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Syracuse opens as 13.5-point underdog at Louisville

An upset stands between SU and bowl chances.

NCAA Football: Wake Forest at Syracuse Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse Orange’s season isn’t quite over. But Las Vegas sports books are not giving the Orange the best shot this week. Dino Babers and the gang open up against the Louisville Cardinals as 13.5-point underdogs.

They’ll face Lamar Jackson, not something SU is looking forward to after being picked apart by John Wolford through the air and on the ground on Saturday. Last week, Jackson had three passing touchdowns and ran one in against the Virginia Cavaliers. And we all recall what the Heisman Trophy winner did against SyraAnd we all recall what the Heisman Trophy winner did to Syracuse last year.

The Orange have hung with almost every opponent until the fourth quarter regardless of the odds, though the Wake Forest loss dropped them down to 6-2-1 against the spread this year. That was SU’s first defeat vs. the spread since the Middle Tennessee game.

If Syracuse wants to make a bowl, they’ll not only need to cover a double-digit spread, but beat it outright. SU has beaten all four double-digit spreads it’s faced this year, but is also just 1-3 in those games straight-up (the one win being Clemson, obviously).

Also notably, the Orange are 2-4 on the road against Louisville all-time, but last won there a decade ago -- the famed 38-35 upset on the shoulders of Andrew Robinson. That line was far bigger. But that team never ended up making a bowl. Perhaps this year ends differently for Syracuse.