Boston College at Virginia Tech Betting Odds & Pick: Night Game At Lane Stadium A Major Step Up For BC (Saturday, Oct. 17)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images. Pictured: Hendon Hooker and Justin Fuentes.
Boston College at Virginia Tech Odds
|Boston College Odds||+12 [BET NOW]|
|Virginia Tech Odds||-12 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||+330/-455 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||62.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||Saturday, 8 p.m. ET|
Boston College has been a gambling darling this season. The Eagles are 3-1 ATS with a near-miss against North Carolina and an overtime victory over Pitt. This continues the Eagles’ incredible profitability in the ACC. No team in the country has been better against the spread within its respective conference than BC has since 2017 (20-6-1, 76.9%).
Conversely, Virginia Tech has been lackluster in ACC play over the same time period (12-15 ATS), and the Hokies are coming off a humbling 56-45 loss to North Carolina. It’s rare for two teams to have had so many common opponents this early in the season, but not only did BC handle UNC’s offense far better than Tech did last week, but the Eagles also smoked Duke, 26-6, while the Hokies snuck by 38-31.
In most seasons, these apples-to-apples results would make it easy to pull the trigger on BC catching 12 points on the road. But COVID-fueled roster mayhem has clouded this projection and requires a closer look.
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Virginia Tech Hokies
The Hokie program was besieged with a coronavirus outbreak impacting 20+ players and staff over the past month. It’s unclear just how many players will be returning from injury and COVID-19 quarantine, but word out of Blacksburg is that things are getting incrementally better on that front.
What we now know for sure is that Hendon Hooker is the full-time starter, which is great news for Virginia Tech. In limited time last week, the 6-foot-4 junior accounted for three touchdowns and no turnovers against North Carolina, nearly orchestrating an absurd comeback. With Hooker at the helm and members of the secondary expected to return, I fully anticipate a bounce-back performance from the Hokies.
Despite the distractions and musical chairs at quarterback, Tech still sits sixth nationally in scoring (42.7 points per game), 12th in total offense (492.3 yards per game) and third in plays of 30 yards or more. Down 23 players, it hammered NC State in the opener, a decisive win that looks better with each passing day. Suffice to say, there’s a lot to like about a team that’s getting starting personnel back on the field in this spot.
Boston College Eagles
I’ve been very impressed with Boston College through four games, but I’m not sure it has the chops to really challenge Virginia Tech in Lane Stadium.
The Eagles have ridden a top-10 turnover margin and an excellent red-zone defense to tight back-to-back victories. What we know about the quarterback they’re facing on Saturday is that Hooker rarely turns the ball over (two career interceptions) and the offense at large has been highly efficient inside its opponents’ 20-yard line.
But the real reason I see this as a possible letdown spot for BC is that quarterback Phil Jurkovec is providing the Eagles with boom-or-bust play. The Notre Dame transfer has extended plays beautifully as of late, but he’s still taking way too many sacks (4.25 sacks per game allowed, 72nd). The Eagles have been fortunate that those negative plays haven’t resulted in more turnovers, and they’ve needed a lot of big pass plays to negate the yardage losses. With returning starters in the Tech defensive backfield, I see those opportunities drying up and the sacks finally impacting BC on the scoreboard.
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Betting Analysis & Pick
If Virginia Tech had a full deck in every game this season, I believe Justin Fuente’s team would be undefeated and ranked firmly inside the top 10. This will be the closest it gets to its two-deep being fully assembled this season, and for that reason, I’m comfortable laying the points against an overachieving and takeaway-dependent BC squad.
I would play this right up to the edge of the key number of 14.
Pick: Virginia Tech -12.5 (down to -14)