Last Thursday, 5Dimes released its opening odds for power conference championships in 2015 -- yes, the same 2015 season that is six months away from right now. SB Nation has a clean look at all five power leagues, but what you'll be most interested in are the ACC odds, where Syracuse is tied for last with Wake Forest at +6000. These odds are based on your return for a $100 bet, so a $100 bet on Syracuse here gives you $6,000 (or $5,900 more than you put down).
The full odds for all 14 conference members are below, followed by some quick commentary:
Does that mean Syracuse is (tied for) the worst team in the conference? Maybe... though you also have to take into account the competition in the Atlantic Division as well. For Syracuse to get to the ACC Football Championship Game, they'd need to finish ahead of Florida State, Clemson and Louisville -- no small task that would include beating at least two of them, you'd assume. So these numbers are just as much about what Syracuse lacks as they are about what other teams don't. Virginia, despite not being a much better (if at all better) team than Syracuse, gets +3000 odds due to the Coastal division being a crapshoot most seasons. Duke gets +800 (same as Louisville, despite the Cards being a better team) due to the same Coastal bump.
Now, I could rant about the NC State number for some time here, but I'll avoid for now. As we've said before, the Wolfpack's deplorable non-conference schedule creates a perception bump, which leads to better recruiting, which leads to better actual results. It's a cycle. We should take notes...
On the bright side: Syracuse is not last among all power conference teams. Kentucky (+7500), Kansas (+8000), Purdue (+8000) and Vanderbilt (+10000).
On the negative side: These odds were not posted in Vegas this past weekend, as there's NO WAY I wasn't going to put down money on the Orange given that sort of payout. Alas, I just decided to burn $20 on picking them to beat Duke instead... Sports are dumb.