Boston College vs Vanderbilt Odds, Pick for Wednesday
Photo by Erica Denhoff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Quinten Post (Boston College)
Boston College vs Vanderbilt Odds, Pick
The ACC/SEC Challenge has plenty of big-name matchups featuring teams expected to compete atop two of America's best conferences.
That's not quite what we'll see when the Boston College Eagles travel to battle the Vanderbilt Commodores, but there's a ton of intrigue about these two teams. Each will make for an interesting measuring stick for the other prior to conference play.
Here's Boston College vs. Vanderbilt odds and a pick for Wednesday, Nov. 29.
For the first time in a while, there was optimism around this BC program. Many key pieces from a team that finished 9-11 in ACC play returned for another season.
Going nearly .500 in conference play might not sound like a lot, yet this is a school that won two or fewer ACC games three times since 2016. Climbing out of the basement of the conference was considered positive momentum.
That momentum continued into this season, with four straight wins to open the year. Those wins came against pedestrian competition (Fairfield, Richmond, The Citadel and Harvard), but the bar here is low. This program has lost games to Maine, Albany, New Hampshire, Tarleton State, DePaul, IUPUI, Fairfield, Hartford (twice), Nicholls State and UMass Lowell since 2o16.
Four straight non-conference wins — against anyone — was seen as a step in the right direction.
Expectations haven't overinflated, with recent losses to Colorado State and Loyola Chicago resetting what could be reasonable expectations moving forward.
Big man Quinten Post has a real chance to be an All-ACC performer, but he needs help offensively. His teammates are a combined 27-of-100 from 3-point range, far from the kind of shooting you want surrounding a scoring 7-footer.
It's tough to develop a firm read on most teams just a few weeks into the season, but Vanderbilt has proven particularly difficult. The Commodores first five games were all decided by seven points or fewer, against a wide swath of competition.
That span includes a win over a top-100 team (UNC Greensboro), two cupcake victories, a competitive game against a solid NC State team and a season-opening home loss to Presbyterian. What resulted in a 3-2 record could've looked vastly different with a few bounces of the ball here and there.
In Vandy's two most recent outings, it's been more clear that this is a team that will struggle against a power-conference schedule. Though the NC State game ended with a margin of just six points, the Wolfpack led by as many as 17 in the second half and didn't let the lead slip beneath double figures until the final minutes.
Vanderbilt followed up that loss with a blowout at the hands of a mediocre Arizona State club.
In fairness to Vanderbilt, the injury bug has bit early and often.
The two most recently losses came without leading scorer Ezra Manjon. In the four games he's played, he's averaged 18.8 points per game, topping 16 points in each of his outings.
His production in the scoring column was filled by Tyrin Lawrence, who missed the four games that Manjon played, then scored 18 points per game when he suited up.
Vandy has yet to see Manjon and Lawrence on the floor together, or even in uniform for the same game.
Add in Lehigh transfer Evan Taylor, who notched 25 points against Arizona State last week, and there's a foundation that could make the Dores competitive.
Until we see Vandy healthy, this season feels like an "incomplete" on the report card.
I'm certainly not going to bet on this game until I know who's healthy enough to play for Vanderbilt. A backcourt of Manjon and Lawrence makes the Commodores a fun team with a chance to do some exciting things on the offensive end.
On the interior and defensive end of the court, however, there are serious questions.
Sophomore big Colin Smith missed the Arizona State game with yet another injury. His absence would be greatly felt against BC's best scoring option, Post.
Post has been the barometer for Boston College all season long. When he's able to initiate an inside-to-out offense for the Eagles, BC looks a lot sharper than when he's letting double teams lead to turnovers or low percentage looks at the rim.
If Smith, Manjon and Lawrence all start for Vanderbilt, the Commodores are rightfully favored here. If there's any doubt about their availability, I lean towards taking BC and the points on the road.
In all likelihood, this one feels like a stay away given the variables.
Pick: Boston College +2 (Pending Vanderbilt's Injury Status)
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