The year 2018 has been strange for a number of reasons. And chief among them, for our purposes here, is the fact that the Syracuse Orange (7-2, 4-2) are ranked 13th in the country according to both the AP and Coaches Polls.
If that wasn’t weird enough, though, Syracuse will open as a 21-point favorite against the Louisville Cardinals (2-7, 0-6) for Friday’s matchup at the Carrier Dome, according to VegasInsider.
After Louisville lost to Clemson, 77-16 this past weekend, perhaps it’s not THAT weird that the Cards are three-touchdown underdogs going into a road game against a top-15 team. But given SU’s recent history against UL, it still feels at least a little strange.
The Orange have lost four straight to Louisville by increasingly large margins. After a 28-6 SU loss at the Carrier Dome ended Terrel Hunt’s 2014 season, Syracuse lost 41-17 on the road the following year, ending Eric Dungey’s freshman campaign. Lamar Jackson and Louisville ran all over the Orange in a 62-28 embarrassment in 2016 (you’ll recall the continuous hurdle highlight loop), and last year, a Dungey-less SU squad was doomed from the start in a rainy, 56-10 defeat.
None of that — or the Cards’ 10-6 all-time record against Syracuse — has anything to do with what happens on Friday night. However, it’s still a stark contrast from what we’re seeing with this line heavily in favor of ‘Cuse.
For the betting inclined, there’s no over/under yet, but it’s probably going to be on the higher end with Louisville’s defense seemingly susceptible to any point total put up against them. That said, Syracuse and Wake had an over/under of 77.5 at kick and they fell well short of that mark (final was 65 points).
Syracuse is 6-3 against the spread this year, according to OddsShark, while Louisville is a putrid 1-8.
Plenty more on this matchup as the week goes on. Hopefully at this time next Monday, the Orange are 8-2, whether or not they end up covering a pretty steep spread.