Boston College vs. Wake Forest Thursday Night Pick
Boston College Eagles (2-0 SU, 2-0 ATS) vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (2-0 SU, 0-2 ATS)
College Football Week 3
Date/Time: Thursday September 13th, 2018. 7:30PM (EST)
Where: BB&T Field Winston Salem, N.C.
By: Jay Horne, College Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
The ACC takes over the Thursday Night stage this week when the Boston College Eagles roll into Winston Salem for a meeting with the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at BB&T Field. The Eagles and Demon Deacons both enter this week’s game sporting 2-0 records and looking to keep the momentum alive by kicking off ACC Conference play with a victory. Last week Wake Forest sophomore WR Greg Dortch ignited the Demon Deacons with 310 all-purpose yards in a 51-20 route over Towson. While the outcome was not necessarily surprising, Dortch proved that he is one of the most exciting players in college football. He returned two punts for touchdowns and grabbed 7 balls for 94 yards with an additional touchdown. As Wake Forest seeks what many would call a mild upset this Thursday, they will need their star receiver to show out once again in order to capture the win.
While many would write off Dortch’s numbers last week against an FCS opponent, I would recommend looking back to what the star wideout accomplished in 2017 as a freshman before he suffered a season ending injury. His numbers have been downright staggering and his ability alone gives Wake Forest a chance this Thursday. However, I do not necessarily like the matchup for Wake Forest this week. Boston College is clearly the more physical team which will test the Demon Deacons’ size in the trenches. The Eagles have a pretty solid defense and can control the pace of the game with their running attack. These factors will likely limit Dortch’s potential for another breakout game and should result in the Eagles covering their 3rd straight game in 2018.
Matchup Advantage - Boston College
As mentioned previously, Boston College has a pretty solid defense that currently ranks 17th in the FBS through their first two games. Obviously the sample size and competition may skew those stats. However, this defense has been solid dating back to last year which is made of mostly the same talent. This Boston College defense has not given up more than 21 points in their last 8 games and has held ACC opponents to 17 points or less in 5 of their last 6 games in conference play. Needless to say, this is not a defense that is going to allow Wake Forest to run wild or give up big play opportunities consistenty. They are simply too disciplined.
Furthermore, Wake Forest’s offense is not very impressive and is probably being given too much credit because of Dortch. Wake Forest freshman quarterback Sam Hartman has not looked good with 4 touchdown passes and 3 picks in the first two games against inferior competition. Hartman is a dual threat quarterback that is mostly effective with his feet. Running back Cade Carney is a decent talent that will share the carries with Hartman to provide a seemingly decent threat. In reality, this offense is rather one dimensional and I believe that is going to be evident more than ever this season this Thursday against an Eagles defense that is built to defend the run.
Reason #1 to bet on Boston College - Wake Forest Defense
While I believe the Wake Forest offense is in jeopardy of being exploited this Thursday, I believe the defense is in bigger danger of being exploited. The Demon Deacons have not defended the pass well and have given up several big play opportunities. Some were capitalized on and some were left on the game tape. This week Boston College will capitalize if those big opportunities are given again. Running back AJ Dillon is perhaps the best underclassmen in the ACC that has racked up 247 yards with 3 scores despite limited touches through the first two games. Meanwhile, quarterback Anthony Brown has looked very sharp in limited work through his first two games. I say limited because Boston College pulled their starters in both of their blowout wins against inferior opponents this season. Still, Brown has been sharp hitting 73% of his passes and has the type of arm that will feast on the blown assignments that has plagued the Demon Deacons’ defense. Unless something drastic changes, the Eagles offense should shine.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Boston College -7