Louisville at Syracuse Week 2 Expert Pick & Lines

Louisville at Syracuse Week 2 Expert Pick & Lines

Written by on September 5, 2016

I’m not ready to hand the Heisman Trophy to Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson yet, but no player had a bigger Week 1 than the sophomore did. Jackson’s No. 19 Cardinals open their ACC schedule on Friday against Syracuse. They are slightly more than two touchdown favorites on college football odds.

How To Bet Louisville at Syracuse NCAA Football Odds & TV Info

When: Friday, Sept. 9, 8 PM ET
Where: Carrier Dome, Syracuse
Opening NCAAF Lines: Louisville -14.5

Why Bet on Louisville?

Jackson was responsible for eight touchdowns and 405 yards in an opening 70-14 rout of Charlotte. Jackson broke Chris Redman’s 1998 record for combined rushing and passing TDs and tied Redman’s mark for passing TDs. He seemed poised to add a few more before exiting without taking a snap in the second half. Jackson threw for 286 yards and rushed 11 times for 119 yards. That’s two pretty good games in a row considering his final game last season was a 453-yard, three-TD combined effort in a Music City Bowl win over Texas A&M that earned MVP honors.

“Last year, I didn’t know the plays,” Jackson said. “So I’d sit back, and if I didn’t like what I saw, I’d take off. It’s not like that now. I’m mature now. I know what I’m doing.”

Jackson was named Sunday as the season’s first Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week. He helped the Cardinals build a 56-0 halftime lead. Jackson and Rice quarterback Chase Clement in 2007 are the only players to have thrown for six touchdowns and run for two in a game in the last 20 years and only Jackson did it in a single half. Jackson is the first Louisville offensive player and third U of L player overall to earn Walter Camp Player of the Week honors, joining defensive end Elvis Dumervil (Sept. 6, 2005) and safety Gerod Holliman (Nov. 9, 2014).

Not to dismiss Jackson’s performance, but Charlotte is one of the worst teams in the FBS. It was the second time the Cards reached the 70-ponit plateau under head coach Bobby Petrino. The Cardinals’ previously reached the mark under their leader against Cincinnati in 2004. Louisville’s 28 points in the opening quarter tied a school record for most points in the first quarter in school history. Including the victory against Charlotte, over the last six games the Cardinals have totaled 75 points in the opening quarter. Louisville was 7-for- 7 in the red zone, the best performance since going 9-for- 9 against Murray State on Sept. 6, 2014.

Why Bet on Syracuse?

The Orange won the debut of Coach Dino Babers, 33-7 over FCS school Colgate. Eric Dungey opened the game with 13 straight completions en route to a 34-of- 40-effort. His 34 completions are the second- highest single-game total in school history and his 355 yards ranks ninth. The sophomore’s 85 percent completion rate was the highest for an SU quarterback (min. 10 attempts) since 2000 and the best ever for Orange signal caller who attempted at least 21 passes. Dungey also added 25 yards rushing to finish with 380 yards of total offense.

For the first-time in program history, two SU receivers notched at least 10 receptions in a single game. Ervin Philips grabbed a school-record 14 catches and Amba Etta-Tawo snared 12 for 210 yards, the fifth-highest total in school history. By comparison, Etta-Tawo had 20 catches for 216 yards for the seasonlast year with Maryland, and he had 10 catches for 222 yards in all of 2014.

Kielan Whitner led the defensive effort with six total tackles. The Orange got two quarterback sacks from Chris Slayton and one from Jonathan Thomas. After Syracuse allowed the game’s first touchdown, it held the Raiders to 68 total yards over the final 54 minutes.

As a team, Syracuse threw for 437 yards on the night. It marked the most yards through the air by the Orange since 2012 against Northwestern. Babers owns a 15-4 overall record when his teams throw for at least 400 yards. The Orange completed 17 passes in the first half of Friday’s game. Syracuse recorded less than 17 completions in nine games in 2015.

The Pick

This game will be fun to watch as both teams play fast. Louisville will win by three touchdowns on NCAAF lines.