Syracuse Vs. Minnesota Predictions, Odds, Picks For Bad Boy Mowers Pinstripe Bowl (12/29/22)
Bowl season starts to ramp up as we near New Years with Power Five schools starting to come into the fold. Kicking off Thursday’s jam-packed slate is the Bad Boy Mowers Pinstripe Bowl with the Syracuse Orange taking on the Minnesota Gophers. The Orange had the definition of a roller coaster type of season, starting off hot before crashing hard back down to earth. Can they end the season on a high note?
Syracuse Vs. Minnesota Odds
Oddsmakers don’t think so as they opened the Orange as a +6.5 underdog. Worst yet for Syracuse, leading rusher Sean Tucker has decided to opt out of the bowl game in prep for the NFL Draft. This has plummeted the spread down to as low as +9.5, staying firm right under the key number of 10. Without Tucker, the Orange will be hard pressed to find consistency on offense to compete with Minnesota.
As for the total, points are expected to be scored at a premium as oddsmakers opened the total at 44.5. With the news of Sean Tucker’s opt out, coupled with a run heavy game script with Minnesota, bettors have been quick to hammer the under by taking the total down to as low as 42 as of writing. This total brings intrigue on the behalf of Syracuse as their coaching staff takes on an overhaul as well, losing both coordinators to new schools.
Syracuse Vs. Minnesota Prediction & Pick
The Pick: Under 42.5
With that said, I still like the under at the current number for a small wager as we may be in for a run heavy game with a consistent bleeding clock in our favor. I also lean towards Minnesota at the current number, but late game bowl variance gives me pause at any number above two scores.
The Gophers should have little issue establishing the run as they come in with massive advantages with their game script. They have been one of the better running units in football, finishing the season ranked top-20 in both Off Rush Success Rate and Rush PPA.
Mohamed Ibrahim has made a glorious comeback, running for 1,594 yards and 19 touchdowns. Minnesota will look to find success on the back of Ibrahim again as they call the run at the fourth heaviest rate in the nation.
As for the Cuse’s ability to defend it, their defense may be in for a long night as Syracuse has one of the worst rush defense units in the league. They finished the season 125th in Def Stuff Rate and 112th in Def Rush Success Rate.
It will be a battle of the trenches with success leaning heavily towards Minnesota’s favor. While the Cuse’s second level have done a phenomenal job at limiting Explosiveness, their defensive line has generated little to no push back into the backfield to disrupt the opposing offense’s rhythm.
Syracuse Vs. Minnesota Key Matchups
Can Tanner Morgan establish the pass attack? How will the Cuse offense fare against Minnesota’s defense?
Tanner Morgan vs Syracuse secondary
While it is still unconfirmed, Minnesota PJ Fleck has been adamant about getting his quarterback back out onto the field after missing the last few games with an injury. Tanner Morgan has been mediocre but gives a boost to the pass attack in comparison to the recent play we have seen from his backups.
Should he be good to go he will have to go in with a conservative approach as the Cuse secondary has been the best in the nation at giving up the big play through the air. While average as a whole unit, they excel at keeping the production in front of them. This plays well for our under ticket as this limits fluke scores that can flip the script of how this should play out.
Syracuse offense vs Minnesota defense
Losing running back Sean Tucker is a massive blow for the Syracuse offense, forcing them to go more one dimensional as they fail to field another reproductive running back. This will pose a problem for them as Minnesota fields an above average secondary, one that ranks top-25 in Def Pass Success.
Their one weakness is they have been prone to giving up the big play with a weak Def Explosiveness ranking in both the rush and pass, but Syracuse’s offense does not excel in that department either.
With a run heavy game script and the Syracuse Orange providing little to no success on the offensive end, I will take the under at no lower than 41 for a small wager.