Clemson defeated Syracuse four times in a row following the latter's entry into the ACC, but the Orange shocked the Tigers last year with a big upset. Syracuse is also 3-1 against the spread over the last four meetings in this series. Who's the smart bet for Saturday afternoon's battle?
College football point spread: The Tigers opened as 20-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark (line updates and matchup report).
College football betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 46.8-19.4 Tigers (College football picks on every game).
Why the Syracuse Orange can cover the spread
The Orange are off to their first 4-0 start in almost 30 years following their 51-21 rout of Connecticut last week. Syracuse, with senior Eric Dungey back at quarterback after he missed the second half of the previous game with blurred vision, drove their first three possessions 67, 75 and 42 yards to touchdowns and led 31-14 at the half. The Orange then scored the first 14 points out of the locker room, seven on a punt return for a touchdown, to secure the victory.
Near the end, Syracuse kicked a short field goal, then made an interception inside its own red zone to preserve a push of the spread as a 30-point favorite.
On the day the Orange piled up 636 yards of offense, 341 on the ground and 295 through the air. Two weeks ago Syracuse out-gained Florida State 441-240 and beat the Seminoles 30-7 outright as three-point dogs.
Why the Clemson Tigers can cover the spread
Clemson is also 4-0 following its 49-21 win at Georgia Tech last week. The Tigers started a bit slowly, but they made a switch at quarterback and took off from there. Clemson led 21-0 midway through the second quarter, pushed that advantage to 42-7 midway through the third and coasted toward the cover as a 16-point road favorite.
On the day, the Tigers out-gained the Yellow Jackets 480-203. Freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence sparked the offense, hitting on 13 of 18 throws with four touchdown passes, and he'll now get the start this week. Meanwhile, the Clemson defense held the Ramblin' Wreck option to just 146 yards on the ground and just 2.6 yards per carry.
Two weeks ago, in their only other game against a Power 5 foe this year, the Tigers topped Texas A&M 28-26.
Smart betting pick
The Orange upset the Tigers last year 27-24 as 24-point underdogs, and they're a better team now than they were then. Clemson, meanwhile, may well still win this game, but playing at home means the spread is probably inflated. The smart money sides with Syracuse and the points.
College football betting trends
Syracuse is 3-1 ATS in its last four games vs Clemson.
The total has gone under in five of Syracuse's last six games vs Clemson.
Clemson is 1-4 ATS in its last five games.
All college football odds and betting trends according to Bleacher Report's official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week's top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.