Clemson Tigers at Syracuse Orange (+22.5, 56.5)
With quarterback Kelly Bryant wearing a walking boot following Clemson’s win over Wake Forest last week and a short week looming, the Tigers had reason for concern. Bryant returned to practice Monday, though, and coach Dabo Swinney expects him to start when the No. 2 Tigers travel to Syracuse for an ACC matchup Friday night.
Bryant injured his ankle during the third quarter of Clemson’s 28-14 home win over Wake Forest last Saturday - the Tigers’ 11th straight win and 37th in 39 games. Clemson has an open date next week before a tough stretch in which they’ll face Georgia Tech and Florida State at home with a trip to North Carolina State sandwiched between. "We've had a tough little stretch here through the first six games and got another one this week,” Swinney told reporters. “We're looking forward to the open date afterward, but our focus is really on trying to empty our tank this week and sprint into this open date and play our best game Friday night.” Clemson has won all four meetings since Syracuse joined the ACC, including a 54-0 rout last season, but the Orange have made a huge turnaround from a year ago - especially on defense - and are coming off a 27-24 win over Pittsburgh.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: Clemson -22.5
LINE HISTORY: Clemson opened as 21-point road favorites and they have been bet up to 22.5-point faves as of Thursday afternoon. The total hit betting boards at 56 and has been bumped up slightly to 56.5. Follow the complete line history here.
Clemson - QB K. Bryant (Probable, Ankle), CB M. Edmond (Out, Foot), LB J. Williams (Out, Shoulder), LB L. Rudolph (Out For Season, Shoulder), PK G. Huegel (Out For Season, Knee), QB T. Israel (Out Indefinitely, Illness), TE G. Williams (Out For Season, Knee), DE R. Yeargin (Out For Season, Neck).
Syracuse - CB C. Hudson (Questionable, Undisclosed), DE J. Pickard (Questionable, Knee), WR J. Custis (Questionable, Shoulder), OL S. Clausman (Questionable, Undisclosed), DL K. Coleman (Questionable, Ankle), DL J. Black (Questionable, Leg), WR S. Avant (Questionable, Undisclosed), LB S. Cullen (Questionable, Undisclosed), CB A. Cordy (Out Indefinitely, Leg), DB D. Clarke (Out For Season, Eligibility), WR A. Enoicy (Out Indefinitely, Undisclosed), OL A. Roberts (Out For Season, Knee).
ABOUT CLEMSON (6-0 SU, 4-2 ATS, 2-4 O/U): The Tigers have been remarkably balanced on offense, averaging 237.3 rushing yards and 233.7 passing yards per game. Bryant is the catalyst, as he leads the team with 401 rushing yards and seven touchdowns while completing 67.3 percent of his passes for 1,259 yards and four scores. Clemson’s defense has been even better, ranking fifth in the nation in scoring defense (11.3 points per game) and eighth in total defense (264.3 yards per game).
ABOUT SYRACUSE (3-3 SU, 3-2-1 ATS, 1-5 O/U): The Orange have returned to respectability on defense, allowing 24.3 points per game after giving up 38.6 per contest a year ago. That improvement, combined with a potent offense that ranks 32nd in the nation in total yards (466.8 per game), makes Syracuse a dangerous opponent. Quarterback Eric Dungey ranks in the top five nationally in total offense (354.5 yards per game) and has a pair of experienced and accomplished receivers in Steve Ishmael and Ervin Phillips, who have combined for 356 receptions in their careers.
* Tigers are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games overall.
* Orange are 4-0 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
* Over is 6-1 in Tigers last 7 road games.
* Under is 10-1 in Orange last 11 home games.
View a full list of trends for the matchup here.
COVERS CONSENSUS: The road favorite Tigers are getting 59 percent of the support from Covers users while the Over is receiving 64 percent of the picks. View the full consensus picture for this matchup here.