The preseason win totals are out for Bet Online, and Syracuse fans will see either a boost in credibility or a classic case of disrespect. The oddsmakers have pegged 6 1/2 wins as the team’s over/under, meaning a bettor needs to decide whether SU will win 7 regular season games or fewer. Over is +100 while under is -130, meaning you’d make more money if you played the over and it hit. Vegas thinks SU is more likely to be a 6 win team. Is it disrespectful that the oddsmakers don’t have more faith in Syracuse following a 6-0 start last year?
The non-con schedule includes Army (H), Colgate (H), Western Michigan (H) and Purdue (A). The home ACC slate sees Clemson, BC and Wake come to the Dome. Plus Pitt is at Yankee Stadium as a “home game.” The road features trips to FSU, UNC, Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech.
As for improved credibility, last year the Orange odds were placed at 4 1/2 regular season wins. So the 7-win campaign, the 6-0 start, the top 25 ranking and making a bowl game all registered with the oddsmakers. Because with the departures to graduation, the portal, and the NFL, the roster this season has lost plenty of talent. Would it be disrespectful to consider Syracuse a non-bowl team?
The perceived disrespect would come from the idea that according to deep analytics, the ACC is so bad (and the non-con schedule is non-imposing) that SU will actually be the better team more games than not. According to ESPN’s SP+ metric, SU (59th) is better on paper than 6 of its opponents (including unranked Colgate). It’s worse than 5 of its opponents. It has a general push with Wake (52nd).
Should SU take care of its business and beat VT, Georgia Tech, BC, Army, Western Michigan and Colgate, that’s six wins. One more victory, and SU would hit the over. However, it’s impossible to claim it’s disrespectful considering the Orange lost its best offensive player in Sean Tucker, the starting QB didn’t play this spring, the secondary is full of new faces, and the recruiting class was underwhelming. They keep building massive casinos in the desert for a reason. Like this, they’re usually right on the money.