After cruising to a 2-0 record with dominant wins over Louisville (as a home underdog) and at UConn (as a heavy favorite), Syracuse will face a good test in the JMA Wireless Dome Saturday afternoon when Purdue of the Big Ten comes in for a noon kickoff.

All Phases of the Game Are Clicking for the Orange

Syracuse (2-0, 1-0 ACC) is averaging nearly 40 points per game in its two wins and has allowed a total of 21 points in those contests. Led by Sean Tucker, the running game is averaging 182 yards per contest and Garrett Shrader has thrown for 528 yards and five touchdowns so far this season.

Shrader’s performance last week in the 48-14 win over UConn was enough to earn him Player of the Week honors by PFF.

The defense has also been strong but was an overlooked part of the Orange’s 5-7 campaign from a year ago. Including doing so in the first two games this year, Syracuse has held opponents to under 400 yards of offense in 12 of its 14 games since the start of the 2021 season.

Purdue’s Offense Will Test the Orange, but Isn’t at Full Strength

The Boilermakers (1-1, 0-1 Big Ten) lost their opener to Penn State in a 35-31 shootout before beating up on Indiana State in a 56-0 victory last week. They are averaging 473 yards of offense per game with an emphasis on the passing game (327 YPG through the air).

Quarterback Aidan O’Connell is coming into the game with some of his weapons unavailable, however. Wide receiver Charlie Jones already has nearly 300 yards receiving and four scores, but O’Connell will be without Elijah Canion while Broc Thompson is doubtful. Running back King Doerue is also out, and top defensive playmaker Jalen Graham is also out with a leg injury.

The Orange Are a Narrow Favorite at the Dome

According to Caesars Sportsbook, Syracuse is a narrow favorite against the spread, and the total is fairly high given how Syracuse’s defense has performed this year.

Purdue Boilermakers+1.5 (-110)o60 (-110)+105
Syracuse Orange-1.5 (-110)u60 (-110)-125

After installing them as 4.5-point underdogs at home against Louisville and watching the Orange come away with a dominant 31-7 victory, oddsmakers now give Syracuse a slight edge at home against a team that was projected to contend for the West Division crown in the powerful Big Ten.

After Louisville won at UCF last week, that gave the Orange a bit of a boost as well, showing that they dismantled a good team in Week 1. Due to Purdue’s injuries to key players and playing on the road, we see the Orange coming away with a cover here and the total going comfortably under 60.

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