Duke vs. Boston College Betting Odds & Pick: Eagles Undervalued on the Road in Durham (Saturday, Sept. 19)
Omar Rawlings/Getty Images. Pictured: David Bailey.
- Duke hosts Boston College in a noon ET kickoff on Saturday after the Blue Devils' Week 2 road opener against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
- The Blue Devils stayed within shouting distance of Notre Dame for much of the game last week, but otherwise looked fairly underwhelming notwithstanding Chase Brice's Duke debut.
- So what should we expect from the Blue Devils in Week 3? BJ Cunningham breaks down the odds in his betting preview below and advocates for the Eagles to outperform expectation on the road in Durham, NC.
Duke vs. Boston College Odds
|Duke Odds||-5.5 [BET NOW]|
|Boston College Odds||+5.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-230/+184 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||51.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||Saturday, 12:00 p.m. ET|
Boston College begins a new era under Jeff Hafley on Saturday in Durham. The former Ohio State co-defensive coordinator is looking to turn around a program that hasn’t posted an eight-win season in over a decade. The Eagles are in a bit of a transition but bring back plenty of talent that should see them be competitive in the ACC this year.
Duke lost its opening game against Notre Dame last weekend, 27-13. The Blue Devils were one of the least efficient offenses last season, and the addition of Clemson transfer Chase Brice at quarterback didn’t seem to improve things. The Blue Devils narrowly missed out on a bowl last season, so David Cutcliffe is hoping the addition of Brice could lead Duke to bowl eligibility.
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Duke Blue Devils
The Blue Devils offense struggled with consistency in South Bend in Week 1, gaining only 4.95 yards per play and going 4-for-15 on third down. Chase Brice was their only bright spot, throwing for 7.0 yards per attempt. The running game was nowhere to be found, gaining only 2.4 yards per carry.
Duke’s offense was incredibly inefficient in 2019, ranking 117th in rushing success and 121st in passing success. Cutcliffe decided to take over the play-calling duties in the offseason, so the Blue Devils should seemingly improve on offense with the addition of Brice at quarterback. They return 65% of their offensive production from last season, so Brice will have a lot of experience around him. However, I think they’ll have a tough time against a Boston College defense that returns 81% of its production from last season.
Against the Fighting Irish, the Blue Devils’ pass defense failed to be effective, allowing 8.5 yards per attempt to Ian Book and company. They were OK against the run, allowing 4.2 yards per carry, but they’ll face another stern test against Boston College’s underrated rushing attack on Saturday.
Duke’s defense was its calling card last season. Its secondary was one of the best in the ACC, ranking 27th nationally in defensive passing success and 23rd in passing explosiveness allowed. However, the Blue Devils will have to replace safety Dylan Singleton, who led the secondary with 89 tackles last season.
The other defensive units will have to replace a lot of holes as well.
The defensive line lost three starters due to graduation, and the linebacking corps lost top tackler Koby Quansah from last season. The Blue Devils do have capable replacements for those positions, but they will likely take a step back in 2019.
Boston College Eagles
Boston College’s offense will begin life without star running back A.J. Dillon on Saturday, as the former three-time All-ACC running back was selected by the Green Bay Packers in the 2020 NFL Draft. However, the Eagles return Dillon’s backup, David Bailey, who is in store for a potential breakout season. Bailey ran for 844 yards and 5.7 yards per carry in 2019, and four of the Eagles’ five starters on the offensive line return this year. So, the Eagles will have a great matchup against a Duke front seven that had to replace a lot of starters in the offseason.
Boston College will also have to deal with the loss of starting quarterback Anthony Brown, who transferred to Oregon.
The Eagles will also get an upgrade at quarterback with Notre Dame transfer Phil Jurkovec. Jurkovec was the fourth-ranked dual-threat quarterback coming out of high school in 2018 and was perhaps the most successful Pennsylvania high school quarterback of all time. With a new coach and a new signal-caller Boston College’s offense could be poised for a breakout season.
The Eagles’ defense got a big boost when fifth-year linebacker Max Richardson decided to stay for his final season. With a new head coach coming from one of the best defensive programs in the country, it’s paramount to have a senior leader on defense in a time of transition.
Boston College’s defense was horrific against the pass last year, ranking 125th in defensive passing success. However, its secondary shouldn’t be its Achilles heel on Saturday as Duke ranked 121st in passing success last year. The Eagles return their entire linebacking corps and secondary, so they should improve under a great defensive mind like Hafley.
Betting Analysis & Pick
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In my opinion, this game should be around a pick’em.
Boston College’s offense is going to improve from last year, and its defense should only get better with 81% of its production returning. The addition of Chase Brice did not seem to have any positive effect on Duke’s inefficient offense, so I think it will have a tough time scoring on Saturday.
I project Boston College as -1.23 favorites in this game, so I think there’s plenty of value on them at +6.5. I would play that down to +2.5.
The Pick: Boston College +6.5 (play down to +2.5)