The Syracuse Orange and Minnesota Golden Gophers will square off in the Bad Boy Mowers Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. It’s time to continue our college football odds series with a Syracuse-Minnesota prediction and pick.
Syracuse ended their regular season at 7-5, going an even 4-4 in ACC play. The Orange surprised many with their six-game winning streak to begin the season. The ensuing five-game losing streak had fans groaning. In the regular season finale, head coach Dino Babers and company defeated Boston College.
Minnesota ended their regular season at 8-4, with a 5-4 record in the Big Ten. The Golden Gophers upset Michigan State early to build some momentum in the early parts of conference play. A 23-16 victory over Wisconsin in the regular season finale put an exclamation on a solid effort.
Here are the Syracuse-Minnesota college football odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
College Football Odds: Syracuse-Minnesota Odds
Syracuse Orange: +9.5 (-105)
Minnesota Golden Gophers: -9.5 (-115)
Over: 41.5 (-115)
Under: 41.5 (-105)
Why Syracuse Could Cover The Spread
Garrett Shrader will be counted on more than ever in this one, losing both his top running back Sean Tucker to an opt-out, and former coordinator Robert Anae to NC State. Shrader has battled some injuries this season, playing in 11 games and completing 65.0 percent of his passes for 2,310 yards with 17 touchdowns and six interceptions. Shrader is also second on the team with 415 rushing yards and seven touchdown runs. With Tucker out preparing for the NFL Draft, LeQuint Allen will likely assume the main duties. The true freshman has rushed for 180 yards and a touchdown in a limited role. Syracuse has rushed for 1,714 yards and 19 touchdowns as a team this season. Minnesota has allowed 105.8 rushing yards per game to their opponents.
Syracuse's leading receiver is Oronde Gadsden II, who registered 891 yards and six touchdowns. Concerning is the loss of Matthew Bergeron to the NFL Draft. Bergeron led an offensive line that struggled, allowing 41 sacks. Syracuse has averaged 28.3 points and 366.6 yards of offense per game.
Syracuse's defense has been up and down, allowing 22.7 points and 338.8 yards of offense to their opponents per game. Caleb Okechukwu leads the team with seven sacks, while the Orange have totaled 30 as a team. On the defensive side, Steve Linton, who registered three and a half sacks, and top corners Garrett Williams and Deuce Chestnut, along with Ja'Had Carter, will miss this one. Carter leads the team with three interceptions.
Why Minnesota Could Cover The Spread
Tanner Morgan is likely out for this one, once again finding himself in concussion protocol. In his absence, Athan Kaliakmanis has thrown for 866 yards with three touchdowns and four interceptions. Kaliakmanis has also rushed for a touchdown. Leading rusher Mohammed Ibrahim, who is one of the better running backs in the nation, leads the team with 1,594 yards and 19 (!!!) touchdowns. Minnesota has rushed for an impressive 2,621 yards and 32 touchdowns as a team. Likely to rely on the run with Morgan out again, Minnesota has a good matchup as Syracuse has allowed 150.1 rushing yards per game to their opponents.
Daniel Jackson leads the team with 484 receiving yards and three touchdowns, leading a depleted receiving core. Chris Autman-Bell was the team's leading receiver before a season-ending injury in October. Minnesota has averaged 28.3 points and 404.3 yards of offense per game.
Minnesota's defense has been elite, holding opponents to 13.3 points and 279.5 yards of offense per game. Minnesota has only sacked their opponents 17 times, but Syracuse's weak offensive line is a prime opportunity to up that number. Safety Tyler Nubin leads the team with four interceptions and can build his draft stock with a strong game in this one.
Final Syracuse-Minnesota Prediction & Pick
Do not expect a ton of points given both defenses are solid. The opt-outs hurt Syracuse a ton, especially when facing a stud like Ibrahim.
Final Syracuse-Minnesota Prediction & Pick: Minnesota -9.5 (-115), under 41.5 (-105)