Earlier this month, Las Vegas released its over-under win totals for the 2018 NCAA Football season. Syracuse’s number has been set a 4.5 by the website BetDSI, the worst number in the ACC. The teams nearest SU are Virginia (5) and Pittsburgh (5.5).
When I first read the list of ACC teams, I was surprised. But after I thought about it for a while, I wasn’t. Even though we have memories of a 2017 team that was competitive at times, Dino Babers’ group still finished the year with the second to worst overall record in the conference. The only team with a worse record than Syracuse was North Carolina, but you can expect the Tar Heels to bounce back from a difficult season a year ago. Given that, it’s not hard to understand why Vegas would think this way.
In terms of proving the odds makers wrong, Syracuse does have some things working for them. The Orange has one of the easiest schedules in the ACC. Not only is the non-conference relatively weak, but SU has a friendly conference schedule, playing most of its fringe games at home. The main road games that SU needs to focus on are at Boston College and Wake Forest. Other than that, games like North Carolina, NC State and Florida State are in the Carrier Dome. So it’s not necessarily the easiest schedule, but when you line it up with other conference foes, it doesn’t look as bad.
Now it’s too early to say if the Orange does in fact prove Vegas wrong, but it’s going to be a tough task. It’s almost like there’s a glass ceiling on Syracuse and its ability to achieve more than four wins, much less make a bowl game. We know the Orange needs to make a bowl game for its own sake this season, and the next couple of months will make it easier for us to project if they will. But as of right now, Vegas doesn’t think so, and neither do I.