Syracuse Orange (0-0) at Western Michigan Broncos (0-0)
|Date & Time||Friday August 31, 2018, 6:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Western Michigan Broncos +5.5 -- Over/Under: 63
The Syracuse Orange visit the Western Michigan Broncos at Waldo Stadium in an opening week college football matchup.
The Syracuse Orange finished dead last in the Atlantic Division of the ACC with an overall 4-8 record with the team outscored 32-27. The pass happy Syracuse offense averaged 295 yards and a healthy Eric Dungey under center assures the air game flourishes. The Orange do lose their two top receivers which makes Nykeim Johnson, Devin Butler and TE Ravien Pierce the top targets.
Syracuse needs more production on the ground to form some semblance of balance and that burden falls on the shoulders of Moe Neal and Dontae Strickland. The Orange do return experience on the offensive line and welcome Texas A&M transfer Koda Martin. The Orange were not great at anything defensively but do return experience on the line and secondary but the linebacking crew is a question mark.
The Western Michigan Broncos are looking for a return to the MAC elite after going 6-6 in 2017. Western Michigan outscored opposing teams 34-29 behind a pounding rushing attack that averaged 225 yards. Western Michigan is poised for healthy return of quarterback Jon Wassink who broke his collarbone in week eight.
The meat and potatoes of the Broncos will be the run once again with the tandem of Jamauri Bogan and LeVante Bellamy doing the heavy lifting. When Western Michigan does throw the football, D’Wayne Eskridge and Keishawn Watson will be the likely targets. A veteran offensive line anchors the Broncos offense with four starters returning. On the defensive side of the football for WMU the defensive line and linebacking crew lack experience.
Under is 4-0 in Syracuse last 4 road games and Syracuse are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 road games and Syracuse are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games in August. Western Michigan are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 vs. ACC and over is 6-1 in Western Michigan last 7 home games and Western Michigan are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 non-conference games.
I liked this when the line was -1.5 but I suppose I’d take Syracuse because of their quarterback play if for nothing else…