Vegas NCAAF Game Odds & Free Betting Pick: Wake Forest vs Syracuse

After moving into the top-25, the no. 19 Syracuse Orange will try to stay there as they hit the road to take on the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. Kickoff is set for noon EST on Saturday, November 3, at BB&T Field in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Fans can catch all the action on ACC Network Extra.

Based on the Week 10 odds, the Orange are 4.5-point favorites on the road. The over/under for the game is set at 76.5 points.

Wake Forest vs Syracuse Game Preview & Betting Odds

On the heels of back-to-back wins over North Carolina and NC State, the Orange find themselves in the top-25 for the first time since 2001. Also, Syracuse is bowl eligible for the first since 2013 after last week’s 51-41 win against NC State. That should have the Orange feeling relaxed heading into November knowing that a spot in a bowl game is secure. However, Syracuse will also want to maintain their spot in the top-25, so they should still be motivated to get a win on the road.

Wake Forest, on the other hand, will be playing for their bowl lives this weekend. The Demon Deacons should have some confidence coming off a 56-35 win over Louisville last week. However, that was Wake’s first ACC win of the season and just their second win since early September. Before last week, the Demon Deacons had lost four of their last five games. They now have to win two of their last four games to become bowl eligible. Wake Forest has just one more home game after hosting Syracuse this weekend, so losing this game would be a huge blow to their bowl hopes.

On the bright side, the Demon Deacons have handled their business against Syracuse the past two seasons, including a 64-43 barn burner in the Carrier Dome last year. However, the Orange won their first three games against Wake right after joining the ACC, so they won’t be intimidated to play the Demon Deacons away from home.

Free College Football Betting Selection: Syracuse -4.5

Wake’s desperation definitely gives them a chance to spring an upset in this game. However, nothing the Demon Deacons have done this season tells me they can beat a top-25 team. I’m also not convinced they can stay within a touchdown against one. This spread isn’t unreasonable for a team that can score the way Syracuse can. I’ll swallow the points and lean toward the Orange to cover on the road.

The one advantage that Wake has in this game is their outstanding rushing attack. The backfield duo of Matt Colburn and Cade Carney have had some great games this year. Both have accumulated over 500 rushing yards this season and are averaging better than five yards per carry. Colburn, in particular, was exceptional during last week’s win over Louisville, rushing for over 200 yards and three touchdowns.

In Syracuse’s two losses this year to Clemson and Pittsburgh, they’ve been absolutely shredded on the ground. When the Orange struggle to stop the run, it keeps their high-scoring offense on the sidelines. It also draws Syracuse into a shootout when they are forced to score on every possession in order to win.

If Wake Forest can continue to run the ball effectively, they’ll put themselves in a good position to win this game. However, the Syracuse defense has been better against the run in their recent wins. Meanwhile, the Wake passing game can be a little limited at times. True freshman quarterback Sam Hartman has looked promising at times. But he’s also completing less than 50% of his passes against ACC competition. He’s even struggled against average defensive teams like Boston College and Florida State.

The Demon Deacons are also lacking playmakers in the passing game outside of receiver Greg Dortch. If the Syracuse defense can contain Wake’s rushing attack and put their focus on stopping Dortch, they should be able to get a beat on the Wake Forest offense. Even a modest effort from the defense should put the Orange in a favorable position to win.

After all, the Syracuse offense is in the top-10 nationally in points scored. They’ve scored 40-plus points in five of their eight games behind senior quarterback Eric Dungey, who is also the team’s leading rusher. At his best, Dungey can be a one-man wrecking crew, especially with four capable wide receivers that will make it difficult for the Wake Forest defense to focus on stopping one of them. Keep in mind that the Demon Deacons are giving up over 44 points per game in their four ACC games. That doesn’t bode well for them being able to keep the Orange offense contained.

Over the course of four quarters, I don’t think the Wake Forest defense will get many stops against the Syracuse offense. I’m also not sure if the Demon Deacons can match the Orange score for score all game long. Knowing they need a win, I expect Wake to make this game competitive into the 2nd half. But the Orange are too good offensively. Eventually, they should be able to create enough separation to cover the 4.5-point spread.

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