Camping World Bowl - West Virginia Mountaineers vs. Syracuse Orange Pick
In a revival of an old Big East matchup, the Big 12’s West Virginia Mountaineers and the ACC’s Syracuse Orange clash in this season’s Camping World Bowl in Orlando. Game time on Friday, Dec. 28 is set for 5:15 p.m. on ESPN.
West Virginia vs. Syracuse Game Overview
West Virginia was in a position to make a run at a berth in the College Football Playoff with an 8-1 straight-up start, but late-season losses to Oklahoma State on the road and Oklahoma at home ended that dream. The Mountaineers covered in their first four games before posting a 2-3-2 record against the spread over their final seven games. The total went OVER the closing line in their last five outings.
Scoring points was one of West Virginia’s strong suits all season long with an average of 42.5 points per game. It scored a combined 97 points in those two losses to the Cowboys and Sooners, but it allowed a combined 104 points in the losing cause. The Mountaineers will have a huge void to fill on offense with quarterback Will Grier opting out of this game to begin early preparations for next year’s NFL draft. This shifted the opening betting line from 6.5 points to its current 1.5-point spread.
Syracuse was an after-thought in the ACC Atlantic Division race this season behind Clemson, but it almost beat the Tigers for a second-straight time on its way to SU record of 9-3 while going 8-4 ATS. It was 6-2 SU in ACC play. The Orange gave the Tigers everything it could handle in that 27-23 road loss on Sept. 29 as heavy 24.5-point underdogs. They ended the season at 4-1 ATS in five games closing as underdogs.
The Syracuse offense had some excellent balance between the pass and the run all season long. Behind quarterback Eric Dungey, it averaged 261.5 passing yards per game, and with running back Moe Neal leading the way, this side of the ball added another 206.4 yards a game running the ball. This added up to a scoring average of 40.8 PPG while the defense allowed an average of 27.8 points a game.
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West Virginia vs. Syracuse Betting Trends
- The Mountaineers have gone 4-1 ATS in their last five nonconference games, but they have failed to cover in their last five postseason bowls. The total has stayed UNDER or ended as a PUSH in their previous four games against the ACC.
- The Orange are 4-1-1 ATS in their last six games outside the conference, and they have covered in nine of their last 11 games following a straight up win. The total went OVER in seven of 12 games this season.
- The underdog has covered in four of the last five meetings and the total has stayed under in six of the previous 10 games between the two.
West Virginia vs. Syracuse Prediction 12/28/2018
Some time has passed since these two teams used to butt heads in the old Big East Conference, but there is still a bit of a rivalry burning between them coming into this game. Losing Grier evens things up quite a bit, and I would give Syracuse the clear edge in motivation given how West Virginia’s season came to a close.
The total score should threaten the 68-point line in what could still be a wild one, but my ‘best bet’ pick is Syracuse ATS.