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NCAAF Week 2: Syracuse at PIttsburgh Betting Preview

Panthers a 3-Touchdown Favorite - Is That Too Much?

Oddsmakers are expecting a blowout in NCAAF Syracuse at Pittsburgh betting, listing the Panthers as -20.5 home favorites. The Orange offense indeed struggled in their season opener, losing 31-6 to what may be a very good North Carolina team. Pittsburgh, on the other hand, got this strange 2020 campaign off on the right foot in a dominating 55-0 drubbing of Austin Peay as -30.5 favorites.

The big question ahead of Saturday’s meeting is if Pittsburgh can post another beating even though the quality of opponent would seem to improve? Will Syracuse also show improvement having a game under their belt? Public betting is split 50/50 on this meeting.

Syracuse Needs O-Line Improvement

Tommy DeVito wasn’t sharp at all in the opener, going 13/31 for just 112 yards. To the Syracuse QB’s credit though, he was absolutely harassed by the North Carolina defense getting sacked 7 times. DeVito’s timing was off with his receivers in week one, but will he have time in the pocket to even improve on that? Pitt’s defense is considered even better than UNC’s.

Overall, the NCAAF Syracuse at Pittsburgh betting matchup could actually be a dogfight. The Orange defense wasn’t as bad as it looked on paper last week, going into the 4th quarter down 10-6 against Sam Howell and a potent UNC offense. The wheels fell off in the final frame, but Syracuse did force 2 INT’s against Howell, who threw for 35 TDs and just 7 INTs last season as a freshman.

Why do oddsmakers feel that Pitt is three TD’s better than Syracuse on Saturday afternoon? The last three meetings between the schools have been decided by a TD or less:

  • PITT 27 – SYR 20 (2019)
  • SYR 37 PITT 44 (2018)
  • PITT 24 – SYR 27 (2017)

This seems like the proverbial “throw out the records when these two get together” type of meeting.

NCAAF Syracuse at Pittsburgh betting
DeVito needs to be a whole lot better in week two for Syracuse to have a chance at the upset.

PIttsburgh Faces First Real Test

Pitt was able to have an exhibition season after all, battering FCS opponent Austin Peay 55-0 in the opener. It was a nice opportunity to shake off the rust for Pat Narduzzi’s team, but how much do you really know about yourself after going up 42-0 at the half?

Pittsburgh will know their identity after Saturday’s meeting with Syracuse. Now ranked 25th in the country, are the Panthers the type of team that can dominate to cover a -20.5 point spread or will they find themselves locked in another slugfest with the Orange? Pitt had 3 sacks and 8 TFL in week one against Austin Peay, so they will be salivating at a chance to face the Syracuse O-line.

Kenny Pickett had a very efficient day against inferior competition in week one, going 14/20 for 277 and a TD. Syracuse has a solid secondary, but Picket was 18/33 for 233 and 2 TD in last year’s 27-20 Panthers win. Vincent Davis (11 carries, 43 yards, 2 TD in week one) is also a nice X-factor at tailback for Pitt.

NCAAF Syracuse at Pittsburgh Betting Free Pick

There is little doubt that the Panthers get the win in Saturday’s meeting (12:00 EST, ACCN) with a -1700 ML. Can Pitt really cover a three TD spread though? The last three games total have been within 20 points, and Syracuse hasn’t seen that much of a regression.
Pittsburgh 24 Syracuse 17

Free Pick: Syracuse Orange +20.5

Carl Taylor

Every loss is a chance to learn a lesson. That being said, wins are so much more enjoyable. Follow along to tap into the wisdom I've learned from 20 years as a sports bettor. Follow along on Twitter for more picks and DFS news @dailydogsports.

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