An ACC showdown headlines the Friday night showcase in college football and our Virginia vs. Syracuse betting preview is here. With sports betting taking over college football and college fantasy football on the rise, here is everything you need to know from current betting odds to DFS picks and fantasy football players to play included in our Virginia vs. Syracuse prediction.
Virginia vs. Syracuse betting preview
- Spread: Syracuse (-9.5)
- Moneyline: Syracuse (-345); Virginia (+285)
- Over/Under: 54 points
- Game time: Friday, Sept. 23, 2022 @ 7 p.m. ET
- Location: Carrier Dome, Syracuse, New York
- Predicted weather at kick: Indoors
Virginia vs. Syracuse prediction
It’s quite simple really: This Syracuse team is for real. The Orange are two-possession favorites over Virginia just two years removed from finishing with an overall record of 1-10 and winning a combined three conference games between 2020 and 2021.
Offensively, QB Garrett Shrader and RB Sean Tucker pair together to make one of the conference’s top duos in the backfield. As good as they are on the ground, however, it’s Shrader’s prowess through the air in 2022 that has made them such a formidable opponent.
The Orange pass catchers are averaging nearly 14 yards per reception this season and doing it with a great mix of downfield passing and ample yards-after-the-catch opportunities. Tucker leads the team in receptions, tied with TE Oronde Gadsden II, who exploded on the big stage against Purdue a week ago. Gadsden has three receiving touchdowns this season — two against Purdue — and has been as reliable as a pass catcher can get at every level of the field.
Virginia’s offense, however, has been a shell of what it was a season ago. Brennan Armstrong has struggled to find his receivers accurately downfield and becoming too one-dimensional has led to their 2-1 record that includes an embarrassing loss to Illinois and a hard-fought victory that almost slipped away against Old Dominion. The Cavaliers are struggling to convert on every down, but particularly on third down, limping to just 14 of 43 on third-down conversions this season (32.5%).
On defense, UVA’s pass rushers just simply haven’t been able to get after opposing quarterbacks and seem to lack a top gear on their defensive front seven. That is a recipe for disaster for the Cavs against a speedy duo like Shrader and Tucker. Considering each of their three opponents has put up at least 320 yards on Virginia’s defense this season, expect Cuse to be able to run the ball at will before taking the top off their secondary.
Prediction: Syracuse 34, Virginia 17
Top DFS picks and fantasy plays
With your DFS lineup in need of some serious juice during only a three-game Friday night slate, both quarterbacks are always in play. But before we go any further, it’s important to look at their current values on DraftKings.
- QB Garrett Shrader, Syracuse: $7,800
- QB Brennan Armstrong, Virginia: $6,600
- RB Sean Tucker, Syracuse: $9,100
- RB LeQuint Allen, Syracuse: $6,000
- RB Perris Jones, Virginia: $5,400
- RB Mike Hollins, Virginia: $4,400
- WR Oronde Gadsden II (TE), Syracuse: $6,400
- WR Dontayvion Wicks, Virginia: $6,000
- WR Keytaon Thompson, Virginia: $5,800
- WR Damien Alford, Syracuse: $5,000
- WR Lavel Davis Jr., Virginia: $4,600
- WR Grant Misch (TE), Virginia: $4,000
As stated, if you’re in a DFS league, the chances of you going with the starting combination of Shrader and Tucker should be a foregone conclusion at this rate. Virginia’s defense has bent and been broken at times this season, and there should be no reason to assume the talented duo for the Orange shouldn’t be able to do the same. If you needed any advice to start them, throw Tucker in your Superflex position as he leads the team in targets as well as every other major rushing category.
Gadsden is the hot hand but may be a bit expensive considering the options for Virginia’s pass catchers are seemingly at an all-time low. Davis has the ability to explode for yardage after the catch and hauls in everything his way with his 6’7″ frame.
Long-form college fantasy leagues are likely dominated with Shrader and Tucker as well, but Armstrong is likely one of your options at quarterback at this rate with his lackluster play so far in 2022. That being said, Syracuse’s pass defense did allow Purdue’s Aidan O’Connell to throw for 424 yards and three touchdowns a week ago.
The mixup at running back for the Cavs also should frighten you away from starting either one as there must be better options. There certainly are in DFS leagues with Brad Roberts of Air Force and Ronald Awatt of UTEP checking in at a low value. The Virginia offense has hopefully turned the corner as they hit full ACC play this season, but until they do, you’d be wise to sit them until they figure it out.