The Daily Sweat: Can Syracuse get to 4-0 against Virginia?

Syracuse is looking for a dream start to the 2022 season.

The Orange are 3-0 after beating Louisville, UConn and Purdue over the first three weeks of the season and host Virginia on Friday night (7 p.m. ET, ESPN). Syracuse enters the game as a 10.5-point favorite at BetMGM and is at -375 to win the game straight up.

Virginia is a double-digit underdog after a 2-1 start. The Cavaliers lost by 21 to Illinois in Week 2 but bounced back and scored a comeback 16-14 win over Old Dominion with a field goal as time expired.

The Cavaliers entered the 2022 season with questions along the offensive line in Tony Elliott’s first season as coach and the offense has sputtered so far this season. Brennan Armstrong is completing just 53% of his passes and has thrown two touchdowns and three interceptions. The run game hasn’t been bad; the Cavaliers are averaging over 4.5 yards per carry. But after Armstrong threw for nearly 4,500 yards and averaged almost nine yards a pass in 2021, it’s the pass game that really makes the Virginia offense go.

Syracuse quarterback Garrett Shrader runs with the ball during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Purdue in Syracuse, N.Y., Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022. Syracuse won 32-29. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)
Syracuse could be 5-0 before playing NC State. AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)

Syracuse RB Sean Tucker has carried the ball 66 times already this season. Tucker is one of the better backs in college football and teams have been keying on him. He’s averaging less than four yards a carry so far. With teams looking to stop Tucker, Garrett Shrader has competed 66% of his passes and is averaging over nine yards a throw. He’s also thrown for six touchdowns and no interceptions.

Syracuse should win this game easily as it eyes a 5-0 start ahead of games against NC State and Clemson. The only thing that gives us pause betting the Orange against the spread is the hook, but we’re not that confident in Virginia.

Friday night MWC football

There are two other games on the Friday slate involving Mountain West teams. Air Force hosts Nevada and Boise State visits C-USA team UTEP.

We’ll start in Colorado Springs, where Air Force is a 24-point favorite over a rebuilding Nevada squad (8 p,m. ET, FS1). Air Force fell to Wyoming last Friday but should have absolutely no issues against a Wolf Pack team that had to play an eight-hour game against Iowa in Week 3. We like under 45.5 in that one if Air Force controls the clock and prevents the Nevada offense from getting much going. Nevada was shut out by Iowa in its first game against good competition.

Boise State and UTEP also have an over/under at 45.5 (9 p.m. ET, CBSSN). The Broncos have scored just eight offensive touchdowns through the first three games of the season. Hank Bachmeier has his starting job back after he was benched against Oregon State. Bachmeier has thrown for 404 yards on 60 attempts and has five TD passes and three interceptions. RB George Holani is averaging just 3.3 yards a carry and also leads the team with 11 catches for 96 yards.

The Miners lost to New Mexico — a team that Boise State beat in Week 2 — in Week 3 after an astonishing seven turnovers. UTEP fell 27-10 after fumbling three times and throwing four interceptions. The Miners also turned the ball over on downs three times.

We’re confident UTEP won’t turn the ball over seven times against Boise State. But we still like the under here as well.

U.S. is an 8.5-point favorite in Presidents Cup

If you want some decent Presidents Cup odds you’re going to need to bet against the spread. The United States is now -2500 to win the tournament after a 4-1 lead after foursomes on the first day. The U.S. was -700 before the tournament began and the International team somehow got a point after leading for all of three holes over the course of the day on Friday.

The International team is +1600 to win, +180 to lose by less than 6.5 points, and +100 to lose by less than 8.5 points. Friday’s four-ball matches are also worth a combined five points before 10 points are available on Saturday and 12 points are available on Sunday.

Judge’s chase continues Friday night

Can Aaron Judge hit his 61st homer on Friday night? The Yankees enter Friday night’s game against the Red Sox as 1.5-run favorites at home. The total for the game is 7.5 runs and New York is -225 on the money line.

In other AL East action, the Rays are -120 favorites to beat the Blue Jays at home. Toronto is +170 to win by two or more runs.

Who cashed tickets Thursday?

Under bettors and Steelers teaser bettors were very unhappy with the final possession of Pittsburgh’s 29-17 loss to the Cleveland Browns. The Steelers were 4.5-point underdogs and any bettors who had Pittsburgh at six points or more got furious when Pittsburgh’s last-ditch lateral play ended up as a Denzel Ward fumble recovery in the end zone ended the game and extended the Browns’ lead to 12 and popped the over. The total closed at 37.5.