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College Football Pick: #2 Clemson Tigers at Syracuse Orange

Will Bryant Play and If Not Will It Affect the Tigers?

The #2 Clemson Tigers (6-0 Overall, 4-0 ACC) will play the Syracuse Orange (3-3 Overall, 1-1 ACC) tonight at 7:00 p.m. E.T. The big news is that the Tigers may not have starting quarterback Kelly Bryant on the field due to an ankle injury. If he does not play or does so with reduced mobility, the Clemson offense may struggle. Last Saturday, Clemson beat Wake Forest 28-14, while the Orange were victorious over Pittsburgh 27-24. Our Clemson plays Syracuse 2017 college football pick has the Tigers at -23.5 and the over/under at 58.0.

Clemson Pluses and Minuses

Obviously, Bryant being injured is not helpful at all for the Tigers. Their running game is huge and Bryant is a major part of their ground attack. Syracuse is scoring on average 35.0 PPG. Two freshmen QBs look to start, as Hunter Johnson and Zerrick Cooper prep just in case. Johnson has connected on 11 of 12 passes, hitting for one TD. Cooper, who also has one touchdown toss, has been good on seven of 14. As far as the ground attack is concerned, besides Bryant, the team’s leading rusher, the Clemson has four backs who have scored a total of 14 TDs. Travis Etienne is averaging 8.2 YPA.

The Tigers D is one of the best in college football. As far as our Clemson plays Syracuse 2017 college football pick is concerned, their ability to shutdown the run is massive. The defense is allowing 98.8 YPG on the ground and 11.3 PPG. The D-line includes Kevin Dodd and Shaq Lawson, who each have 12.5 sacks and 24 TFL. DB Cordrea Tankersley comes to tonight’s game with five picks and nine passes defended. The defense is exceptionally talented and deep.

Tigers Summary

  • Offense may be hampered a bit due to Bryant injury
  • Rush attack is tough to stop
  • Defense is solid in every manner

Syracuse Pluses and Minuses

The Orange offense is allowing an average of 32.0 PPG, while their defense is holding teams to 24.3. Most of their offense is through the air, although their ground game is not bad. QB Eric Dungey is a sound passer and rusher. Of his 17 touchdowns, nine are passing and eight are on the ground. He completing 64.4 percent of his throw and has tossed four picks, while averaging 4.1 yards when running. Senior wideout Steve Ishmael is the team’s top receiver, averaging 13.0 YPC and scoring three TDs. He has 56 catches.

In compiling our Clemson plays Syracuse 2017 college football pick, we note that while Syracuse is averaging 141 YPG when rushing the ball, they are allowing opponents 131 YPG when they carry the pigskin. It would be beneficial if that second stat were lower. They are also giving up 227 YPG in the air. Neither are great numbers. The Orange don’t have much of a pass rush, while their secondary may be a tad below average. LB Parris Bennett tops the team with 56 tackles and five TFL. He also has one FF and one FR. DB Evan Foster has one of Syracuse’s four interceptions and he’s defended three passes, as has Jordan Martin and Christopher Frederick.

Orange Summary

  • Sound rushing and passing offense
  • Don’t bring much pressure on QB
  • Defense lacks depth

Three Takeaways

  1. Clemson may not feel much effect if Bryant does not play
  2. Syracuse D will have hands full with Tiger rush attack
  3. Clemson defense is a huge force

Our Clemson at Syracuse College Football Pick

Our Clemson plays Syracuse 2017 college football pick is the Orange at +23.5 and under 58.0 points. We think that Clemson will take this game, but it will be by about 18 points. That’s the way we see it going.

Clemson at Syracuse Free Pick: Syracuse at +23.5 and under 58.0 points


Paul has been writing about sports betting and sports for more than a decade, offering picks on the NFL, MLB, NHL, and NBA, as well as on college sports and European football. He's written thousands of season and post-season previews, innumerable articles on sports betting strategies, and various books on sports and sports betting.

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