70% of his passes on the season with 21 touchdowns through the air. Watson has made plays with his feet and the success of the passing offense has produced the emergence of running back Wayne Gallman. Gallman has become one of the biggest weapons for this Clemson offense reaching the 100 yard mark in 6 of his last 7 games. He is on pace to double his offensive stats from last season and the added running threat is making this Clemson offense extremely tough to defend.
Clemson already had one of the best passing offenses in the country but the addition of a running game has put them on the next level which is evident by their undefeated record. Syracuse is giving up 160 plus yards on average and that could spell disaster for a defense that is already going to have their hands full from a talent and matchup standpoint. Honestly if Clemson comes out firing, I think this game becomes a route rather quickly. The only reason I am hesitant to pull the trigger on Clemson this week is because of the letdown factor. Clemsons climatic regular season game was against Florida State last week. Do they find the motivation to turn around this week and treat Syracuse as a threat? I think the answer is no and for that reason I am putting a small play on the Orange.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Syracuse typically plays well at home and they have covered the mark in 4 of their last 5 games inside the Carrier Dome. Expecting a little bit of a letdown factor with the Tigers, consider a small play on Syracuse +28!
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