There could be a false favorite in the ACC on Saturday as the underdog Boston College Eagles appear to have the edge when they visit the NC State Wolfpack in Raleigh.
The underdogs that have had two weeks to prepare for this game Saturday and appear to have better numbers on both sides of the ball could have the edge when those Boston College Eagles (3-2, 3-2 ATS) pay a visit to the NC State Wolfpack (4-2, 3-3 ATS) at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh, NC at 3:30 ET in a game available on ESPN GamePlan and ESPN3.
The posted line at Pinnacle Sports is Boston College +3½ for this contest at current odds of -110.
Bye Week After Non-Conference Loss
Boston College fell to 3-2 with a non-conference home loss to Colorado State two weeks ago, but the Eagle then had a bye week so they should be more focused with two weeks to prepare for this more important conference game as they look to emerge as winning college football picks for the first time in ACC play this season (0-1). They do have a statement non-conference win over USC though that points to what the Eagles are capable of on their best day.
As for the Wolfpack, they got off to a 4-0 start, but struggling to get by Georgia Southern 24-23 and beating the likes of Old Dominion and Presbyterian besides an FBS win over a bad South Florida team turned out to be Fool’s Gold as they have gone 0-2 since the start of ACC play. Granted NC State gave Florida State a tough battle losing 56-41, but then came a 41-0 wipeout loss at Clemson last week.
Boston College Should Run Effectively…
Boston College has a one-dimension rushing offense, but that should serve the Eagles well here vs. an NC State team ranked 78th in the country in rushing defense allowing 171.0 yards per game on the ground. The Eagles have outrushed every one of their opponents this year except Pittsburgh, even rushing for an amazing 452 yards in the 37-31 upset of USC as 17-point underdogs three games ago!
Thus Boston College is ranked sixth in the country with its 316.8 rushing yards per game on an impressive 6.0 yards per carry. That run heavy offense suits the Eagles just fine because it limits the chances of quarterback Tyler Murphy, who is a much better runner than a passer, to make mistakes through the air as he has completed only 54 percent of his passes while already tossing six interceptions compared to three touchdown passes.
The upside there is that the NC State defense has allowed 8.2 yards per passing attempt over the last three games so Murphy might actually have a shot at a big play or two after the Boston College run establishes itself as expected.
…and Better on Defense Too
NC State is 45th in the country in total offense at 447.0 yards per game with seemingly good balance, averaging 212.5 rushing yards and 234.5 passing yards, but you must take the easy non-conference schedule into consideration, especially the contest vs. Presbyterian out of the FCS where the Wolfpack won 42-0 while running up 460 yards including 265 on the ground.
That running game has come to a stand-still vs. the two ACC opponents, and the Wolfpack really could not do much of anything in the shutout loss to Clemson amassing a mere 154 total yards! Well, the Boston College defense is no walk in the park either as the Eagles are ranked 13th in the nation in total defense at 304.4 yards per contest, and they are consistently good all over the field ranking an identical 25th vs. both the run and the pass.
And remember that the win over USC was a better win that any of NC State’s four victories so far.
Eagles Doing Well Head-to-Head
Finally, Boston College has dominated the recent head-to-head series going 5-2 in the last seven meetings including an easy 38-21 win back in Chestnut Hill last season.
An upset is a real possibility here, but we especially love getting the hook on the field goal with Boston College when it visits NC State on Saturday.
College Football Pick: Boston College +3½ (-110)