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How and what to watch for Syracuse vs. Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh is a heavy favorite heading into its matchup with Syracuse, with the Orange expected to fall to 0-2 this season.

NCAA Football: Quick Lane Bowl-Pittsburgh vs Eastern Michigan Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse Orange will look for their first victory when they go on the road to play the Pittsburgh Panthers on Saturday, Sept. 19.

Syracuse had a 10-win season in 2018 but won more than five games just once in the past six years. The Orange began 2020 with a 31-6 road loss to the North Carolina Tar Heels. It was a major offensive struggle for Syracuse with quarterback Tommy DeVito completing just 13 of 31 passes for 112 yards. He was also sacked seven times. Syracuse averaged just 1.9 yards per carry and will need to be significantly better on offense to avoid starting the season 0-2.

Pittsburgh started its season with a much easier with a matchup with Austin Peay that resulted in a 55-0 Panthers victory. It’s difficult to take much away from a season opener against an FCS team, but quarterback Kenny Pickett looked good, completing 14 of 20 pass attempts for 277 yards and a touchdown. One area that may need to be cleaned up is the running game where the Panthers averaged just 4.1 yards per carry.

Pittsburgh won the previous matchup 27-20 on the road in 2019. The Panthers won six of the last seven games against Syracuse.

Game Time/TV Channel/Streaming

Saturday’s game will start at noon ET at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The game will be aired on the ACC Network.

Point Spread, Totals, Odds, Trends

Point spread: Syracuse (+21.5) vs. Pittsburgh
Point Total: O/U 50 (-110)
Money line: Syracuse (+950), Pitt (-2000)

  • Syracuse is 2-7 against the spread in its last nine games.
  • The total went over in four of Syracuse’s last five games.
  • The under hit 13 times in Pittsburgh’s last 18 games.
  • Pittsburgh is 9-3 straight up in its last 12 home games.

The Best Bet

Syracuse really struggled to do much of anything on offense on Saturday, and it’s facing a Pittsburgh defense that might be the best in the country. The Panthers likely will not have a great offense in 2020 and will see a sizeable upgrade in defense as opposed to Austin Peay. This one has the potential to be a bit sloppy.

Pick: Under 50

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