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College Football: Rutgers vs Syracuse Odds, Picks (September 11)

Greg Schiano with Aron Cruickshank of Rutgers in the fourth quarter as Rutgers crushed Temple 61-14 in their season opener at SHI Stadium in Piscataway, NJ on September 4, 2021.Rutgers Crushed Temple 64 14 In Their Season Opener At Shi Stadium In Piscataway Nj On September 4 2021

Chris Pedota, via Imagn Content Services, LLC

The Rutgers Scarlet Knights are looking for a little bit of normalcy heading into week 2 of the NCAAF campaign. Rutgers was supposedly to start their season last Thursday, but flooding from Hurricane Ida pushed the game back to Saturday. The Scarlet Knights showed no ill effects of the delay though, beating Temple 61-14. The Syracuse Orange welcome Rutgers to town after an impressive victory of their own in week 1.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights vs Syracuse Orange Schedule

Rutgers vs Syracuse Odds

Sat 9/11, 2:00 PM VegasONLINEVegasONLINEVegas
Syracuse +0.5-110+1.0-110+2.0-110+3.0-115+1.5-108+3.0-123
Rutgers -0.5-110-1.0-110-2.0-110-3.0-105-1.5-104-3.0-109
Last odds movement: Sep 11, 9:34 pm ET

Game Prediction

Vedral Not a Bad QB to Back

Rutgers was just 3-6 last season playing in the solely Big Ten conference schedule, but there were some bright spots with wins at Michigan State, at Purdue, and at Maryland. The Scarlet Knights definitely got their 2021 season off on the right start with a 47 point win over Temple even with the uncertainty of the local flooding last weekend.

Sep 4, 2021; Piscataway, New Jersey, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights quarterback Noah Vedral (0) throws the ball against the Temple Owls during the second half at SHI Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

One reason to like Rutgers giving -2 points on Saturday is because QB Noah Vedral seems to have a command of the offense in navigating 8 scoring drives last week against Temple. Vedral had 9 TD to 8 INT last season, but seems to be getting the opportunity to command the offense by himself in 2021 after splitting time under center with three other QBs in 2020.

Vedral was 15/27 for 138 yards and a TD through the air last week, but can also do damage with his legs adding another 58 rush yards on just 8 carries. As a team the Scarlet Knights ran for 220 yards last week, a game plan they’ll try to keep intact against Syracuse.

Orange the Real Deal?

Syracuse was last in the ACC in 2020 going just 1-10, but they’ve already matched their previous win total thanks to a 29-9 win at Ohio University in which the Orange were actually a 2-point underdog.

There were two big takeaways from the season opening win for Syracuse. The first is that their defense gave up just three field goals in holding the Bobcats to just 9 points. That’s a huge step in the right direction for an Orange squad that lost their 8 games of the year in 2020, allowing 38+ points in six of them.

Nov 7, 2020; Syracuse, New York, USA; Syracuse Orange running back Sean Tucker (34) makes a move on Boston College Eagles defensive back Deon Jones (5) in the third quarter at the Carrier Dome. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

The other huge positive for Dino Babers is that he may have a legit stud running back. Sean Tucker carried the ball 25 times for 181 yards against Ohio, and the sophomore seems to be taking some big leaps in year two. It is also very early however and he’s up against a Big Ten defense on Saturday instead of a MAC squad.

Outcome & Pick

Who will win today’s NCAAF game:

It’s still hard to trust that Syracuse defense that was so bad last year. The Orange do have a veteran QB in 4-year player Tommy Devito, but Vedral is the x-factor here and his dual threat capabilities are too much for ‘Cuse.

Rutgers 38 – Syracuse 31

Expert Pick:

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