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Syracuse football opens as slight favorite vs. Western Michigan

Opening line was at just 1.5 points, but that’s since risen to 5.5.

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

We’re just under 100 days from the Syracuse Orange football season kickoff, but betting lines are already out for game one. Syracuse opened as 1.5-point favorites against the Western Michigan Broncos, and that line’s since risen to 5.5, putting a little more distance between SU and the home team.

The smaller line makes sense for a variety of reasons. For one, the game is in Kalamazoo, Mich. Also, there’s still residual talent leftover on the WMU roster from the P.J. Fleck team that went unbeaten in the regular season before losing to Wisconsin in the Cotton Bowl. Plus, make what you will about the familiarity the Broncos’ coaching staff has with some Syracuse players — including quarterback Eric Dungey.

There’s also plenty of time for this line to rise or fall prior to the August 31 kickoff, though I personally wouldn’t expect it to move into double digits, or get driven down to make WMU the favorite, barring injuries.

NCAA Football: Colgate at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

This is first time Syracuse opens against an FBS opponent since 2013 — and also the first time they open away from home since that year, when they kicked off at MetLife Stadium vs. Penn State. SU played an FCS opponent in week one each year from 2014 through 2017, starting with a terrifying double overtime win over Villanova.

But back to the topic at hand: Sports betting is likely to be in the limelight all year, so you’re going to hear plenty more about odds for Syracuse’s games and every other teams’ as well. It’s unlikely the Dome is letting you place in-game bets just yet, but the conversation around betting activity driving viewership and interest could evolve the way games are scheduled. Worth noting if SU becomes a team that garners a lot of activity from gamblers, win or lose.