The No. 13 Louisville Cardinals visit the Syracuse Orange on Friday, September 9th to kick off Week 2 college football. The Cardinals have won five of the last six meetings, including a 41-17 home victory in their most recent showdown last year.

Louisville is coming off a statement win in Week 1 with a 70-14 throttling of Charlotte as 38.5-point favorites. Lamar Jackson threw his name into the Heisman race with eight total touchdowns in the first half; six passing and two rushing.

Syracuse also got off to a nice start to the season with a 33-7 home victory over Colgate as 23.5-point favorites. The Orange racked up 554 total yards in the win, led by 355 passing yards and two touchdowns by QB Eric Dungey.

Kickoff inside the Carrier Dome is set for 8:00 EST Friday night with ESPN 2 providing the television coverage. If you are looking to wager on this game, you’ll find Louisville as a 14.5-point favorite over Syracuse with a total set of 68 points.

My Early Lean: Syracuse +14.5

The Orange are a team on the rise under first-year head coach Dino Babers. He led Bowling Green to an 18-9 record in his two years there and the MAC title last year. We all saw how poor Bowling Green looked in a 10-77 loss to Ohio State in their first game without him.

Babers stepped into a great situation at Syracuse with 16 returning starters. This is a team that lost only 17 lettermen from a year ago and will be much more competitive in ACC play after a down 4-8 season last year.

Babers brings a great offensive mind and calls his own plays. This offense racked up 554 total yards in a 33-7 win over Colgate in the opener. Sophomore QB Eric Dungey was brilliant, completing 34-of-40 passes for 355 yards and two touchdowns in the win. Eight starters are back on offense this year.

The defense was equally impressive in allowing just 143 total yards and 11 first downs to Colgate. This is going to be one of the most improved defenses in the country this season with eight starters and each of the top seven tacklers back from a year ago.

I think Louisville comes in overvalued here as more than a two-touchdown road favorite because of its emphatic 70-14 win over Charlotte last week. Well, Charlotte is one of the worst teams in the FBS as it recently just joined the FBS. The 49ers went 2-10 last year in their first season as members of the FBS and got outscored by 18.8 points per game.

I really think this is a tough spot for Louisville, too. It will be looking ahead to its showdown against Florida State next week, which will determine if the Cardinals have a shot in the stacked ACC Atlantic Division.

I really think this is a tough spot for Louisville, too. It will be looking ahead to its showdown against Florida State next week, which will determine if the Cardinals have a shot in the stacked ACC Atlantic Division. I don’t believe the Cardinals will give the Orange their full attention as a result.

Syracuse is 15-3 ATS in its last 18 home games off a win by 17 points or more. The Orange are 20-5 ATS in their last 25 home games after allowing 75 or fewer rushing yards in their previous game. The Cardinals are 1-5 ATS in their last six conference games. The Orange are 5-0 ATS in their last five home games. They went 3-3 SU at home last year with all three losses coming to ranked teams in LSU, Pitt & Clemson by 10 points or less.

Plays on home underdogs of 10.5 to 21 points (SYRACUSE) – in conference games, with 8 or more offensive starters including the QB returning are 153-87 (63.8%) ATS since 1992.

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