The Camping World Bowl lost some of its luster when it was announced West Virginia quarterback Will Grier would not play. His absence also affected the college football betting odds, as the Mountaineers went from a touchdown favorite to a one-point underdog in Friday afternoon’s game against the Syracuse Orange. Let’s look at this game that can be seen on ESPN and live betting at BookMaker.eu.
This contest will take place on Friday, December 28, 2018 at 5:15 p.m. ET at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida
NCAA Football Betting at BookMaker.eu
Syracuse -1, O/U 67
The Mountaineers were given a lot of respect before Grier decided he would skip the game, as they were a touchdown favorite. Now that Grier is out and with the news that left tackle Yodny Cajuste will also skip the game and with top wideout Gary Jennings out, the Mountaineers are now the underdog. It won’t be easy for West Virginia backup quarterback Jack Allison without his top pass protector and without his top wide receiver.
West Virginia was a high scoring team in the regular season, as they averaged 42 points per game, but it is hard to see them getting near that number in the bowl game without three of their top offensive players. The Mountaineers were 2-2-1 ATS on the road this season, with three games going over and two going under. West Virginia didn’t have much of a defense, as they allowed 26 points per contest and at the end of the year the defense really struggled, allowing a combined 104 points in their last two games
Syracuse is also very good on offense, as they averaged 41 points per game and they struggled on defense, giving up about 28 points per contest. Syracuse is led by quarterback Eric Dungey who threw 17 TD passes and had 15 touchdown runs.
The big advantage for Syracuse in this game is special teams. They have an All-American kicker in freshman Andre Szmyt and first-team All-ACC punter Sterling Hofrichter. Syracuse ranked in the top 40 in average kickoff yardage and average kickoff opponent kickoff yardage.
Syracuse has covered four of the last five in this series against West Virginia. The Mountaineers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games and they are 5-2-2 ATS in their last 9 games on fieldturf. West Virginia has been a poor bowl team recently, going 0-5 ATS in their last 5 bowl games.
Syracuse is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games on fieldturf and they are 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 non-conference games.
There are a couple of questions to answer in this one. How will the loss of three key players on offense affect West Virginia? It is hard to see how the Mountaineers will be as good as they were in the regular season on offense, but it should be noted that the Syracuse defense is poor. West Virginia should still be able to put up points, even with Allison at quarterback.
The other question to answer is whether or not the value is now with West Virginia. The line has moved a ton on this game, so there is no question that the value is on the Mountaineers. The problem with backing West Virginia is two-fold. First, they are not going to be as good without Grier, Cajuste and Jennings. Second, they have been a horrible bowl team in recent seasons, going 0-5 ATS.
I usually like to go against line moves, but I find it really hard to take West Virginia in this contest. What I do know is that both West Virginia and Syracuse have rotten defenses. Perhaps there is a little bit of value now on the total in what should still be a high scoring game. I will go over the total in this contest.
NCAA Football Odds: Syracuse 40, West Virginia 34
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