The second-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish must simply avoid an epic mistake at home against the Syracuse Orange in Saturday’s ACC matchup to stay on track for a College Football Playoff berth. The Irish (9-0) had little trouble with No. 19 North Carolina last week as Ian Book threw for 279 yards in a 31-17 victory. They are expected to have even less difficulty against the Orange (1-9), who have lost seven in a row and have the second-worst offense in the nation.
Kickoff from Notre Dame Stadium is set for 2:30 p.m. ET. The Fighting Irish are 33.5-point favorites in the latest Syracuse vs. Notre Dame odds at William Hill Sportsbook, and the over-under for total points scored is 52. Before you make your Notre Dame vs. Syracuse picks, check out the college football predictions from the SportsLine Projection Model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every FBS college football game 10,000 times. Over the past four-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated a stunning profit of over $3,500 for $100 players on its top-rated college football picks against the spread. It is also a sizzling 49-25 on all top-rated picks through 13 weeks of the 2020 college football season, returning almost $1,300 in profit already. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Syracuse vs. Notre Dame: Fighting Irish -33.5
- Syracuse vs. Notre Dame over-under: 52
- Syracuse vs. Notre Dame money line: Orange +2000, Fighting Irish -10000
- SYR: RB Sean Tucker has run for at least 50 yards in four of the last five games
- ND: WR Javon McKinley has 21 catches for 378 yards over the past four games
Why Notre Dame can cover
Notre Dame is 9-4 against the spread in its last 13 games as a favorite, and Book is running an offense that is averaging 464 yards and 37 points per game. The senior has thrown for 2,097 yards and 12 TDs with just one interception. He also has run for 412 yards and six scores for a unit that rushes for 230 yards per game. Kyren Williams has rushed for 901 (seventh in FBS) and 12 scores and is averaging 5.6 yards per carry as the Irish average 5.2 as a team.
The Irish are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 after totaling more than 450 yards in the previous game, and the Orange give up 453 yards (104th in FBS) while gaining 250 per game (116th). The Notre Dame defense ranks 12th in total yards (303), seventh in rushing (85) and 14th in scoring (16.7). It has 27 sacks and 12 takeaways, and Orange QBs have thrown 11 picks and been sacked 37 times.
Why Syracuse can cover
Syracuse is 7-3 against the spread in its past 10 games following a straight-up loss, and the Irish defense has a relative weakness in the passing game. Notre Dame allows 218 yards per game through the air, ranking 48th in FBS, and Rex Culpepper came on and threw for 254 yards in a competitive 36-29 loss to N.C. State last week. Junior receiver Taj Harris had 13 catches for 146 yards and a touchdown, and he has 50 receptions this season, tied for 16th in the nation.
The Orange are 5-2 ATS in their last seven games after rushing for less than 100 yards in their previous game, and freshman Sean Tucker has run for 525 yards, averaging 4.6 per carry. The Syracuse defense has struggled, but sophomore linebacker Mikel Jones is a star. He has a team-high 67 tackles, four interceptions and two fumble recoveries for a defense that has 22 takeaways and 23 sacks.
How to make Notre Dame vs. Syracuse picks
SportsLine’s model is leaning under on the total, with the model suggesting the Notre Dame defense will make plays but its offensive stars will be held in check. It also says one side of the spread is hitting 60 percent of the time. You can only get the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Syracuse vs. Notre Dame? And which side of the spread cashes 60 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Notre Dame vs. Syracuse spread to jump on, all from the advanced model that is up over $3,500 on its top-rated college football spread picks, and find out.