College Football Week 9 Predictions: Syracuse Orange vs. South Florida Bulls

Syracuse Orange at South Florida Bulls
Saturday, 10/27/12, 7:00 PM EST, TV:  ESPN3
Opening Point Spread:  South Florida -6
Current Betting Line:  South Florida -3.5
Opening Total:  51.5
Current Total:  52
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

Syracuse Orange QB Ryan Nassib will be facing the only defense in college football without an interception on Saturday

Syracuse will play four of its final five games on the road, as the team has alternated wins and losses over its last six games.  The Orange picked up a dominating 40-10 win over the Connecticut Huskies as 4.5-point home favorites in their last effort.  “Get ready to come back to work,” commented Orange head coach Doug Marrone after the victory.  “You guys are fighting.”  The program is ranked in the top 35 nationally ion offense and defense, which is pretty impressive for a Big East Conference team.  Syracuse is 0-5 ATS on the road when the total is 49.5 to 56.

The Orange were handed a 37-17 loss as three-point home underdogs in last year’s series meeting, while the game when OVER the posted total of 52.  Syracuse leads the Big East in passing offense, averaging 309.1 yards per game, while sitting second in total offense by gaining 454.3 yards per contest.  Quarterback Ryan Nassib is the leader of that attack, as he ranks 11th among active players with 673 career completions.

South Florida has won six of seven all-time meetings in this series, as it looks to snap a five-game losing streak, which includes a disheartening 27-25 setback to the Louisville Cardinals as six-point road underdogs.  The Bulls are last in the conference in total defense, with most of the trouble coming in trying to stop opponents from running the football.  “I’m seeing improvements in the front seven,” stated Bulls head coach Skip Holtz.  “They’re working together and getting better.”  South Florida is 0-4 ATS as a favorite this year.

The Bulls have posted a 73-27 record in home games since the program started in 1997, but will have a hard time stopping the passing game in this affair.  South Florida is the only team in the country without an interception this year.  The program is also the second-most penalized team in the conference—drawing 50 flags for 453 yards.

Sports bettors will likely back the Orange due to the road team covering four of the last five meetings, while the Bulls are 2-10 ATS in their last 12 conference tilts.

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