There was renewed optimism in Syracuse after the opening night blowout over Central Connecticut State. The Orange seemed to move the ball at will, and hung a 50-burger at the Dome. However, after a dreadful loss to Middle Tennessee State last weekend, the question is should SU actually be huge favorites in this game?
On paper, some fans will simply look at CMU as a “directional school” out of the MAC and assume the Orange will win easily. Normally, there’s better talent on the field for a Power 5 team, and home field advantage certainly helps SU. But many are overlooking that the Chippewas are 2-0, and are coming off a win over a Power 5 school.
Granted, the CMU victory came at the hands of Kansas, arguably the worst program from a major conference in the country. But the Chips also manhandled the Jayhawks, 45-27. CMU put up 24 points in the 2nd quarter alone, to jump on KU and never look back. Shane Morris threw for 5 TDs and had the best passing game of his career. The Chips found tons of space in the passing game, and were also able to out-physical the Jayhawks near the goal line. Knowing the problem SU had against MTSU last weekend, it’s a little startling to see the Orange as 10-point favorites across Vegas.
For comparison, the NFL odds this weekend only have one double-digit favorite, and that’s the Raiders (one of the best teams in the league) against the Jets (the worst). It’s not a completely accurate parallel since the NFL has more parity with only 32 teams, but the point is we can’t assume SU is double-digits better than a team that just put a beat down on a Power 5 team.
The Fizz doesn’t imagine Dino Babers will allow his troops to be overconfident coming off a bad loss, but the oddsmakers seem to be looking for suckers this weekend based on reputation alone.