Notre Dame will take its 4-3 record and the hope for a respectable season to the JMA Dome for some humid action against a good Syracuse Orange football team on Saturday. There was a certain type of desperation from the Irish when they travelled to Chapel Hill to play North Carolina, and they will need that same type of mentality in Syracuse to get a ranked win this week.
According to DraftKings Sportsbook, the Irish are 2.5-point underdog to Syracuse with an OVER/UNDER of 48.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.
Now it’s time for the OFD Staff to unleash their own picks. More still may roll in throughout the day. Here are a few thoughts from The Emperor’s Elite Pick-Em Force:
The first time playing the Orange in the
Carrier Dome since 2003. That 2003 game and season were not pretty, but I am going to predict something a bit better. The Irish opened as favorites, but are still just slight underdogs. Yes, the team has way underperformed at home, but they have overperformed not at home against better teams. I think that streak continues, and the only reason I have for it is because I see the talent is there to do so, the play calling and play making need to be present. I think it will be (plus, this continues the trend of this season making little to no sense). Irish win this one 27-23.
All that’s left for Notre Dame this season is to play spoiler to the teams left on their schedule. How that applies to Syracuse? I guess it’s about handing the Orange their first home loss since the Carrier Dome became the “JMA Wireless Dome” (but who are they kidding; it’ll always be the Carrier Dome).
I can’t get a read on this one. ‘Cuse should’ve lost to Purdue, and it nearly choked away a 16-0 halftime lead against Virginia before a late go-ahead field goal. Whether or not the Orange are actually good is important because Notre Dame plays to the level of its competition. I’ll assume that the Orange are quality enough in a tricky home environment for the Irish to take them seriously. FINAL SCORE: Notre Dame 34, Syracuse 21
It’s hard to predict which Notre Dame team will show up from week to week, but it does seem like they have played their best against the better opponents on the schedule. Syracuse is a good football team, so I think the Irish will come to play and it will be a close one. However, I really like Garrett Shrader at QB, and Sean Tucker is one of the best running backs in the country. Add in a ‘Cuse defense that’s been a revelation this season and I think the Orange pull away in the 4th quarter as ND fails to score down the stretch. Let’s say Syracuse 30, Notre Dame 21.
I think this is my first time picking against the Irish in my tenure here, and it gives me absolutely no pleasure. There is a great chance I am wrong here as Syracuse has plenty of weaknesses the Irish can exploit, but a solid Orange defense and spiraling QB play makes me think they will not be able to score enough points to win here. I hope I am wrong, but I’m thinking a close loss by the Irish, 24-20, is what we see here.
Once again I enter a game where Notre Dame is competing and I have no idea how it will turn out. I’m even more confused than I was before last week. I thought the game against UNLV would help us gain some clarity and give this team some momentum. I’m less clear and I feel the only momentum this team has this week is the fact they are on the road, because for some reason they’ve played decent on the road so far. Truthfully I think Notre Dame will be able to slow down this Syracuse offense. I’m also banking on the running backs having a huge day. This is a complete shot in the dark and probably will be until this team shows me more. Notre Dame 27 Syracuse 22
Besides Notre Dame vs Syracuse, I asked the staff to pick these other 7 games:
Ohio State Buckeyes vs Penn State Nittany Lions
Oklahoma State Cowboys vs Kansas State Wildcats
Cincinnati Bearcats vs UCF Knights
Eastern Michigan Eagles vs Toledo Rockets
Kentucky Wildcats vs Tennessee Volunteers
Pittsburgh Panthers vs North Carolina Tar Heels
Oklahoma Sooners vs Iowa State Cyclones