Syracuse and Clemson go head-to-head this weekend in the JMA Wireless Dome, and the stakes are quite high.

For the first time since the 1959 and 1960 seasons, Syracuse finds itself 4-0 for the second consecutive season. This comes after wins over Colgate, Western Michigan, Purdue, and Army. Plus, SU is one of two teams in the FBS to be in the top 10 in scoring offense and scoring defense.

Quarterback Garrett Shrader and running back LeQuint Allen lead the Orange offense, but pass-catcher Oronde Gadsden II is out due to injury. Gadsden, a preseason All-ACC and All-American honoree, announced prior to SU’s Week 3 matchup with Purdue that he will miss the remainder of the season due to a foot injury. Gadsden led the ‘Cuse in receiving in 2022.

On the other side, Clemson is 2-2, and with a loss will fall under .500. The Tigers had high expectations entering 2023 with Cade Klubnik as the starting quarterback to open up the campaign. Clemson had sights on the ACC Championship, but in Week 1, it fell to Duke 28-7. From there, Clemson won against Charleston Southern and Florida Atlantic, but fell to Florida State in overtime. The Tigers are searching for their first ACC win of the season.

SU is searching for its first conference win in its first ACC matchup of 2023, and Clemson is aiming to get above .500. In this conference matchup in Central New York, here are the best bets to tail.

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Clemson vs. Syracuse Odds: Orange a Touchdown Underdog at Home

In three of the last five matchups between the two programs, it has been a one-score game. In last year’s game at Clemson, the Tigers rallied in the fourth quarter to win 27-21. The recent trend indicates that a Syracuse cover is not out of the realm of possibility.

As for this particular matchup, even in the absence of Gadsden, the SU offense has stood tall. In each of the last two matchups, both of which Gadsden did not suit up, the Orange posted 35 and 29 points, respectively. Last week against Army, receiver Damien Alford had a career-best 135 yards. The passing attack is still strong for Syracuse.

Plus, Shrader is a dual threat quarterback. Against Purdue, Shrader ran for four touchdowns, and his partner in the backfield, Allen, is a weapon in both the running and passing game.

While Clemson boasts the best passing defense in the country, the SU offense has shown it manages well this season. Plus, Syracuse has a top-10 scoring defense that will go up against a Clemson offense that averages just over 35 points per game. This weekend’s matchup boasts two strong defenses and two offenses that have shown flashes in 2023. 

Because of the similarities between the makeup of each squad, this should be a close matchup on Saturday. Expect Syracuse to hang tight with Clemson, and cover the seven-point spread. Take Cuse +7 on DraftKings, and be sure to root for a back-and-forth affair.

Defenses Will Have Their Day: Take the Under at 52.5

In just one of the previous six matchups between Clemson and Syracuse did the programs combine for more than 52 points. That came in 2020, when the Tigers won 47-21, and the Orange finished that season with just one victory.

While this contest boasts different teams with different stakes, the trend still shows to bet the under. In a game with two talented defenses and offenses that have had their highs and lows, betting the under for this matchup in the Dome is a safe bet.

While Syracuse has scored 30 points or more in three of its first four matchups, the Clemson defense is the most talented defense it will have gone up against. Meanwhile, the Tigers just posted 24 points against a Florida State team.

The 52.5 number indicates that this has potential to be a shootout. While both offenses have recently flourished, expect this to be a tight, defensive matchup. Clemson running back Will Shipley will have a difficult time against the 3-3-5 that Syracuse runs. On the other hand, life will be tough for Shrader in the aerial attack. 

Conference matchups tend to be close, and expect a low-scoring affair between the two programs. Take this prop bet on FanDuel and root for defense.

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