The 2018 college football season has been a dream for Dino Babers and the Syracuse Orange and a nightmare for Bobby Petrino and the Louisville Cardinals. The Orange are ranked 13th in the country and are two drives away from being unbeaten after a late four-point loss to No. 2 Clemson and an overtime loss at Pitt. Meanwhile, Louisville has dropped six straight. Precipitation is expected throughout the game, with temperatures north of freezing and winds approaching 10 mph. The Orange opened as 21-point favorites and are laying 20 in the latest Syracuse vs. Louisville odds. The over-under, or total number of points Vegas expects to be scored, has fallen from 69 to 68.5. Before making any Syracuse vs. Louisville picks and predictions, be sure to check out what SportsLine's advanced computer model has to say.
The advanced computer simulates every FBS game 10,000 times, and those who have followed it have seen massive returns. Over the past three years, this proprietary computer model has generated a jaw-dropping $4,210 profit for $100 bettors.
In Week 10, it absolutely nailed the biggest game of the season, recommending the Crimson Tide against the spread (-14), on the money line (-588) and hitting the under in Alabama's 29-0 blowout of LSU. It also nailed its top-rated selection of Auburn (-3.5) over Texas A&M, helping the model finish the weekend on a strong 7-3 run on all top-rated picks. Anyone who has followed it is way up.
Now it has simulated Syracuse vs. Louisville 10,000 times and the results are in. We can tell you that model has a slight lean to the Over, but its strongest pick is against the spread, saying one side hits almost 60 percent of the time. You can only see that pick at SportsLine.
The model knows that Syracuse has been extremely adaptable on offense. During the early part of the season, the Orange leaned heavily on their run game to set things up during a four-game winning streak to begin the year.
Syracuse ran for 278 yards per game during that span, but when the Orange reached the meat of their ACC schedule and room to run became hard to find, they averaged 443 yards per game through the air in wins over North Carolina and NC State. Last week against Wake Forest, it was back to the ground with 264 yards to fuel a 41-24 win and cover.
Against a leaky Louisville defense that allows 6.8 yards per play, they'll have the luxury of getting into the flow of the game, seeing what works, and pounding away. And even if the game winds up being played primarily on the ground, Louisville has given up 1,653 yards and 21 rushing touchdowns in its last four games alone.
But just because Syracuse can adapt doesn't mean it will cover a nearly-three-touchdown spread on Friday.
Defense has been the liability for Louisville, giving up 50-plus points four times, the low mark being last week's 77-16 demolition at the hands of Clemson.
But the offense has put up points of its own. Quarterback Jawon Pass has been inconsistent, but he has passed for at least 299 yards three times and thrown multiple touchdowns three times. He should have opportunities against an Orange defense allowing 267 passing yards per game.
The Cards have scored in an impressive 85 percent of their red-zone opportunities. They also have the potential to make tide-turning special teams plays that could keep the game close. Punt returner Rodjay Burns leads the nation among those with at least 12 returns, averaging 16.4 yards per attempt, while kicker Blanton Creque hasn't missed a field goal all season.
So, which side of the Louisville vs. Syracuse spread hits in nearly 60 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to see which side you need to be all over, all from the model that has returned over $4,000 in profit to $100 bettors over the last three seasons.