College Football Pick
Clemson is the team to beat in the ACC and once again look ready for a spot in the College Football Playoff. The Tigers weathered the storm to take down Louisville over the weekend, but know they can’t look too far ahead. Boston College may not be a top team, but this is still a prime letdown situation for Clemson. The Tigers travel to BC for this one and opened as a -16.5 point favorite at 5 Dimes Sportsbook.
When these teams met a year ago, it was a fairly close result, considering the situation. Boston College held their ground on the road in a 34-17 loss. While they couldn’t do much offensively, the Eagles held Clemson to just 112 rushing yards on 36 carries. That said, they also let Deshaun Watson throw for 420 yards. Either way, BC still covered on the road with an 18-point line. Can they do the same this year, but at home?
The Eagles have beaten up on non-Conference foes so far, but were already gashed 49-0 at Virginia Tech and lost 17-14 to Georgia Tech in the opener. Clemson took down the Yellow Jackets on the road in a pretty convincing 26-7 win. The Cardinals maybe haven’t looked as deadly as a year ago on the offensive end, but their defense has picked up the slack and that was most notable in the Louisville win.
Sure, LAmar Jackson ran for 162 yards, but the Tigers contained him through the air for the most part and that was all they needed. Considering Boston College has a less than average offense yet again, it’ll be tough for them to put points on the board.
The Eagles will run through running back Jon Hilliman as much as possible. While Louisville found room on the ground against the Clemson defense, BC is not the same team, obviously. Hilliman is averaging a paltry 3.4 yards per carry, while Patrick Towles, a Kentucky transfer at QB, has done as well as expected. He’s completing 50% of his passes and has given the Eagles somewhat of a presence as a dual-threat.
While those two guys aren’t Game breakers, they’re better than what Boston College had a year ago. But what will the Eagles do against Deshaun Watson and company? They gave up 49 points to Virginia Tech recently, so there’s probably not a lot of hope.
Watson and running back Wayne Gallman are coming off a nice performance in which the two ran for 201 yards against Louisville. Watson threw three picks, but he also had five touchdowns and 306 yards.
The hope for Boston College backers is that they use home field, the lights and a Friday night Game to try and find some momentum. But that result against Virginia Tech has to scare away most people that are putting money on the Eagles.
The Tigers are 6-1 ATS following a straight up win, but just 3-7 ATS in their last 10 road Games. As for the Eagles, they are 5-1 ATS in their last six home Games against a team with a winning road record. On the other end of that, Boston College is just 1-5-2 ATS in its last eight home Games and 0-4-1 ATS in the last five ACC Games.
Our Pick – Well, if you really like BC, as mentioned above, you can take comfort in a few things. Home field, Friday Night, National TV and all of the added motivation that comes with this set up. You can also hope for a bit of a letdown for Clemson following their huge win over Louisville. Furthermore, Our model has this a fairly low scoring Game with the margin right around the posted line AND the last 4 times these two have played, while Clemson has won, the margin was less than 17 each time.
That being said, when we take a look at the BC defense and use yards per point as a measuring stick, their ypp number on defense of 11.7 ranks them 120th in the country. That places them in the company of teams like Texas St, UTEP, Bowling Green, New Mexico and New Mexico State.
Very hard to advise investing in a team with a defense like that. Clemson -16.5