The Louisville Cardinals are the NCAA betting favorites heading into their second regular season game against the Syracuse Orange on Friday, September 9th at the Carrier Dome in New York. Here are the odds:
Louisville -14½ (-110) -600
Syracuse +14½ (-110) - +450
It’s not surprising that people who know about betting on college football favor Louisville, especially considering that the Cardinals stamped the ever-loving tar out of the Charlotte 49ers in their season opener on September 1st. Sophomore QB Lamar Jackson went 17 of 23 for 286 passing yards and a school-record eight touchdowns to help the Cards defeat Charlotte 70-14. Jackson rushed an additional 119 yards in 11 carries for a grand total of 405 offensive yards. Louisville’s O-line looked shaky at first as Jackson had to escape Charlotte's rush. However, they settled down and did not yield a sack with three quarterbacks. The beating allowed head coach Bobby Petrino to use many of his reserves.
Meanwhile, Syracuse squished Colgate 33-7 on September 2nd to open their regular season. The Orange let the Raiders score on their first drive, but rallied and scored 33 straight points. Syracuse’s NCAA betting chances are bound to improve with the arrival of new head coach Dino Babers, who has overhauled the offense. Babers is all about we be fast, and they be slow. Eric Dungey went 34 of 40 for 355 yards and two touchdowns, Amba Etta-Tawo had 12 catches for 210 yards and a touchdown, and Ervin Phillips had 14 catches for 87 yards and one touchdown. Additionally, true freshman running back Moe Neal showed a lot of promise though he is still a work in progress, and an obligatory starting spot in far from guaranteed.
So the Orange was pretty damn good but the Cardinals were even better. Therefore, the Cards look poised to extend their winning streak over Syracuse to three consecutive games. As NCAA betting fans might remember, Louisville defeated Syracuse 41-17 in 2015, and 28-6 in 2014. The last time the Orange beat ‘Ville was on November 10th, 2012, a 45-26 victory at the Carrier Dome. Not that SU will go down without a fight. The depth chart for the second game has been released and the Orange has made a few changes from last week to this one in order to be better prepared for the ranked 19th Cardinals. Cornerback Juwan Dowels is listed to start in lieu of Cordell Hudson, and wide receiver Devin Butler is currently the backup for Steve ‘Call Me’ Ishmael. Moreover Colin Byrne is now listed as the co-backup center to Jason Emerich along with fellow RS freshman Sam Heckel, and Sterling Hofrichter has been moved up to starting holder, in place of Zack Mahoney – whom Babers may want to keep focused on quarterbacking.
As for the Cards, Lamar Jackson won the Walter Camp National Player of the Week award and has already joined the conversation regarding the Heisman trophy. However, he will only begin to test his mettle versus the 49ers as both programs start ACC play.