College Football Betting:  Louisville at Syracuse&h=253&w=372&zc=1

One of the best situations in college football betting is when you’ve got a significant talent advantage combined with a tactical advantage. That’s precisely what we’ve got here as the University of Louisville tries to go to 2-0 on the season on the road against Syracuse. Both teams got off to a winning start last week–Louisville throttled an improving Charlotte team still relatively new to FBS level play. Syracuse beat Colgate 33-7 showing that in some cases there’s too much talent disparity between a bad FBS team and a good FCS team (Patriot League entrant Colgate had a 9 win season last year).

Nothing that happened last weekend for either team could come close to the performance of Louisville quarterback and possible Heisman Trophy candidate Lamar Jackson. It’s necessary to preface this by pointing out that Jackson only played one half in the Cardinals’ 70-14 destruction of Charlotte. He made the most of his time, however, as he compiled 286 passing yards, 119 rushing yards a ridiculous eight touchdowns. The bad news for Syracuse this week is he’ll almost certainly play well into the second half.

Syracuse is back in ‘rebuilding mode’ under first year head coach Dino Babers. That fact alone is pretty significant to this matchup as the defense is a ‘work in progress’. The team is implementing a new defensive scheme and lacks experience up and down the depth chart. Six starters are underclassmen. They’ll probably feel better about themselves than they should after last week’s performance in which they held Colgate to 45 yards rushing and 98 yards passing. They’ll feel a lot of pressure this week as they’ll have to try and stop quarterback Jackson–and they’ll see a lot of him.

Offensively, coach Babers wants to play ‘up tempo’ football. They were pretty effective doing just that last week and went ‘up tempo’ to the point that Louisville coach Bobby Petrino has started to question the ‘legality’ of some of their formations in the media. Petrino is smart enough to know that the way that Syracuse wants to play on offense is a serious advantage for his team. The Orange aren’t exactly Chip Kelly’s Oregon Ducks of recent vintage–they’re trying to play a system without the right personnel and led by a sophomore quarterback just learning the ropes.

The last thing you want to do against a potent offense–and particularly one with a weapon like Jackson–is to give them more chances to score. Syracuse’s offense will do that by design and try to do it against a team with a faster, more talented offense and against a bigger and better defense. Jackson might not get eight touchdowns this week but he’ll get quite a few against Syracuse’s rebuilding defense.