Here's our take on the Cardinals-Eagles bash Saturday night up on Chestnut Hill, with a free college football pick posted for the taking.
Cardinals-Eagles Betting Odds
Most of the College Football Betting Odds opened Louisville at -2.5 over Boston College, with a total of 46. As of Friday morning most books had bumped the Cardinals to -3, while the total held steady.
Those thinking about eschewing the pointspread on this game could get Louisville at -145 on the moneyline at 5Dimes, while the Eagles could be gotten at +130 at Loose Lines.
Cardinals-Eagles: The Situation
Louisville went off this season, its first under new (same as the old) head coach Bobby Petrino, as a 10/1 shot to win the ACC, with a wins OVER/UNDER of eight. At 6-3 SU, 5-4 ATS and 4-3 in ACC play the Cardinals will not win the ACC, and must win their last three games – against BC, Notre Dame and Kentucky – to play OVER their total.
The 'Ville opened this season with a 31-13 victory over Miami and a 66-21 win over Murray State, but then lost at Virginia 23-21. The Cardinals then won three in a row over Florida International, Wake Forest and Syracuse, then lost at Clemson 23-17. A win over North Carolina State followed, but last Thursday Louisville let Florida State escape from an upset bid, losing 42-31 at Papa John's Stadium.
The Cardinals led the Seminoles 21-0 just before halftime, but got outscored from there 42-10, missing the cover as four-point home dogs. On the night Louisville got outgained by FSU 574-488 and outrushed 173-158.
Boston College, meanwhile, began getting upwards of 100/1 to win the ACC this season, with a win total of seven. At 6-3 SU, 6-3 ATS and 3-2 in conference play the Eagles also won't win the ACC, and need two wins in their last three games – against Louisville, Florida State and Syracuse – to play OVER their total.
The Eagles started 3-1 this season, including that 37-31 upset of USC in which they ran the ball for 452 yards. But BC then suffered a letdown and lost at home to Colorado State 24-21. The Eagles then won at North Carolina State 30-14, lost at home to Clemson 17-13, won at Wake Forest 23-17 and last week won at Virginia Tech 33-31, taking that game outright as field-goal underdogs.
Boston College outrushed the Hokies 258-69, won time-of-possession by a 32/28 margin and committed zero turnovers. Bottom line, BC and Louisville are basically tied for third place in the ACC's Atlantic Division, two games behind first-place Florida State.
These two teams have played three common opponents so far this season, and the results have been very close. Back in September Louisville beat Wake Forest 20-10; a month later BC beat the Deacons 23-17. Back in October Boston College won at North Carolina State 30-14; a week later Louisville beat the Wolfpack 30-18. And both teams lost to Clemson, the Cardinals by a 23-17 score, the Eagles by 17-13.
Cardinals-Eagles Recent History
These programs met six times between 1986 and 1998, each team winning three games. The last time they met, back in '98, Louisville won 52-28. Now, they're conference rivals. Nice to meet-cha.
Cardinals-Eagles Betting Trends
Louisville is 22-8 ATS in its last 30 road games.
Boston College is 11-4 ATS in its last 15 home games.
The UNDERS are 18-7-1 in the Cardinals' last 26 games overall.
These two teams are a combined 5-11-2 on the totals this season.
Louisville WR DeVante Parker, who caught 12 touchdown passes last season, then missed the first seven games of this season with a foot injury, has returned to catch 17 passes for almost 350 yards over the last two games. That's 20 yards per catch. His return gives the Cardinals an added weapon on that side of the ball.
Cardinals-Eagles Free Pick
This looks like a close one, but Parker's return gives Louisville an edge. And the Cardinals have had a few extra days to prepare. Also, BC is a little too one-dimensional on offense, and Louisville is solid against the run. So for our Free College Football Pick we like the road team, at the short spread, in this spot.
Free College Football Pick: Cardinals -3 at Pinnacle