Clemson (6-0, 4-0) at Syracuse (3-3, 1-1)
When: Friday, October 13th 2017
Where: Carrier Dome, Syracuse, NY
Time: 7:00 ET | TV: ESPN
Opening Odds: Clemson -21/56
The second-ranked Clemson Tigers hit the road for a rare Friday night battle when they take on the improving Syracuse Orange before heading into their bye week. There was concern after last week’s 28-14 home win over Wake Forest when quarterback Kelly Bryant was seen in a walking boot after the game. Bryant returned to practice Monday, though, and coach Dabo Swinney expects him to start on Friday night against the Orange. Bryant injured his ankle during the third quarter of Clemson’s 11th straight win and 37th in 39 games. The team will get a weekend off next week before a tough stretch in which they’ll face Georgia Tech and Florida State at home with a trip to North Carolina State in between. Clemson has won all four meetings since Syracuse joined the ACC, including a 54-0 rout last season, but the Orange have made a huge turnaround on defense, and are coming off a 27-24 win over Pittsburgh. Syracuse is 2-6 all-time against defending national champions with wins over Penn State in 1987 and Michigan in 1998.
Despite losing superstar Deshaun Watson to the NFL, the Tigers have kept the offense moving at an average of 237.3 rushing yards and 233.7 passing yards per game. Bryant has taken over nicely, as he leads the team with 401 rushing yards and seven touchdowns while completing 67.3% of his passes for 1,259 yards and four touchdowns. Clemson’s defense is even better than last year’s dominant squad, ranking fifth in the nation in scoring defense (11.3 points per game) and eighth in total defense (264.3 yards per game). Clemson has won 12 straight road games, the longest streak in program history and tied for the second-longest active streak in the nation.
The Orange are giving up over 14 less points per game this season than in 2016 (24.3 down from 38.6). That improvement, combined with a potent offense that ranks 32nd in the nation in total yards (466.8 per game), makes Syracuse a team that can’t be taken lightly anymore, especially in the Carrier Dome. Quarterback Eric Dungey ranks in the top five nationally in total offense (354.5 yards per game) and has a pair of experienced receivers in Steve Ishmael and Ervin Phillips, who have combined for 356 receptions in their careers.
This is a big test for Syracuse here to see how far this program has risen. They are not quite there yet, but I expect them to give Clemson all they can handle. This Tigers team really seems to play up or down to it’s competition. I don’t think they’ll take them very seriously, thus resulting in a closer game than the oddsmakers think. Take the points.
Pick: Syracuse +22.5
- Tigers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS loss.
- Tigers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing less than 20 points in their previous game.
- Tigers are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games overall.
- Tigers are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up win.
- Tigers are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 conference games.
- Tigers are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games on fieldturf.
- Orange are 4-0 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
- Orange are 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 games after accumulating more than 450 total yards in their previous game.
- Orange are 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 games overall.
- Orange are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
- Orange are 3-9-1 ATS in their last 13 games after accumulating more than 280 yards passing in their previous game.
- Orange are 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 home games.
- Orange are 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 games on fieldturf.
- Over is 5-0 in Tigers last 5 games on fieldturf.
- Over is 6-1 in Tigers last 7 road games.
- Under is 4-1 in Tigers last 5 games overall.
- Under is 4-1 in Tigers last 5 games following a straight up win.
- Over is 7-2 in Tigers last 9 games in October.
- Under is 4-0 in Orange last 4 games in October.
- Under is 7-0 in Orange last 7 games after accumulating more than 280 yards passing in their previous game.
- Under is 10-1 in Orange last 11 home games.
- Under is 10-1 in Orange last 11 games on fieldturf.
- Under is 9-1 in Orange last 10 games after accumulating more than 450 total yards in their previous game.
- Under is 8-1 in Orange last 9 conference games.
- Under is 13-3 in Orange last 16 games overall.
- Under is 4-1 in Orange last 5 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
- Under is 8-2 in Orange last 10 vs. a team with a winning record.