Pinstripe Bowl Betting Primer: Syracuse Vs. Minnesota

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The Syracuse Orange (7-5) from the ACC are making their third Pinstripe Bowl appearance when they face the Big Ten’s Minnesota Golden Gophers (8-4) Thursday at Yankee Stadium.

‘Cuse won the inaugural Pinstripe Bowl 36-34 vs. Kansas State in 2010 and its second appearance in 2012 vs. West Virginia 38-14.

Orange coach Dino Babers is 2-0 straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS) in bowl games for his career. But, only one of those was with Syracuse — the 2018 Camping World Bowl.

The Golden Gophers are 3-0 SU and ATS (+16.2 spread differential) in bowl games during coach P.J. Fleck’s tenure (2017-present).

Minnesota Golden Gophers RB Mohamed Ibrahim carries the ball while QB Tanner Morgan acts as a diversion against the Michigan Wolverines at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
Minnesota Golden Gophers RB Mohamed Ibrahim carries the ball while QB Tanner Morgan acts as a diversion against the Michigan Wolverines at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. (David Berding/Getty Images)

Minnesota fifth-year senior QB Tanner Morgan is expected to suit up after missing the final four games of the season with an injury. Morgan has started Minnesota’s last three bowl games.

Also, Golden Gophers RB Mohamed Ibrahim is the second-leading rusher in the Big Ten, a finalist for the Doak Walker Award and surprisingly opted into the Pinstripe Bowl.

The Pinstripe Bowl feels like the culmination of an era in Minnesota. Whereas Syracuse backed into this bowl and a lot of the Orange’s roster won’t be at Yankee Stadium Thursday.

Betting Details (DraftKings)

  • Moneyline: Minnesota (-360), Syracuse (+310)
  • ATS: MINNESOTA -10 (-110), Syracuse +10 (-110)
  • Total — 42 — Over: -105, Under: -115

This offseason has drained Syracuse’s personnel more so than Minnesota’s

The line movement says a lot about how these teams are coming into the Pinstripe Bowl. Minnesota opened up as TD favorites and have been steamed past the key number of -7 up to the current number. 

Syracuse ended its regular season by snapping a five-game losing streak with a 32-23 win over a 3-win Boston College team. But, the Orange lost five straight ATS to close out their regular season.

Orange Second-Team All-ACC RB Sean Tucker and OT Matthew Bergeron both opted out of the Pinstripe Bowl to prepare for the 2023 NFL Draft. ‘Cuse also lost both coordinators to other programs. 

Syracuse Orange Garrett Shrader hands the ball to RB Sean Tucker against the Florida State Seminoles at JMA Wireless Dome in Syracuse, New York.
Syracuse Orange Garrett Shrader hands the ball to RB Sean Tucker against the Florida State Seminoles at JMA Wireless Dome in Syracuse, New York. (Isaiah Vazquez/Getty Images)

Minnesota on the other hand have report no opt-outs of the Pinstripe Bowl. Only two Golden Gophers are entering the transfer portal but neither have top-tier production.

The Golden Gophers won four of their last five games (3-2 ATS) thanks to dominant defensive efforts. Minnesota allowed just nine points per game over that span.

Without Tucker, it’s hard to have any confidence in this Syracuse offense. However …

The Golden Gophers will run all over the Orange

Not only will Minnesota have its superstar running back for the Pinstripe Bowl. But, its offensive line is 17th in line yards per snap, according to Football Outsiders. While Syracuse’s defensive line is 117th in line yards per snap.

Minnesota Golden Gophers RB Mohamed Ibrahim hits the open hole against the Wisconsin Badgers at Barry Alvarez field at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wisconsin.
Minnesota Golden Gophers RB Mohamed Ibrahim hits the open hole against the Wisconsin Badgers at Barry Alvarez field at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wisconsin. (Dan Sanger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

‘Cuse allowed at least 161 yards in five of their last six games including 200+ in four of those contests. Only one of those Syracuse opponents that ran 161+ yards had a higher rushing EPA/play than Minnesota (Florida State). 

Minnesota wins this game on third down

The Golden Gophers are fifth in net success rate and the Orange is 66th in net success rate. Minnesota’s ability to consistently move the ball explains why it is fourth nationally in third-down conversion rate.

Syracuse is 106th in third-down conversion rate while Minnesota’s defense ranks third in third-down conversion rate allowed. 

The Orange have the fifth-worst pass protection by opponent sack rate as well. The Golden Gophers will have no trouble getting the Orange off the field. 

Pinstripe Bowl Best Bet: Minnesota -10 (-110) at DraftKings Sportsbook

The Minnesota Golden Gophers’ odds vs. the Syracuse Orange in the Pinstripe Bowl from DraftKings Sportsbook as of Wednesday, Dec. 28th at 9:35 a.m. ET.

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Written by Geoff Clark

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