Sports betting advice for a pair of Friday night college football games.
Louisville Cardinals at Syracuse Orange (-21)
Louisville has defeated Syracuse four straight times, but expect that streak to come to a screeching halt on Friday night (7 p.m., ESPN2). The downtrodden Cardinals have dropped six straight, falling to 2-7 on the year, and will be 21-point underdogs when they head to the Carrier Dome to face the 13th-ranked Orange. The betting total for this all ACC-matchup is 68.5 points.
Syracuse has largely excelled due to its offense, specifically signal caller Eric Dungey. The senior has accounted for 23 TDs in 2018, 13 through the air and 10 on the ground. He’s also gone two straight games without committing a turnover.
“That’s what big-time quarterbacks do,” Syracuse head coach Dino Babers told reporters on Tuesday. “They manage the game. I’m tickled pink about the way he’s playing.”
The Orange’s top running back, Moe Neal, is considered questionable for this game, but Dontae Strickland has been an adequate backup (4.6 yards per carry on 77 attempts, six TDs). The Cardinals can expect a heavy dose of run plays, as they’re 127th in the country in yards allowed on the ground. Louisville is 124th in points per game allowed and faces the nation’s eighth-ranked scoring offense.
Even the Cardinals woebegone offense (116th in the country) can manage a few scores against Syracuse’s 71st-ranked defense by points allowed, but the Orange should score at will and safely cover the spread. Louisville has been a terrible bet of late, failing to cover in nine of their last 10 games.
Prediction: Syracuse wins, 52-24
The play: Syracuse -21
Fresno State Bulldogs (-3) at Boise State Broncos
Fresno State, one of the bigger pleasant surprises nationally, invades Boise State’s Albertsons Stadium as the 23rd-ranked program in the country on Friday night (10:15 p.m., ESPN2). Winners of seven straight, the Bulldogs were installed as field-goal favorites over the hometown Broncos, with the betting total pegged at 54 points.
Fans of outstanding quarterback play are in for a treat as Fresno State’s Marcus McMaryion and Boise State’s Brett Rypien square off. McMaryion completes nearly 71 percent of his throws, averages 8.69 yards per attempt, and has a 20-3 TD-to-INT ratio. Rypien completes 67.7 percent of his passes, averages 8.47 yards per attempt, and has a 24-6 TD-to-INT ratio. But McMaryion has the easier matchup against Boise’s 42nd-ranked scoring defense. Rypien will be forced to conduct his business against the Bulldogs’ stifling defensive unit which is third in the country in points per game allowed (12.33).
However, with the crowd on their side, Rypien and the Broncos should make a game of it. This one could come down to the wire, but it’s hard to ignore Fresno State’s 8-2 spread record on the road dating back to 2017. By contrast, Boise State is 6-14 against the spread in its last 20 home games.
Prediction: Fresno State wins, 28-24
The play: Fresno State -3