Vermont looks to start the season with an upset as they face Syracuse. It is time to continue our College Lacrosse odds series with a Vermont-Syracuse prediction, pick, and how-to-watch.

Vermont comes in another year looking to get back to the NCAA tournament. Last year, it looked like it was going to happen. They were 9-5 in the regular season. They started the year with a close loss to Syracuse, falling 7-5. Still, even with five losses in the non-conference schedule, Vermont turned it on in conference play. They dominated conference play, going 7-0, with many of the games not being very close. That got them the top seed in the American East tournament, where they would be upset by Albany 10-4. After two straight American East titles, they would fail to make it three and now look to return to the mountain top.

Meanwhile, Syracuse is aiming to return to the glory days of the past year. Syracuse returns much of their offense. Of their opening game starters last year, Syracuse brings back nine of them, but still, it was an 8-7 year for the Orange. They started 3-0 before falling to Maryland, North Carolina, Duke, and Johns Hopkins in consecutive games. They would avenge that loss to North Carolina later in the year, but that would be their only conference win of the season. Now head coach Gary Gait looks to improve on last year. He has already rebuilt a lot. After a 4-10 first season, he doubled his wins the next year.

Here are the college lacrosse odds, courtesy of FanDuel. 

College Lacrosse Odds: Vermont-Syracuse Odds

Vermont: +6.5 (-115)

Moneyline: +650

Syracuse: -6.5 (-105)

Moneyline: -1200

Over: 24.5 (-122)

Under: 14.5 (+100)

How to Watch Vermont  vs. Syracuse 

Time: 4:00 PM ET/ 1:00 PM PT

TV: ACC Network

Stream: fuboTV (Click for free trial)

Why Vermont Will Cover The Spread/Win

Vermont was 47th in the nation in scoring last year, averaging just 11.21 goals per game on the season. Still, they return a lot, plus a stout defense. Brock Haley returns, with his 31 goals and 52 points this year. While the top attackman on the team, Vermont spent much of the season without Jonas Hunter. Hunter played just the first three games of the year, and would still be seventh on the team in points. In three games he scored nine goals and has three assists. If he can stay healthy it could be for a formidable one-two combination at attack.

Vermont has lost David Closterman, who had 26 goals and 23 assists last year, meaning they will need others to step up and fill his spot. Sophomore Tristan Whitaker is a prime candidatee. He scored 16 goals and had 11 assists last year as a freshman.

On defense, Vermont returns some important parts. Vermont was tenth in the nation in scoring defense last year, allowing just 10.29 goals per game on the season. They were also  30th in the nation creating 8.29 turnovers per game last season. All-Conference player Patrick Murphy is back, with his nine forced turnovers and 20 groundballs from last year. The same goes for Tim Manning, who has started every game in the last four years. He forced five turnovers last season.

Why Syracuse Will Cover The Spread/Win

The Syracuse offense was third in the nation last year in offensive efficiency. They also sat 12th in the nation in points per game with 14.33 on the season. Joey Spallina is back and looks to improve on an amazing freshman year. He has 36 goals in his freshman year and 32 assists, to lead the team with 68 points. Owen Hiltz is also back, with his 24 goals and 29 assists last year, to sit second on the team in points.

Still, Syracuse lost a chunk of production. Cole Krist and Aelx Simmons are both gone. With them, 69 points from their offense left. Syracuse turned to the transfer portal to help fix that issue. They added both Jake Stevens and Sam English from Princeton. Stevens scored 24 goals last year with five assists on Princeton. Further, English had seven goals and 13 assists and will bolster this offense.

Syracuse was 44th in the nation in scoring defense last year, allowing 12.13 goals per game last year. One of the biggest helps for Syracuse on defense is ball possession. They brought in Mason Kohn to take over at the faceoff circle. He comes in from Tufts and won 66.5 percent of his faceoffs last year. He will help Syracuse avoid early fast breaks and have more possession, helping the defense overall. Still, they need Mark Will to be solid in goal. He has. a 54.2 percent save percentage last year, while having goals against an average of 12.09.

Final Vermont-Syracuse Prediction & Pick

Vermont led this game 5-4 in the third quarter last year. This was because Vermont was dominating the faceoff battle and interrupting the cleaning game. For as rough as Vermont’s season ended, they can do similar things to Syracuse this year. They return many of the same parts that made life hard in Syracuse last year. While thye may not dominate the face-off circle the same way they did last year, it was a two-goal game last year. A face-off man will not account for a five-goal swing. This game will stay close. Take Vermont plus the goals.

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Final Vermont-Syracuse Prediction & Pick: Vermont +6.5 (-115)