Well, I am sure we still in our final stages of grieving after last week. I suppose the night atmosphere and welcoming in the #22 team in the country really did not help in putting the pressure on the visiting Wolfpack as they hit cruise control coming out into the second half. A lot of questions are certainly out there on what Hafley is going to draft up this week as the Eagles head south to Louisville.
It is evident that Vegas is starting to believe less and less on BC running the table after the humiliating home loss on Saturday. The Eagles opened up at +9 underdogs which was a tad bit insulting. As of this writing, the line has moved to a more respectable and understandable +6.5. The Over/Under sits at a comfortable 57.
When trying to sit down and analyze this matchup, I really do not know where exactly to lay my money. To be honest, there is nothing about this game that really interests me. Louisville is a pretty average ACC opponent this year, and dare I say a beatable one, when juxtaposing them with the rest of the conference’s competition. They do carry a rather high octane offense averaging 32.3 PPG with an electric and versatile Quarterback in Malik Cunningham at the helm. Malik is loosely reminiscent of Lamar (even though definitely not nearly as good) in that he can beat you through the air and with his legs. This season he leads the team in rushing touchdowns with 10. It is clear that their offense goes primarily through him and BC needs to focus on taking him out of the contest if they want any glimpse of giving the offense a chance to strike. BC is currently ranked 41st in the nation in RuDef which could prove somewhat beneficial in stemming the ground attack from the Cardinals.
Defensively, Louisville has seen some gaps which could prove beneficial to the rather sub-par BC offense we have seen in recent weeks. Louisville’s passing defense is abysmal as they rank 124th in the nation allowing 298.8 YPG through the air. On the ground, it does get a little better for the Cards as they sit at 71st in then nation but still concede on average 150.5 YPG on the ground. Not great. These numbers together do provide some optimism for the Eagles if they can their offense clicking but I wouldn't hold you breathe based off of last week’s performance.
The script for this game is written in a way where it is going to be a tale of two cities: Malik Cunnigham’s offensive performance and BC’s defense. BC’s defense has still proven to be pretty solid despite dropping their last two games and this is going to have to be a game where Hafley calls on his defensive guys to hold Malik at bay to allow time for Grosel to start connecting with his wideouts. If the defense cannot do its job I fear that Lousiville can run away in this game rather early and before you know it BC will be too deep in their own hole to climb out.
Odds are I might end up fading this contest entirely since there is so match variability at this point with both of these teams that I do not know if I feel comfortable laying money on the line here. However, I would give a slight edge to BC and advise you to take the points and the under if you want to play with fire on this one. This is a must win game for BC. If they cannot cap off of a win on the road here then their chances of a solid bowl game (hell even making a bowl game) will have just gotten all the more minimized. For that, I think the Defense comes up big and the Eagles squeak out of Louisville with a close victory.
Final Prediction: Boston College 28 vs. Louisville 24 | BC +6.5 | Under 57
Other Opening Lines I Like at First Glance (These were released on Sunday 10/17 and may have moved):
- Clemson vs. Pitt (-2) - Pick: Pittsburgh (-2)
- Maryland vs. Minnesota (-4) - Pick: Minnesota (-4)
- NC State vs. Miami (-2) - Pick: NC State (+2)
- Wisconsin (-5) vs. Purdue - Pick: Over 41.5
- USC vs. ND (-4) - Pick: ND (-4)