The Wake Forest Demon Deacons have a chance to secure a bowl bid when they visit the Syracuse Orange. Kickoff is set for 3:00 EST on Saturday, November 11 at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, New York. Fans can watch the game on ACC Network Extra.
Oddsmakers have the Orange as 1-point favorites at home. However, early betting has favored Wake Forest, as Syracuse opened at -3.5. The over/under for the game is 59.5 points. Click here for a full list of Week 11 betting odds and links to game previews.
Wake Forest vs Syracuse Betting Preview & Vegas Game Odds
The Demon Deacons enter this game as losers of four of their last five games. To be fair, two of those losses during that span have come against Clemson and Notre Dame. However, they have just one win over the last month since starting the season 4-0.
Nevertheless, Wake is just one win away from securing a bowl spot. The Deacons have three chances to get that one, so they don’t have too much pressure on them heading into their final road game of the season.
Syracuse, meanwhile, is feeling a little more pressure. Syracuse has dropped its last two games since their upset win over Clemson. Those losses have come on the road against Miami and Florida State and both were competitive games, so no one will blame them too much.
There’s no reason for the Orange to panic. But they need to win two of their last three games to play in a bowl game. They don’t want to waste an opportunity to pick up a win at home.
Free NCAAF Betting Prediction: Syracuse -1
With the line coming down, this is essentially a PK. I’ll gladly lean toward the home team and the team that’s a little more desperate for a win, and that’s Syracuse. I also think the Orange may be a little better than Wake Forest.
Offensively, the Orange have one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks in the ACC in Eric Dungey. He’s the team’s leading rusher, which isn’t ideal, but he’s capable of creating big plays on both designed runs and when things break down. With the Orange running an up-tempo offense, Dungey and the Orange can be quite dangerous when they get into a rhythm.
Even when the Syracuse offense becomes one-dimensional, they have two elite wide receivers in Steve Ishmael and Ervin Phillips who create matchup problems for most teams. The Deacons gave up over 700 yards of offense against Notre Dame last week. Syracuse obviously isn’t at the same level as Notre Dame, but there may be some holes in the Wake defense that the Orange can exploit.
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To be fair, Wake Forest also has a quarterback in John Wolford who can move the ball with both his arm and his legs. However, Wolford doesn’t have as many playmakers around him as Dungey does. Wake’s top receiver Greg Dortch is out for the season with an injury and there’s a significant step down to the rest of the team’s receivers in terms of production this season.
The biggest strength of the Syracuse defense is on third down, where they are one of the best in the country. At times, they are susceptible to giving up the big play. However, Wake may not have the playmakers to create explosive plays. The Deacons may not be able to rely on long, sustaining drives against the Orange defense.
I expect this to be a close game from start to finish, but Syracuse has been a 4th quarter team all season. As long as they don’t dig themselves an early hole, the Orange will be able to wear down Wake Forest and take control late in the game. In what amounts to a PK, I’ll lean toward Syracuse winning at home.