The Pittsburgh Panthers and the Boston College Eagles are both coming off lopsided victories in their season openers, and this Friday night at Alumni Stadium they will clash in this ACC opener for both teams. The game is set to kick off at 7 p.m. (ET), and it will be broadcast nationally on ESPN.
Pitt stumbled down the stretch last season, with just three straight-up wins in its last seven games, but it got this season going in the right direction with a 62-0 rout of Division IAA Delaware as a 24-point home favorite. The total went “over” the 59.5-point line in that game (all lines from previous weeks or years came from Covers.com).
The Eagles faced the Massachusetts Minutemen out of the MAC East in their season opener and blew a tight game open in the second half to come away with a 30-7 victory as 17-point road favorites. The total in that game stayed “under” the 49-point closing betting line.
Pittsburgh at Boston College Betting Storylines
Pittsburgh did an excellent job establishing the run in its opener with a total of 409 yards on the ground. James Conner led the way with 153 yards and four rushing touchdowns on just 14 carries. Rachid Ibrahim also did a good job with 91 total yards on 14 runs.
Quarterback Chad Voytik put the ball in the air only 13 times, but he did complete 10 throws for 84 yards and two more scores. You get the feeling that the Panthers are going to have to take to the air a bit more against BC.
The defense pitched a shutout for the first time in nine seasons, and the Panthers out-gained Delaware 501-64 in total yards. Kick returner and wide receiver Tyler Boyd made an immediate impact with a 34-yard punt return and a 12-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter, but he did not play the second half after dislocating a finger in his left hand. He is listed as “probable” for Friday night.
The Eagles lost their final two games of the 2013 season, both SU and ATS, but they gained some positive momentum in a big way against UMass. They will return home, where they are 4-1 SU and a perfect 5-0 ATS in their last five home games. BC also relied heavily on its running game in this past Saturday’s win with a total of 338 yards on the ground, but most of that production came from quarterback Tyler Murphy. He completed 17-of-24 passes for 173 yards and a touchdown while adding another 118 yards and a score with his legs.
Give credit to BC’s defense for the win as well by pitching a shutout in three of the four quarters. The game actually remained tight heading into the second half, but the Eagles put things away with a 43-yard scoring strike to wide receiver Josh Bordner and a 21-yard field goal in the final quarter. Bordner ended the day with four receptions for 81 yards, and Dan Crimmins had seven catches for 52 yards.
Pittsburgh at Boston College Betting Odds and Trends by Doc’s Sports
Point Spread: Pittsburgh -4.5
Total Line: OFF
The Panthers are 5-2 ATS in their last seven games, and they have covered the spread in their last three road games. The total has stayed under in four of their last five games on the road.
The Eagles have gone 5-2 SU in their last seven games overall, including a 5-1 SU record in their last five games at home. The total has gone “over” in six of their last seven games.
Head-to-head in this ACC matchup, Pittsburgh is 4-1 SU in the last five meetings, and the total has stayed under in four of the last six games between these two.
College Football Picks: Pittsburgh at Boston College Betting Predictions
Both of these teams came into the new season as long shots to compete for their respective division title in the ACC, so in my opinion the gap in talent is not wide enough to justify the 4.5-point spread favoring the road team. BC may not get the SU win on its home field this Friday night, but I am betting that the Eagles play well enough to cover with the points.
Take: # 304 Boston College (+4.5) over Pittsburgh- 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 4
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