No. 3 Clemson Tigers (5-0 SU, 3-2 ATS) vs. Boston College Eagles (3-2 SU, 2-2-1 ATS)
College Football Week 6
Date/Time: Saturday, October 8th, 7:30PM (EST)
Where: Alumni Stadium Chestnut Hill, M.A.
by Jay, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: CLEM -17/BC +17
Over/Under Total: TBA
One of the most anticipated games of the season lived up to the hype last week when Clemson and Louisville collided for control of the ACC in Death Valley. Both teams were ranked in the top 5 and are still potentially College Football Playoffs caliber football teams. Once the dust settled last Saturday night, the Tigers stood alone atop the ACC Atlantic and the likelihood of a perfect season has now become very practicable. The Tigers, who are now ranked 3rd in the FBS, will be big favorites in every game for the remainder of the season with the possible exception to Florida State. This week Clemson looks to keep the momentum alive as they go into Chestnut Hill for a date with the Boston College Eagles.
The question this week becomes can Clemson’s offense build off last week’s performance? After a few weeks of mediocre offensive showings, the Tigers finally started clicking last Saturday in all facets of the game. Running back Wayne Gallman posted a stellar showing with 110 yards on 16 touches including a touchdown. WR Deon Cain had a breakout performance with 4 catches for 98 yards and two touchdowns. Meanwhile Deshaun Watson shined on the big stage with 306 yards passing for 5 touchdowns with 4 picks and another 91 yards rushing. It was the type of performance that we witnessed week after week from Clemson last season and had been expecting much sooner from the Tigers thus far in 2016.
If Clemson can keep their offense going then they will probably sweep the remaining part of their schedule especially if you consider Florida State is the only identifiable threat left on the radar. However, if the offense has more issues then I would not rule out any upset possibilities. To go even further, I would not rule out the possibility this Saturday. If the offense has another subpar showing, Boston College has the defense that can frustrate any good offense. The Eagles have the number 1 ranked defense in the FBS that has yielded just 202 yards per game. In fact, Boston College has given up just 13 points combined in the last two games even if it was against inferior competition.
Defensively, Boston College is as athletic and disciplined as any defense that Clemson will face this year. The unfortunate part of that truth, at least for Boston College fans, is that the offense has been flat out “bad.” The Eagles rank 113th in the FBS in total offense averaging just 335 yards per game. Senior transfer quarterback Patrick Towles was the guy that many hoped would resurrect the Eagles offense this season after parting ways with Kentucky but that has not worked out either. Through 5 games, Towles has completed just 50% passing for 806 yards with 6 scores and 3 picks. Those numbers are pretty bad even for Boston College quarterbacks.
In reality if you think about the numbers that the Boston College defense has produced, it is very impressive considering the amount of time they have been on the field due to the offense’s woes. Therefore while I think the defense can stand strong against this dangerous Clemson offense on Saturday, I still don’t know how they can generate enough offense to truly challenge for an upset bid. Clemson is too talented to keep off the scoreboard and Deshaun Watson is the difference maker that Boston College’s defense will not be able to contain throughout the entire 60 minutes of action.
Jay's Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Clemson has beaten Boston College in each of the last 5 meetings. I expect that trend to continue on Saturday but I do not expect it to be pretty. I expect this game to get off to a slow start with Clemson in a prime letdown position against a really good defense. Deshaun Watson just makes too many plays for the upset to happen but Boston College keeps it closer than most expect. Take BC +17
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Odds to Win the 2016 College Football Championship - The Alabama Crimson Tide are favored to be repeat winners of the National Championship this year at +700 followed by Ohio St. at +750 and Clemson at +800. Things drop off a bit with the Michigan Wolverines, LSU Tigers and Oklahoma Sooners all coming in at +1200. Check out your favorite school's odds here!