October 13, 2017
There is one pick today.
Take Syracuse +24 spread (buy the half point) against Clemson risking 3% of the bankroll.
There is no question that the Syracuse Orange aren't on the same level as the highly ranked and undefeated Clemson Tigers, however, that doesn't mean that this matchup doesn't have its share of intrigue. The oddsmakers have listed the Tigers as sizeable favorites and that can often cause problems for high-profile public favorites, especially on the road during a weeknight matchup. The Carrier Dome is no easy place for a road team to play and could certainly make it much more difficult for the Tigers to cover this lofty spread.
The status of Clemson QB Kelly Bryant is also in question for this matchup. Bryant has missed practice this entire week, however, coach Dabo Swinney states that he expects Bryant to play tonight. What that likely means is that Bryant is still not 100% and in a game that really doesn't mean much for the Tigers in terms of helping their ranking, we wouldn't be surprised to see the game plan to take a much more cautious approach with their quarterback in this contest. We expect to see Clemson try to move the ball more on the ground in this contest to prevent any further injury to their QB.
Meanwhile, Syracuse may not have a chance at the upset in this contest, but they do have a severely underrated offense. They currently rank second in the ACC in passing, averaging 325 yards per game, and has two of the top three leading receivers in the country in Steve Ishmael and Ervin Philips. Ishmael leads the nation in receptions with 56 and yards with 729, while Philips is third nationally in receptions with 52. There has been a lot of talk about the Clemson defense (and rightfully so), as they are second in the nation in sacks. Clemson also likes to play a lot of man-on-man defense so if Dungey can find time in the pocket, we wouldn't be surprised to see Syracuse pull off a couple of big plays to move the ball and put points on the board.
At the end of the day, the Clemson Tigers could win this game by whatever score they see fit, so the question that should be asked is, how much is enough? The Tigers will likely be able to score at will and once they go up 17 or 20 points, we fully expect them to call off the dogs. What do they possibly have to gain by blowing out a lowly and unassuming Syracuse team? Dabo Swinney would likely be as content with a 20-point win as he would be with a 40-point win and it is likely that his main goal is to come into Syracuse, gain a lead and then pull his starters so that all his players remain healthy heading into the bye week. Clemson will likely put this game out of reach by the 4th quarter and let up on the gas. That is when the Syracuse passing game will likely find some success and put a couple of late scores on the board to sneak within this generous point spread. The points will prove to be valuable come the end of the 4th quarter.
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