#5 VIRGINIA TECH (-13.5) 29 Boston College 17
Boston College is a pretty good team now that they've settled on a quarterback that's producing pretty good results. Dave Shinskie is entrenched as the Eagles' starter and has averaged 7.5 yards per pass play (against teams that would allow 7.0 yppp to an average QB), which puts the Boston College offense as just 0.2 yppl worse than average with him under center. Virginia Tech is a solid defensive team that has yielded just 5.1 yppl despite facing teams that would allow 5.8 yppl to an average defense, so the Eagles aren't likely to have too many scoring chances.
The Hokies' offense has been inconsistent but has averaged an impressive 6.3 yppl for the season (against teams that would allow 5.1 yppl), but that unit has struggled against good defensive teams rating at just 0.4 yppl better than average against good defensive teams Alabama, Nebraska, and Miami-Florida (4.7 yppl in those 3 games against teams that would allow 4.3 yppl to an average team). Boston College, meanwhile, is 0.7 yppl better than average defensively for the season, but the Eagles have allowed 6.6 yppl the last two weeks against good offensive teams Wake Forest and Florida State.
The difference is that those two teams are good passing teams that averaged 39 pass plays against the Eagles. Virginia Tech is a run-heavy offense and Boston College is among the best in the nation defending the run (3.1 yards per rushing play allowed to teams that would average 4.4 yprp against an average team).
It's uncertain if the Hokies are wise enough to throw the ball more to take advantage of the Eagles' relative weakness on defense. My math model give Boston College a 51.6% chance of covering the spread, which isn't worth an investment in this game.
Read more on my website www.drbobsports.com
I have 10 NCAA Best Bets and 3 or 4 NCAA Strong Opinions this week!
Read an article about me in the Wall Street Journal