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Can No. 16 Syracuse Upset No. 3 Notre Dame In Week 12 NCAAF Betting?

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Jay Ginsbach

November 16th, 2018

The push towards the college football playoff and a perfect season continues for No. 3 Notre Dame (10-0), and the Irish  have two more hurdles to complete starting with No. 12 Syracuse on Saturday. This isn't just one of the toughest games to call in Week 12 NCAAF betting, it's also one of the most important games for shaping the remainder of the season. The pressure is on as both teams head to the Bronx for a battle everyone will be keying on.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish (10-0) vs Syracuse Orange (8-2) Saturday, November 17th – Yankees Stadium in the Bronx – 2:30pm ET (NBC) Week 12 NCAAF Betting Line: Notre Dame -10.5 (65.5)

This line has been holding steady through the week while the total is up two points. After missing last week's 42-13 win over Florida State with an upper body injury, it looks like Notre Dame QB Ian Book will return this week against Syracuse. The Irish need him, as the offense has really flourished with Book under center. After scoring 24 points or less in its first three wins of the season, Book took over in Week 4 and Notre Dame has scored at least 30 points in all but one victory and he’s completing 74.5% of his passes with 15 touchdowns at 8.9 yards per pass average.

However, this is Notre Dame’s toughest test since their opening week win over Michigan. They're facing an explosive Syracuse offense that can really score, making that rather large Week 12 NCAAF betting line tempting for the take if you're not totally convinced that Notre Dame is a true powerhouse. Senior QB Eric Dungey has led the Orange to four straight wins and its highest ranking in the AP Polls since 1998. Syracuse has won 4-straight games while piling up 40 points or more in each victory. The only two Syracuse losses came on the road right before those games in a 44-37 overtime loss to Pittsburgh and a late 27-23 loss to No. 2 Clemson, when the Orange led by 10 points in the fourth quarter and went toe-to-toe with the Tigers before falling late as a 25-point underdog.

Syracuse is 3-0 ATS as an underdog this season and on a 9-2 ATS run in that role under head coach Dino Babers. Syracuse is up to No. 7 in the country in scoring at 44.4 points per game, and while the Orange defense leaves less to be desired allowing 430.3 yards per game, their performance against Clemson on the road proves that they're able to compete with the very best. They compounded that reputation by nearly pulling off a huge upset over a well balanced LSU Tigers team.

Notre Dame’s defense is strong allowing just 330.1 yards per game and has not allowed a team to score more than 30 points this season. But the upset alert is still blaring against the Irish as the pressure builds to remain perfect in their pursuit of an undefeated season, and its only chance to make the college football playoff.

Week 12 NCAAF Betting Free Pick – Syracuse +10.5

Fairway Jay is a professional handicapper based out of Las Vegas. He focuses primarily on the four majors along with college football and college basketball. You can follow him on Twitter @FairwayJay.