Boston College Eagles (18-6) at No. 7 Wake Forest Demon Deacons (17-3)
Lawrence Joel Veterans Coliseum, Winston-Salem, N.C., 4:00PM Eastern, Sunday
By Jay Horne of Predictem.com
The No. 7 Wake Forest Demon Deacons have found a bumpy road over the last few weeks. The Demon Deacons started the season a perfect 16-0 reaching the No. 1 ranking in America. However, since that point Wake Forest has dropped 3 of the last 4 all against unranked opponents including an embarrassing blowout loss to Miami on Wednesday night 79-52. Wake Forest will return home to Winston-Salem after two straight road losses when they host another ACC foe the Boston College Eagles who are riding a 5 game winning streak in what appears to be a very interesting match-up. Will the Demon Deacons finally rebound and get back to the strong team they have been all year or will Boston College keep their winning streak alive?
The Eagles were in a similar situation compared to Wake Forest a few weeks ago considering they had dropped 4 straight games. However a confidence building over-time win against Miami kick started an impressive 5 game stretch from Boston College and they look to keep the momentum alive. Although the Eagles rank in the top 50 in scoring offense out of the 300 plus teams in America, they only rank middle of the road in the tentative high scoring conference that is the ACC. However, over the last few games Boston College has played excellent defense against similar high scoring offenses and they will attempt to do the same from a strong Wake Forest scoring threat.
Wake Forest has really played extremely well all season especially on paper despite the recent troubles. The Demon Deacons rank 8th in the nation in terms of scoring offense posting a stout 81.5 points per game which also ranks 2nd in the ACC behind North Carolina. Wake Forest also ranks 4th in America in the rebounding category pulling down 42.2 boards per contest, but amazingly the 3 schools ahead of them are all ACC schools. The Demon Deacons also sport strong numbers on the defensive side of the ball ranking 4th in the country in field goal percentage defense holding teams to only 36% shooting on the year. However, the Demon Deacons have not put up the points that they were earlier in the season over the last few games and just maybe they are due for a breakout game.
Despite the struggles over the last two weeks, online sportsbooks have the Wake Forest Demon Deacons by a very strong 10.5 points over Boston College. The over/under for the contest is posted at the 150 mark. Interestingly neither team has gone over the 150 mark in the last 5 games except for Boston College and the overtime victory over Miami.
The Eagles have four players aiding in double figure averages lead by senior guard Tyrese Rice. Rice leads the team in two different categories averaging 18 points per game and also distributing the offensive attack with 6 assist every outing. A big factor for the Eagles in this game will be the ability of Joe Trapani and Corey Raji to have success against the glass. Some of Wake Forest best performances have been when they rebound well and Boston College will have to keep the 4th ranked rebounding team off the glass. Raji and Trapani both average right at 7 rebounds and they will need to get at least that and maybe a few more on Sunday.
Wake Forest showcases one of the most exciting players in America to watch in the young talent of sophomore Jeff Teague. Teague ranks 2nd in the ACC only behind former Player of the Year Tyler Hansbrough of North Carolina with 20.6 points per contest. The big men on the inside give the Demon Deacons a good advantage in this game behind the play of James Johnson and Al-Faroug Aminu. Johnson sports a healthy 13.5 points and 8 rebounds average while Aminu has been very similar with 12.8 points and 9 rebounds average. If Johnson and Aminu can have a big game inside the paint, then Wake Forest should finally shake off the dust that has collected over the last few games.
Boston College is a perfect 5-0 ATS in their last 5 outings while Wake Forest has lost 3 of the last 4 games ATS. The Eagles are also 3-1-1 in the over/under category in the last 5 outings and also have played well against Wake Forest in previous meetings between the two schools. Boston College is 4-1 ATS in the last 5 games and 4-1 SU.
Jays Pick: Boston College within the points. BC +10.5.