Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Boston College Eagles Preview and Pick

#6 Virginia Tech Hokies (10-2) -4.5, 47 O/U vs. #12 Boston College
Eagles (10-2) +4.5, 47 O/U, Municipal Stadium, Jacksonville,
Florida, 1 PM Eastern, Saturday

by Badger of

Virginia Tech and Boston College meet for a second time this season
when the two teams square off in the Atlantic Coast Conference
Championship game Saturday in Jacksonville, Florida.

These same teams played each other during the regular season back on
October 25th, a thriller that Boston College won in the closing
seconds, 14-10, in Blacksburg. The Hokies dominated the game for all
but the final three minutes, but as they were chest thumping
themselves and giving interviews on the sideline to ESPN, BC scored,
recovered an onside kick and quarterback Matt Ryan threw the winning
touchdown pass with less than 30 seconds remaining in the game.

Oddsmakers opened the game with Virginia Tech as a 3-point favorite,
with the over/under total at 45.

Ironically, both teams went in opposite directions after the Eagles
stunning victory in October. Boston College lost their only two games
of the season in back-to-back weeks (to Florida State and Maryland)
following the victory over Tech. While the Hokies went on the crank
off four straight wins to finish the season on a roll following the
embarrassing loss at home.

Boston College rebounded in time to win the ACCs Atlantic Division,
beating Clemson 20-17 two weeks ago to clinch a birth in the title
game. The Eagles also beat Miami, 28-14, last week to tune up for the
game versus the Hokies.

Virginia Tech won the ACCs Coastal Division by beating in-state
rival Virginia last weekend, 33-21. If not for the stunning loss to
BC, the Hokies could be sitting in prime position for the BCS title
game, so dont think revenge isnt coursing through their veins right

Boston Colleges offense is led by Ryan, who was considered the
leading Heisman Trophy candidate until losses to Florida State and
Maryland crushed his hopes. Ryan is poised to break 4,000 yards
passing, and runs an Eagle offense that ranks 24th overall (442.4
ypg) and scores 29.7 points per contest.

Virginia Techs offense has come on in recent weeks, thanks in part
to the play of both quarterbacks Sean Glennon and Tyrod Taylor.
Glennon is considered the thrower (1,440 yards, 8 TDs), while Taylor
uses his game-breaking speed to stretch defenses to the brink. Add in
a steady diet of running back Brandon Ore (824 yards, 9 TDs), and the
Hokies offense is much better than their 99th overall ranking (335
ypg) and 29.2 points per game average.

As you would expect from championship-caliber teams, both defenses
are solid. Tech is the higher ranked of the two, ranking 4th overall allowing
just 285.3 yards per game and just 15.4 points per game (ranked 2nd
in NCAA). Boston College is the 27th ranked defense in the land
(334.9 ypg), but has been exposed in the passing game (269 ypg
107th) since the loss of the best cornerback, DeJuan Tribble. Tribble
is hoping to play on Saturday, but has yet to be cleared by the team

Dont expect much to be gained on the ground, as BC is the 2nd ranked
unit at 65.9 rushing yards allowed per game, with Tech close behind
at 86.2 yards per game (5th in the NCAA).

Looking at the betting trends, both teams finished the regular season
at 6-5 ATS. However, Virginia Tech has covered four straight since
the loss to BC, while the Eagles have covered only once since then

The same could be said for betting on the total. Both teams were 6-5
versus the total on the year, but the Hokies has gone over three
straight games while BC has stayed under the total in two straight

An interesting note, the underdog is 7-1 ATS in the last eight head-
to-head matchups between the two schools.

The public seems to be sitting on the side of the Hokies in this one,
as early betting on Virginia Tech has moved the line from -3 up to
-4.5. Some Las Vegas sportsbooks have even moved it up to -5. The
total has jumped as well, going from 45 to 47, so respect is being
given to both offenses or maybe its because the game conditions in
Florida are expected to be sunny and 70s, as opposed to rainy and
cold like it was during their first meeting this season.

Badgers Pick: Virginia Tech is the hot team right now, and the
early betting is clearly showing that bettors have taken note of that
fact. But I like the moxie that the BC Eagles have shown all season
long. Not only did Ryan lead the Eagles back in the closing seconds
versus Tech the first time, but he did it again against Clemson in
order for them to get into the title game. Ill take the senior
quarterback in Ryan, and the senior-dominated Eagles in this one,
especially on a neutral site. Take Boston College and the points.