Syracuse Orange vs. LSU Tigers
Date and Time: Saturday, September 23, 2017, 7 p.m. ET
Location: Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, LA
Opening College Football Odds: LSU -23.5
Syracuse vs. LSU TV Coverage: ESPN2
Coach O minced no words after the game against the Bulldogs on Saturday night. The Tigers were whooped in every phase of the game, and they weren't mentally strong enough to go on the road and take care of a team they probably should have beaten.
All of the top online sportsbooks saw this coming, though. LSU was only set at -2 on the road, and that's the type of point spread that makes you scratch your head when you see it.
So will the real Bayou Bengals please stand up? We probably didn't learn a lot about them against BYU or Chattanooga, and we're willing to say that the game against Mississippi State was a bit of an anomaly. The next real chance for learning anything about this squad might not come until the trip to Florida on October 7.
We haven't learned a ton about Syracuse yet, but we did see in an 18-minute stretch between the end of the second quarter and the outset of the third quarter against Central Michigan what coach Dino Babers is searching for out of his team.
The Orange scored 31 unanswered points in that stretch. All five scoring drives encompassed less than three minutes. Syracuse finished with 579 yards of offense on the day and more than made up for three turnovers that were relatively uncharacteristic.
The Tigers already have 30 penalties called against them in three games. They had a pair of touchdowns wiped off the board last week against Mississippi State, including a long one that would have given them the 7-0 lead. Instead, they chased the game the whole way and never looked like they were even remotely in it.
But what might be the long-lasting effect here is the fact that both Neil Farrell and Donnie Alexander are going to be sitting out the first half of this game after getting ejected in the second half for targeting against MSU. Toss in the fact that future NFL first-round pick, Arden Key is still slowed by an injury and is just starting to get back into the swing of things, and this LSU defenses is going to be missing some key pieces to the puzzle against the 'Cuse.
Syracuse vs. LSU Free Picks
We feel like Syracuse is going to be live in this game, even as a relatively big underdog at +23.5. The Orange are going to run their offense at a similar pace to what Mississippi State did, and we're not all that sure that the Tigers are going to keep up, especially in the first half with two of their starters facing a mandatory suspension for their targeting penalties.
The Bayou Bengals are going to win this game, but we have a lot of confidence right now in Eric Dungey. Dungey didn't play in the game these two played two years ago after suffering a concussion, but he's back and has been fantastic thus far this season.
Mistakes will keep the 'Cuse from winning this game SU, but there will be enough offense here against a defense that still has some questions it has to answer to keep the Orange around.
College Football ATS Pick: Syracuse +23.5 at BookMaker.eu
College Football Score Prediction: LSU 33, Syracuse 20