Friday night football features a top ranked opponent this week as the West Virginia Mountaineers take on the Syracuse Orange in a Big East battle. This will be the last year for Syracuse in the Big East, but they would love to go out with a bang and pull off the monumental upset on ESPN’s Friday night college football.

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The opening college football spread for this game has the West Virginia Mountaineers favored by 14 points. Since the Mountaineers are ranked this comes as no surprise. In fact 71% of the early betting money is on the road team, but the line has lowered below the key number to 13.5 in a few places. This is an indication of smart money coming in on the Orange. The big money is forcing the odds makers to lower the line, although the public is on West Virginia.

The Mountaineers have had time to prepare for this game coming in off a bye week. The offense is the driving unit behind this team and that was evident in the last victory against UConn when they amassed over 500 yards. Quarterback Geno Smith is the main cog in this offense and will be the main focus of the Orange defense. In the last game Smith had four touchdowns and passed for 450 of those yards.

The mountaineers are sound on defense, which makes for a well-rounded team, but they need to have consistency.

Syracuse will be in the Carrier Dome and the fans will be loud and proud backing up the home team. Syracuse makes a habit of keeping games close and are tempting receiving double-digits. Syracuse has struggled on offense and will need points to keep up with West Virginia. Quarterback Ryan Nassib is accurate under center but is not glamorous. The Orange are double-digits underdogs for a reason, but have a few sports betting trends in their favor.

The Orange are 5-0 against the spread  in their last five games following a bye week, proving they play well when they have time to prepare. This game is going to get a lot of attention and Syracuse should have enough energy and talent to keep it close against an inconsistent Mountaineers team.

College Football Predictions Week 8: Syracuse +13.5

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