Both of these teams have the same record at 7-5, and also have Four wins in Conference play. However, the discrepancy between the ACC and Pac-12 Conference shows in the line. Arizona comes in as -7.5 point favorites over Boston College in the AdvoCare V100 Bowl at 5 dimes sportsbook.
No one really knows what to make of this Arizona team. They have not covered in three straight Games in which they were favored, losing two of them outright. The Wildcats biggest win of the season came against Oregon as a 20-point underdog as they somehow destroyed the Ducks. To follow up that win, Arizona lost handedly to the Sun Devils to close out the season. OUtside of that Oregon win, Arizona didn’t really prove a lot, with only one other win against a bowl school (UNLV).
On the other hand, it’s not like Boston College is all that impressive either. They faced USC earlier in the season losing 35-7. In that same matchup, Arizona lost 38-31. The Eagles came on late winning Four of their last five Games and ended up with two wins over bowl schools (Virginia Tech, Maryland). Maybe BC’s more impressive feats of the season came against the ACC powers of Florida State and Clemson, as they covered in both Games by about 10 points.
Neither team is great on the defensive end, but they are led by two of the best running backs in the country.
Boston College’s Andre Williams beat out Ka’Deem Carey of Arizona for the Doak Walker Award this year. Williams has been a pure beast, coming out of nowhere for 2,102 yards and 17 touchdowns. To close the season, he had three straight Games of 260-plus rushing yards which is incredible. He went for 149 yards against Florida State, so it’s not like he was just preying on weaker teams. Because of the run Game, QB Chase Rettig hasn’t had much to do this season, attempting more than 200 less passes than he did a season ago, while still having 17 TDs and just six INTs. The only player he passes it to is wide receiver Alex Amidon (903 yards, five TDs), who is also BC’s leader in receiving yards.
The Wildcats have a bit more dynamic offense which is why they are favored here. Carey’s numbers actually fell off from last year with 1,716 yards and 17 TDs, even with more carries than in 2012. The dynamic part comes in with QB B.J. Denker who presents a problem rushing and passing. He finished with 898 yards and 12 TDs on the ground, but also 2,241 passing yards and 14 TDs. Denker isn’t all that precise of a passer as seen in his zero TD, three INT performance last Game, and he still has a long way to go. He spreads the ball around more than Rettig, as ‘Zona has three players with at least 39 receptions.
No one knows what team will show up for Arizona, but the bettors are hoping the one that beat Oregon. Still, Boston College is not a wash over and can keep this Game close. The Eagles have covered in Four of their last five Games as underdogs this season.
The Wildcats are 2-7 ATS vs. a team with a winning record and 1-4 ATS in their last five Games overall. The Eagles are 5-0 ATS vs. a team with a winning record, but 1-4 ATS in their last five bowl Games and 0-4 ATS in their last Four vs. the Pac-12.
Considered a small play on BC here, but instead will use them as a strong opinion only. These two teams had remarkably similar results this year in that they both beat teams they shouldn’t have yet also lost to teams they shouldn’t have. No question Arizona was the more impressive of the two with their blowout of Oregon, but they also lost to teams that BC could have no doubt played with, such as Wash St and Arizona got by Cal by just 5.
Also have to acknowledge the BC effort vs. Florida State. They gave the Seminoles their toughest Game of the year, a 24-17 Scoreat the half in a Game that BC rushed for 200 yards and won the time of possession battle. An effort like that here not only gets BC the cover, but a straight up win to boot. Strong Opinion – Boston College +7