The One Best Bet: Syracuse Orange Futures

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The Syracuse offense was a noticeable weakness for the Orange last season. The Cuse scored an average of under 25 points per game, which was outside the top 90 in a Football Bowl Subdivision with 130 teams. Head coach Dino Babers came to Syracuse several years ago as a coach known for a fast-paced, high-octane offense, the kind of attack which would flourish in a domed environment. Syracuse plays its home games in a dome, so there was a real hope the program would become an offensive juggernaut and that the defense would not have to be spectacular in order to win games. The offense would score more than 35 points per game and the Orange would thrive.

That vision materialized in 2018 when Syracuse won 10 games, but it didn’t become replicated in future seasons. Syracuse has not recruited or developed players at the level needed to keep pace with the rest of the ACC. The defense actually hasn’t been that bad, but the offense has been a complete disaster. One wonders how much longer Babers can hang onto his job. He certainly needs to make substantial progress with the offense this year.

How The Team Changed This Offseason

Syracuse didn’t have any players picked in the NFL draft, so there aren’t any significant player losses or departures to speak of. Retaining players on its roster is not necessarily good news, though; last year’s roster did not meet expectations. Syracuse has to improve the players it has; failing to do so will lead the program on a road to nowhere, which accurately describes the Orange over the past several seasons.

Syracuse Will Be Successful If…

The program can find a much higher level of play along its offensive line. We’ll talk about the quarterback spot in a little bit, but right now, the offensive line is feeling the heat in Syracuse. If the Orange can’t develop a noticeably more physical presence up front, and if the Orange can’t get their offensive line to function well in an up-tempo offense, to the extent that Syracuse can exhaust and wear down opposing defensive lines, the Babers offensive approach won’t evolve. Syracuse won’t get the production it needs. The program will be stymied in its attempt to make real progress.

Syracuse Will Disappoint If…

An answer at quarterback does not emerge. Syracuse has been looking for solutions at quarterback the past three seasons and has not found any. Talking about the offensive line is all well and good, but in an up-tempo offense, the quarterback makes a lot of throws with a three- or five-step drop. These are timing-based throws before the pass rush can get to the quarterback. These are throws meant to relieve the burden on the offensive line. If the quarterback can’t execute these throws, the offense is lost and the team won’t have any hope of improvement.

The One Best Syracuse Orange Bet Is…

Regular season win total: 4.5 wins

Syracuse has been so bad and so unwatchable, particularly on offense, over the past several years that it’s hard to expect real improvement in 2022. Take the under. And if you need help understanding this type of futures bet, you can follow the link to see how to read odds.

Pick: Syracuse Under 4.5 Wins