ACC Week 11 Overview: Clemson Defense Too Strong For Boston College

Jay Pryce

Monday, November 5, 2018 1:37 PM UTC

Monday, Nov. 5, 2018 1:37 PM UTC

No. 22 Boston College's first ranked matchup in over a decade is a doozy, catching double digits against ACC rivals and national championship contenders No. 2 Clemson. The Tigers will prove too tough to tame. Our thoughts on betting the spread and a glance at all the ACC Week 11 opening lines here. 

ACC Spotlight: No. 2 Clemson at No. 22 Boston CollegeSaturday, 8 p.m. ET (ABC)Free NCAAF Pick: Clemson ATSBest Line Offered: Bookmaker

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Boston College's (7-2 SU, 6-2-1 ATS) 17.5-point opening line are the most points gifted to a home team in a Power 5 ranked matchup since 1997 (Tennessee at Arkansas). The media voted the Eagles to finish midpack in the ACC's Atlantic Division in preseason polls, receiving no first place votes. Through a much-improved offense, they find themselves in second place with a a chance to knock off No. 2 Clemson (9-0 SU, 5-4 ATS) for a potential shot at a conference championship. The odds, however, are long.

Most bettors will target the matchup between Boston College's rushing attack, which includes ACC Preseason Player of the Year RB AJ Dillon, and the stout Clemson defensive front. Dillon, who missed three and a half games this season with an ankle issue, sat out of the fourth quarter in BC's 31-21 win at Virginia Tech last week after aggravating the injury. His status for Saturday is unknown as of publication.

The primary emphasis to handicapping this critical clash is the Eagles ability to slow Clemson's rushing attack. The Tigers top the country in efficiency, accruing 6.9 yards per carry. Boston College head coach Steve Addazio has struggled mightily slowing similar ground games in the past. He is 1-8 SU against opponents averaging 5.6 yards per rush or more, losing by 17.3 points per game. The Eagles defense allows 35.3 points per game in this spot.

Nor does Boston College own a passing attack effective enough to stay remotely competitive. Since the start of last season, Clemson allows 12.0 points per game to opponents that pass for fewer than 245 yards per game. The number jumps to 18.3 versus better. The Eagles gain 210.8 yards per game when factoring in FBS opponents only.

This is Boston College's first ranked matchup since 2007, and the crowd at Alumni Stadium will be amped. The atmosphere, however, will do little to turn the projected outcome between these two. Boston College has benefited from a fairly cupcake schedule up to this point, which includes just one against a ranked opponent, a 28-23 road loss to then-No. 23 N.C. State. The talent gap is wide between programs, and the Tigers defense too strong. The Eagles will struggle to find a pair of touchdowns, while Clemson puts up its regular 35-plus. Lay the points.

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Isaiah rackin' up points on the defensive side the 🏈 #ALLIN 🐅 pic.twitter.com/HIYQPlroUa

— Clemson Football (@ClemsonFB) 4 de novembro de 2018
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Around the ACC (All Games Saturday Unless Noted)

Wake Forest at No. 21 N.C. State (-16), Thursday, 7:30, p.m. ET, on ESPN: Wake Forest (4-5 SU, 2-7 ATS), which is yielding 43.6 points per game to ACC opponents, is 3-10 ATS versus conference foes as an underdog of less than 20 points to conference foes averaging more than 27 points per game. N.C. State (6-2 SU, 4-3-1 ATS) goes for 32.5 per tilt.

Louisville at No. 19 Syracuse (-21.5), Friday, 7 p.m. ET, on ESPN2: Syracuse (7-2 SU, 7-2 ATS) was a 2.5-point underdog in preseason lines. Louisville (2-7 SU, 1-8 ATS), meanwhile, has given up 237 points in its last four games, the most of any Power 5 team within the same span this season.

North Carolina at Duke (-10.5), 12:20 p.m. ET, on ACC Network: This is just the fifth time since 1980 Duke (6-3 SU, 5-4 ATS) will kick off the betting favorite against North Carolina (1-7 SU, 3-4-1 ATS) at Wallace Wade Stadium. The Blue Devils failed to cover the spread in each prior game.

Liberty at No. 25 Virginia (-24), 3 p.m. ET, on ACC Network: The 'over' has cashed in two-thirds (21-10-1) of Virginia's (6-3 SU, 7-2 ATS) last 32 non-conference home games, including a 4-2-1 mark under current head coach Bronco Mendenhall.

Virginia Tech at Pitt (-4), 3:30 p.m. ET, on ESPNU: The 'under' has hit in eight of Virginia Tech's (4-4 SU, 3-5 ATS) last nine ACC games as the road underdog. Pitt (5-4 SU, 5-3-1 ATS), meanwhile, is 4-10-1 ATS all-time as home chalk behind head coach Pat Narduzzi.

Miami at Georgia Tech (-4), 7 p.m. ET, on ESPN2: Miami (5-4 SU, 3-6 ATS), which put up 13, 14, and 12 points in its last three games, is catching points in an ACC clash for just the third time since 2016. It averaged 9.5 points in the prior pair. Georgia Tech (5-4 SU, 4-5 ATS) is just 6-10 SU and 4-12 ATS in its last 16 ACC matchups as a single-digit favorite.

Florida State at No. 4 Notre Dame (-18), 7:30 p.m. ET, on NBC: Oddsmakers listed Notre Dame (9-0 SU, 5-4 ATS) a 9-point favorite in their Games of the Year lines offered in May. Don't expect much offense from Florida State (4-5 SU, 3-6 ATS) with the line increasing to double digits. The Seminoles average 14.8 points per game catching 10 or more points on the college football oddsboard over the last decade.

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