Notre Dame vs Syracuse Odds, Picks and Predictions: Myers Finds Paydirt for the Fighting Irish

The Fighting Irish haven't had an ideal start to the season, but their star tight end is due for a big game against the No. 16 Orange in Week 9. Find out more about where the betting edge lies in our Notre Dame vs. Syracuse betting picks.

Douglas Farmer - Betting Analyst at Covers
Douglas Farmer • Betting Analyst
Oct 28, 2022 • 10:45 ET • 4 min read
Michael Mayer Notre Dame NCAAF
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish's dismal season can take a turn toward progress with a road upset of a ranked foe.

In that respect, the Syracuse Orange may be the perfect opponent, coming off a blown chance at a program-changing win, perhaps frustrated from within. Then again, Syracuse may be so frustrated that none of that matters, and the Orange delivers a focused performance at Irish expense.

Here are our free college football picks and predictions for Notre Dame vs Syracuse on October 29.

Notre Dame vs Syracuse best odds

Notre Dame vs Syracuse picks and predictions

Transparency is the mother of authenticity. Here’s some transparency: Though this handicapper spends more time studying Notre Dame football than just about anyone outside of the football facilities in South Bend, finding a clear conviction on this game has proven problematic. Notre Dame’s most likely offensive approach — a ground game — should fit well against Syracuse’s defensive weakness.

Syracuse gave up 293 rushing yards on 60 carries to Clemson in last week’s upset bid. Virginia also gained 149 yards on 29 rushes on a Friday night in late September, and Louisville opened the season with 137 yards on 31 attempts against the Orange. The three-headed monster of Irish backs Audric Estimé, Logan Diggs, and Chris Tyree should find their moment on Saturday.

The Orange also have an established quarterback with an All-American-caliber running back alongside him. In a game with a spread of less than a field goal, a fourth-quarter game-winning drive should probably be expected. Syracuse senior quarterback Garrett Shrader has the experience edge on Irish junior Drew Pyne, who is about to make his sixth career start.

My best player comes through a player prop, however, and a Michael Mayer anytime touchdown back is near even odds for the Notre Dame tight end. In recent weeks, that scenario has been priced as far out as -240. Yet, there it is, clear as day at -120 right now. That undoubtedly reflects the deflated total, sitting at 48.

If Notre Dame is expected to score three touchdowns, how likely is it that Mayer catches one of them? In a literal sense, Mayer has six of the 23 Irish touchdowns this season. With Pyne at quarterback, Mayer has six of the 20 scores. More pertinently, Mayer has a touchdown in five of the six games that have featured Pyne this season.

No matter how much a defense focuses on Mayer, he gets his. After all, he has caught at least one pass in every game of his career. With Syracuse’s hands full with Notre Dame’s running backs, the Orange will not be able to thoroughly bracket Mayer as Stanford did a couple of weeks ago, the only occasion in which Mayer did not pull in a score from Pyne.

Perhaps that evening’s struggles are part of why the odds have been knocked down now. Because of that, some gratitude may be warranted.

My best bet: Michael Mayer anytime touchdown (-120 at FanDuel)

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Notre Dame vs Syracuse spread analysis

This line opened with the Irish favored at -2. Exactly 67 seconds later, the game was down to a pick’em. That ticked all the way up to a field goal before some Irish buyback to +2.5.

It has hung there most of the week, just frustrating enough to induce checks of the moneyline. This will be just the eighth time in the nine years of the Irish-ACC scheduling arrangement that Notre Dame has been a regular-season underdog against an ACC opponent and the fourth time in the last three seasons.

The Irish won those previous three games outright and are unbeaten against ACC teams in the regular season since 2016.

Notre Dame vs Syracuse Over/Under analysis

A total of 48 suggests neither team should be expected to light the scoreboard on fire. Syracuse has not scored more than 24 points against an FBS opponent since mid-September, averaging 22.3 points in its last three such games.

Notre Dame erupted for 44 points last week and raced to 45 at North Carolina in late September. Against competent defenses, however, the Irish have been lucky to score four times.

A slow start Saturday could doom this game well below that 48, and neither team is likely to hit deep passing plays to accelerate the scoring in the second half. Reliance on three running backs for Notre Dame and Sean Tucker for Syracuse will skew things in that regard.

Notre Dame vs Syracuse betting trend to know

The Irish are 0-4 ATS at home this season but 3-0 ATS on the road or at a neutral site. Find more NCAA betting trends for Notre Dame vs. Syracuse.

Notre Dame vs Syracuse game info

Location: JMA Wireless Dome, Syracuse, NY
Date: Saturday, October 29, 2022
Kickoff: 12:00 p.m. ET

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