After improving to 2-0 in the ACC in a 22-20 win over Virginia in Syracuse’s first game where they failed to cover the spread, the 4-0 Orange catch a bit of a break in the schedule when FCS-division foe Wagner visits the JMA Wireless Dome from Staten Island on Saturday for a 5 p.m. kickoff.
The Orange are 4-0 for the first time since 2018 and have a tremendous chance for their first 5-0 start since 1987.
The Seahawks (0-3) have had one game against a FBS team this year–a 66-7 loss at Rutgers in Week 2.
Orange Are Huge Favorites Against Overmatched Team
Some sportsbooks don’t take bets for an FBS vs. FCS matchup since they are so lopsided, but DraftKings is offering a point spread and an over-under totals bet on this game. There is no action being taken on the moneyline, but we have a betting preview for the spread and over-under.
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Wagner isn’t only overmatched because of the difference in the teams’ divisions, but the Seahawks are also on a 22-game winless streak overall. Syracuse is in the top 40 in FBS in rushing, total, and scoring defense, so expect the Seahawks to put very little up on the scoreboard against the Orange.
Garrett Williams had an especially impressive game against the Cavaliers, and the Orange DB is now second in the NCAA FBS with 20 solo tackles.
On offense, Syracuse running back Sean Tucker was shut down over his last two games after a strong start to the year, so look for him to get his rushing totals back on track.
These teams met in the Orange’s only winning season under head coach Dino Babers (2018), and Syracuse won that matchup 62-10.
After a Break, the Schedule Will Pick Up for Syracuse
Expect the starters to play the majority of this game to work on finer points of their game because the team is off next weekend. After that, the schedule gets considerably harder for the Orange.
They have top-10 battles the following two weeks: vs. North Carolina State on Oct. 15 and at No. 5 Clemson the week after. Notre Dame visits the Dome on Oct. 29, and it’s then three-straight ranked ACC matchups at Pittsburgh, vs. Florida State, and at Wake Forest. Syracuse finishes up the season at Boston College to face an Eagles team that’s currently 1-3.
Syracuse will need all of these early wins to secure bowl eligibility since they may not be favored again until they visit the Eagles. A worst-case scenario for the Orange will see them at 5-6 going into that game at BC with a win necessary to get to a bowl game.
Next week during the bye week, we will examine the Orange’s chances and offer an adjusted win total for the season (they will surpass the preseason over-under total of 4.5 with a win this week against Wagner).
Prediction: Syracuse 63-7