Friday College Football Odds, Prediction, Pick for Duke vs. Boston College (Nov. 4)
Megan Briggs/Getty Images. Pictured: Duke Blue Devils running back Jordan Waters.
Duke vs. Boston College Odds
Friday night's college football slate features an ACC battle between two programs that are trending in opposite directions.
Boston College is plummeting after an extremely disappointing 2-6 start. The program is coming fresh off a 3-13 defeat to UConn. That matchup highlighted the offensive woes for the Eagles, who boast the second-worst offense in the ACC with 17 points per game.
To make matters worse, Eagles quarterback Phil Jurkovec went out in the second half with a lower-body injury after this hit:
Tough, tough fall for QB Phil Jurkovec on another designed run play. Went airborne and fell on his head/back.
Emmett Morehead is coming in. pic.twitter.com/jV7CCvijy2
— Andy Backstrom (@andybackstrom) October 29, 2022
Duke, meanwhile, has exceeded its expectations this season. The Blue Devils are one win away from becoming bowl-eligible behind an offense that sits among the powerhouses in the ACC.
Duke will be laying double digits on the road to a conference favorite for the first time this season. Will that be too much, or can Boston College rise from the dead one more time?
The success of the Duke program can be attributed to its offense thriving this season. The Blue Devils rank fourth in the ACC in scoring with 34 points per game while averaging 420 yards per game against FBS competition.
It all starts with the ground game. Duke owns a rush rate of 57% while averaging 5.3 yards per carry, which is 18th in the nation. The Blue Devils have a running back committee with four backs having more than 40 touches this season. Each is averaging more than five yards per carry, and they have combined to punch in 21 touchdowns.
Quarterback Leonard Riley has been a solid game manager for the Blue Devils. After starting only one game last season, Riley has thrown 10 touchdowns to four interceptions this season. He’s averaging 6.3 yards per pass attempt and 210 yards per game.
The Duke defense owns an advantage over the Boston College offense in every advanced metric.
The Blue Devils have been stout at stopping the run, allowing just 3.6 yards per carry. With a backup quarterback likely at the helm for Boston College, I anticipate the team trying to establish the run — something the Eagles haven’t been successful with this season.
New Lows for Boston College Eagles
Boston College has officially hit rock bottom after its loss to UConn.
It was the worst offensive display from the Eagles this season, which is saying a lot. The group lost two fumbles, threw three interceptions, and allowed five sacks and nine tackles for loss. The Eagles converted just 3-of-13 on third down and averaged only 2.5 yards per carry in the matchup.
That box score sums up the Boston College offense this season.
It all started with the offensive line that replaced all five starters in the offseason. In addition, the group has suffered some injuries that have led this group to be one of the worst in Power Five. The Boston College offensive line ranks 131st in Line Yards this season.
That led to a nonexistent rushing attack that ranks 128th in the nation with only 2.3 yards per carry against FBS competition.
That’s led teams to focus on slowing down Jurkovec, and it's shown. The graduate student has completed 59% of his passes while averaging 6.9 yards per pass attempt. He’s thrown 11 touchdowns to eight interceptions and hasn’t quite lived up to the expectations he had coming back for his fifth year.
Duke vs. Boston College Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Duke and Boston College match up statistically:
Duke Offense vs. Boston College Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Boston College Offense vs. Duke Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Pace of Play / Other
|SP+ Special Teams||53||121|
|Seconds per Play||28.4 (105)||26.8 (81)|
|Rush Rate||57.0% (43)||45.5% (112)|
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.
Duke vs. Boston College Betting Picks & Predictions
It’s hard to imagine Jurkovec returning from his injury this week. He hasn't practiced this week, and Boston College doesn't have much to play for at this point.
The keys will likely be handed to redshirt freshman Emmett Morehead. He has had limited playing time this season and completed 9-of-18 of his passes for 104 yards and an interception last week.
With that said, I don’t trust the Blue Devils laying double digits on the road to a conference opponent. Boston College will hang around for as long as its defense can contain Duke.
Boston College enters this matchup 81st in seconds per play while Duke sits at 105th. This will be a slow-paced battle with both teams looking to establish the run.
We know from Boston College’s history that it likely won’t find success on the ground. And the Eagles' front seven has been solid this season, holding opponents to 3.9 yards per carry.
I’m playing the under of 47 in a game that won’t be a grind to find success offensively.