College Football Week 8 Odds: Syracuse At Clemson Preview

Written By Brett Gibbons on October 21, 2022
syracuse clemson odds

The UNDEFEATED Syracuse Orange (6-0, 3-0) visit the Clemson Tigers (7-0, 5-0) on Saturday, October 22, with kickoff scheduled for noon ET. Given the current lay of the ACC Atlantic, this game could determine its representative in the ACC Championship game come December. In this article, we’ll look at Syracuse at Clemson odds and a full betting preview of this ranked matchup.

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Syracuse Orange At Clemson Tigers Odds

Syracuse At Clemson Odds Movement

At DraftKings Sportsbook, Clemson opened as a -14.5 favorite, which was bet down to -13 early in the week. Some books offered Clemson -12.5, but that number didn’t last long. Buyback moved the line back up to -13.5, some books even juicing Clemson. As limits increase and kickoff nears, monitor this line movement closely. 14 is less of a key figure in betting football, but it’s still an important number that could offer bettors on either side value. The current best number offered on Clemson is .

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Is Syracuse As Good As Their Record Says?

No. Let’s not get it mixed, Syracuse is a product of their schedule.

After seven weeks of football, Cuse has the 114th-ranked strength of schedule and easiest among Power Five teams. Their latest win over NC State (39th in power ratings) benefitted from the Wolfpack being down starting QB Devin Leary. They also rank fourth in the nation in luck rating (1.3), highlighted in their wins over Purdue and Virginia– both home games. In fact, Syracuse has played one (1!!!) road game so far this season, a 48-14 win over UConn.

Outside the comforts of the JMA Wireless Dome, this is Garrett Shrader’s first test of the season. Clemson boasts one of the best run defenses in the nation, with just 23.8% of opposing yards this season coming on the ground (third-fewest). The Tigers are allowing just 2.7 yards per rush, second only to James Madison on the season.

Clemson’s vulnerability comes in their defensive secondary. While Syracuse is fifth in passing success rate this season, it’s worth taking another look at some of their opponents:

  • Louisville (86th in opposing passer rating)
  • UConn (83rd)
  • Purdue (73rd)
  • Virginia (68th)
  • Wagner (FCS)

Against NC State (23rd), 50% of Shrader’s completions and 67% of his yardage went to one receiver: Oronde Gadsden II.

Clemson: The Quietest Top-Five Team In The Country

This isn’t your Clemson team from 2017. DJ Uiagalelei and the Clemson offense is a seriously-flawed unit, bogged down by indecisiveness from DJ U and inhibited by a years-long case of the dropsies from the receiving corps. The front seven is as strong as ever, especially now that Bryan Breese returned, but the secondary has issues.

And yet, Clemson is 10th in average scoring margin this season (+18.2). They’ve withstood a 49-point barrage from Wake Forest and a lethargic offense against Boston College en route to a 7-0 mark.

Will Shipley and the run game should be able to get it going against the Syracuse defense. The Orange are allowing a 47.1% rushing success rate (119th) and are 111th in rushing EPA on defense. It’s probably worth reviewing their schedule (above) again to further contextualize these numbers– no opponents rank inside the top 70 in rushing EPA.

Syracuse At Clemson Forecast

Syracuse is one of the most pleasant surprises in college football so far this season. Securing bowl eligibility by Week 8 likely wasn’t in the cards for Cuse fans nor analysts, but here we are.

This is the week the Syracuse dream falters. I jumped on Clemson -13.5 before it crossed 14 points again.

The equation for a Clemson cover isn’t a complex one: Clemson should be able to run the ball efficiently and stop Syracuse from doing the same. Asking Shrader to carry the Cuse offense in his first true road test of the season in Clemson is a ridiculously tall order. Scrappiness and grit can only go so far when your team is hopelessly outmatched, which is the case here.

Also playing under 49.5 (or 50 if you can find it) is well within consideration.

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Written by
Brett Gibbons

Brett is an avid sports traveler and former Division-I football recruiter for Bowling Green and Texas State. He’s a graduate of BGSU and works as an auditor for Google content curation products. He’s also contributed to Sports Illustrated and Fansided during his young writing career.

View all posts by Brett Gibbons