Consider: COVID has allowed a lot of lower to average teams to catch up to the big boys a bit as they have been able to keep players that normally would be gone.
DJ isn't TL.
Syracuse is as good or better in a bunch of categories, including rushing offense, total offense, total defense, rush defense, def sacks and sack percentage...
I get that you're suggestion is if it were Clemson -28 and -14 in the first half it may make more sense to take Syracuse plus the points, but perhaps Syracuse isn't that far off from Clemson this year, especially with an identity and probably added motivation to kick Clemson while they are down. Also, all three losses for Syracuse, they were up 4, tied and down 3. Maybe that is who they are.
That said, I like the under first half as well as Syracuse in the first half as well. Clemson started 17-0, 31-14 in first half last year and not sure you will see that again.