Free NCAA Football Picks: Clemson at Boston College Odds and Predictions
Clemson Tigers at Boston College Eagles, Saturday Nov. 10, 8 p.m. ET
The theme of this week's college football action is all about not losing. The big playoff contenders, for the most part, have immensely winnable games. Lopsided, even. A win will prove very little - it will just allow them to tread water and move one game closer to the end of the season when rankings matter. But a loss in these games would be totally, humiliatingly fatal. And when the stakes are so clear, and so stark, some teams can tighten up, and things can get really crazy. Of the teams currently in a playoff spot, the Tigers face the biggest test. Alabama hosts Mississippi State, so they have geography on their side to go with an immense skill advantage. Notre Dame hosts a Florida State team that has utterly self-destructed. And Michigan plays a Rutgers team that they beat 78-0 in 2018 - when the Scarlet Knights had twice as many wins as they do now. So, Clemson should be the most worried. But they probably don't need to lose a lot of sleep.
Clemson at Boston College Betting Storylines
It would be wrong to suggest, of course, that Boston College is completely without hope. They are at home, and they have won three straight - including a convincing win at Virginia Tech last time out. They are 7-2, and neither of their losses are embarrassing. They lost to a Purdue team that beat up on Ohio State and an NC State team that is unbeaten at home. They are averaging 37.2 points per game on offense, which would be their best season ever if they maintained it, surpassing the best of both Doug Flutie and Matt Ryan. But the biggest issue they face is the health of A.J. Dillon. Their star running back has 897 yards already, and that is despite having lost two games already to an ankle injury. And that ankle has his status uncertain for this game - and his effectiveness in question even if he is healthy enough to play. Without Dillon, the Eagles are in serious trouble. Heck, with them they aren't in great shape, as Clemson has the sixth best run defense in the country. But his impact here is dramatic, and his status must be watched closely.
Clemson is the only team in the country that ranks in the Top 10 nationally in both total offense and total defense. They have really found their stride in the last four games, averaging 60 points a game while allowing just nine over that stretch. But their schedule has been so weak this year that this is now worse than their second-toughest game of the year. It has been an ideal schedule for a new quarterback and for a team that has only one goal. Clemson's offense is very balanced, and they certainly aren't lacking confidence, and that is a problem for the Eagles here. Boston College is also very balanced on defense, but that balance is just mediocre. Travis Etienne will go over 1,000 yards on his season with his first step forward in this game, and Trevor Lawrence has nine touchdowns and just one pick in his last five games, so no matter what the Eagles do, Clemson will have an answer. It sets this up as a very tough challenge - and justifies the spread.
Clemson at Boston College Odds and Betting Trends
The game opened with Clemson favored by 17 points on the road, and that has since climbed by a full field goal to 20 points. Nearly three-quarters of all bets placed have been on the Tigers, so the movement is consistent with expectations. The total opened at 59.5 and has fallen slightly to 57.5.
The Tigers have covered their last four spreads - all conference games - and are 4-1 ATS in their last five road games. The Eagles are 4-1 ATS in their last five home games and a strong 18-7-1 ATS in their last 26 games overall.
Clemson at Boston College Predictions and Picks
Boston College has been an underdog just twice this year and only by four and 6.5 points. They are 7-2 ATS this year, and this is the most points they have been given. It is also the toughest opponent they have played, obviously. But the home crowd will be enthusiastic - College Gameday is in town - and the Eagles will be playing like they have nothing to lose. Which they don't. I would feel a lot better if I knew that Dillon would be ready, but I feel like gambling, and feel like Clemson is in for a bit of a correction after their intense success. The Tigers will win, but I'll bet that they won't win by enough to cover the spread here.
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