Oddsmakers set the Syracuse University football team’s over-under total at 4.5. With a win over Virginia this Friday night, the Orange will be just one win away from surpassing that total.

After leading 10-9 going into the fourth quarter against Purdue on Saturday, the Orange and Boilermakers played a crazy final quarter that saw a total of 42 points scored–the final points coming via this Syracuse touchdown with seven seconds left from Garrett Shrader to Oronde Gadsden.

That capped a wild win for the Orange, who improved to 3-0 for the first time since the 2018 season and are also receiving votes in the AP top 25 poll for the first time since they finished that season ranked No. 15 when they went 10-3.

Orange’s Offense Expected to Overwhelm Virginia

Syracuse (3-0, 1-0 ACC) plays Virginia for only the second time as ACC rivals. The first game was a 44-38 win by the Cavaliers in Charlottesville, and Virginia also won a pair of non-conference contests in 2004 and ’05. Syracuse, however, covered the spread in all three of those defeats.

Going into this game, the Orange are favored for the first time over the Cavaliers (2-1, 0-0 ACC). Both defenses have been strong this year, but the offenses are performing at a different level.

Syracuse has scored at least 31 points in each of their three wins and are averaging 37.0 PPG. Virginia, meanwhile, is only putting up 17.7 PPG and after a season-opening 34-17 win over Richmond have scored just 19 points in their last two games.

Virginia fell at Illinois 24-3 in Week 2 and barely escaped with a win over Old Dominion 16-14 this past weekend.

Despite not scoring nearly as much as the Orange, the Cavaliers have moved the ball well, averaging 413 yards of total offense, which is actually five yards better than Syracuse’s average output this season.

Sean Tucker May Take Advantage of a Suspect Cavs Run Defense

Syracuse allowed over 400 yards of offense through the air last weekend, bringing up their defensive averages. The Orange, however, are still allowing just 16.7 PPG.

Virginia is close at 18.3 points allowed per contest, but the Cavaliers have struggled against the run–giving up 152 yards per game to opponents on the ground. That could be good news for Sean Tucker, who was held largely in check by Purdue last week but has two games this year where he’s run for over 100 yards while also being a threat to catch the ball out of the backfield.

The Orange Must Not Look Ahead as Big Favorites

Virginia is well below the Orange in the ACC power rankings, coming in at No. 11 compared to Syracuse at No. 7 in the latest Yahoo rankings. With FCS opponent Wagner coming into the JMA Wireless Dome next weekend, the Orange have a great opportunity to improve to 5-0. But they must win this game first.

We believe the confidence stemming from last weekend’s win over Purdue will extend to this game, and the offense will set the pace for another win. Prediction: Syracuse -9.5

Here are the odds for Virginia vs. Syracuse, courtesy of FanDuel.

TEAMPOINT SPREADOVER-UNDER TOTALMONEYLINE
Virginia Cavaliers+9.5 (-110)52.5+290
Syracuse Orange-9.5 (-110)52.5-325

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