The opening week 10 college football lines are out, with the Wynn Las Vegas installing Boston College (3-4, 1-3 ACC) as a 4.5-point home underdog this weekend against Virginia Tech (6-2, 3-1 ACC). That line is actually down slightly from a year ago, where the Eagles opened as a 8.5-point home underdog, a point spread that got to BC +10 at kickoff. Boston College lost to Virginia Tech, 30-23, in overtime to drop to 2-9, 1-6 ACC.
This year's meeting will be the second straight year the matchup will be played on the Heights. The ACC's decision to stick with an eight-game conference schedule combined with the additions of Syracuse and Pittsburgh forced the conference to reset the cross-divisional schedule, resulting in the scheduling quirk. This season, all Atlantic Division teams host their cross-division permanent rivals from the Coastal and play the rotating game on the road. Next year, the schedule flips with BC traveling to Blacksburg to take on the Hokies and hosting Pitt.
The 2013 meeting in Chestnut Hill marks only the third time in series history where the game has been played in the same location in consecutive meetings. The Eagles and Hokies played the first two games in the series in Chestnut Hill in 1993-94 (48-34 W, 12-7 L). After BC rejoined Virginia Tech in the ACC for the 2005 season, the first ACC conference game was played in Blacksburg (30-10 L), two years after the Eagles had traveled to Blacksburg to end the 2003 regular season (34-27 W).
Here are the results from the last 10 games in the series:
2012: Virginia Tech 30, Boston College 23 (OT) (BC +10)
2011: Virginia Tech 30, Boston College 14 (BC +21)
2010: Virginia Tech 19, Boston College 0 (VT -3.5)
2009: Virginia Tech 48, Boston College 14 (VT -13.5)
2008: Virginia Tech 30, Boston College 12 (VT -1)
2008: Boston College 28, Virginia Tech 23 (BC -3)
2007: Virginia Tech 30, Boston College 16 (VT -5)
2007: Boston College 14, Virginia Tech 10 (BC +3)
2006: Boston College 22, Virginia Tech 3 (BC +2.5)
2005: Virginia Tech 30, Boston College 10 (VT -13.5)
Overall, Virginia Tech holds a commanding 15-6 record in the series and has won each of the last five meetings dating back to the 2008 ACC Championship Game. Both teams are 5-5 ATS in the last ten meetings, with Boston College covering the spread in the last two meetings.
This week's point spread may seem a bit low for a team coming off a 34-10 beatdown at the hands of a 1-5 North Carolina team. But Virginia Tech is coming off a loss of its own this past weekend; a 13-10 home loss to ... wait for it ... Duke. While the Hokies outgained Duke 387-198, Virginia Tech QB Logan Thomas threw 4 INTs and kicker Cody Journell missed two field goals in the loss. Worth pointing out that Duke QB Anthony Boone threw four picks of his own. Game was an instant classic.
Like Boston College, Virginia Tech's offense has been dreadful this season. The Hokies are averaging just 335.8 total yards of offense a game, ranking the unit 111th in total offense (BC ranks two spots higher at 109). Uncharacteristic of Hokies teams of the past few seasons, Virginia Tech has also struggled to establish the ground game, rolling up just 124.50 yards per game on the ground, good for 106th nationally in rushing offense. The Eagles rank 57th with 176.57 yards per game.
It has been the Hokies defense that has powered Virginia Tech to a 6-2 record through the first nine weeks of the season. The unit ranks in the top five nationally in all four major statistical categories -- 2nd in passing defense, 5th in rushing defense, 5th in scoring defense and 3rd in total defense. A frightening proposition for an Eagles offense that looked lost against Carolina.