2011 Syracuse Orange College Football Betting Preview

Syracuse Orange
2010 record:  8-5 overall, 4-3 conference
2010 Bowl Game:  36-34 win over Kansas State in Pinstripe Bowl
2010 ATS:  8-5
2010 O/U:  5-8
Returning starters:  13 total ( 8 on offense, 5 on defense)

Big South Tournament
The Syracuse Orange were 0-4 against FBS opponents in the Carrier Dome last season

Over the month of August, our team of writers will be previewing the top teams heading into an exciting 2011 campaign.  The college football handicappers at Maddux Sports are also preparing and have season-long packages readily available for clients.  Let’s take a look at a program that took a big step forward last year under head coach Doug Marrone.


Syracuse is returning plenty of offensive firepower to try and improve last year’s seventh-ranked unit in the Big East Conference.  The Orange return starting quarterback Ryan Nassib and five of their top receivers from a year ago.

Nassib enters the 2011 season ranked seventh in school history in career touchdown passes (22) and eighth in career completions (238).  He finished the 2010 season with 2,334 yards and 19 touchdowns while throwing just eight interceptions.

A major strength for the team is expected to be the offensive line, as it returns four starters, including All-Big East season team member Justin Pugh.  The unit has depth and joins only five percent of teams in the nation to return four starters.

Senior running back Antwon Bailey will benefit from the experience in front of him, as he averaged nearly five yards a carry on his way to 554 rushing yards last year.  The Orange lose 61 percent of last year’s rushing output, as Delonte Carter ran for 1,260 yards a year ago.

As mentioned above, the wide receiving core is in good standing, led by senior Van Chew, who led the program in receptions (41), receiving yardage (611) and touchdowns.  He is a difference maker and will be joined by fellow senior Marcus Sales.


A huge improvement occurred on this side of the ball in 2010, as the Orange finished seventh nationally in total defense last year, after placing 37th and 114th respectively the previous two years.

The defensive line is perceived to be the strength, returning two difference makers, including All-Big East second team member Chandler Jones.

Syracuse will definitely need to plug two major holes in the linebacking core, losing two All-Big East performers.  The lone returning starter at the position is sophomore Marquiss Spruill.

Youth is the name of the game in the secondary and Marrone feels highly confident that players will step in to replace a group that ranked first in the conference in pass defense a year ago.

Special Teams

The place-kicking duties are in good hands with Ross Krautman entering the 2011 season with a streak of 16 consecutive made field goals, tying Syracuse’s career record.  He set a Big East single-season record at 94.7 percent accuracy.

One of the focuses in camp is finding a replacement for punter Rob Long, who left before last year’s bowl game with brain cancer.

The return game is average at best, as the program will be searching for someone to replace Mike Holmes.  Syracuse ranked 78th in kickoff returns last year.

Against the Spread

Syracuse was a dynamo away from the Carrier Dome in 2010, posting a 6-1 ATS road record, including wins against the number in two games when favored.  Make sure to check out the college football lines page all season long for this opportunity.

Bet On

If Syracuse happens to drop back-to-back games at some point this season, Marrone is 5-0 ATS in the following game.  This situation may pop up during conference action.

Fade Away

Playing South Florida has been a major disappointment for Syracuse backers, as the team is 1-5 ATS in the last six meetings, including an 0-3 ATS mark when hosting.

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