The Boston College Eagles (1-3, 2-2) will host the Louisville Cardinals (2-2, 0-2) on Saturday afternoon in an ACC matchup. Both of these teams will be going for their first conference win. The Cardinals beat the Eagles in Louisville 28-14 last season as a 4.5-point home favorite.
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Cunningham one of the most exciting players in the conferenceThe Cardinals are 2-2 ATS, and the over/under is 1-3. Last week Lousiville dominated South Florida 41-3 as a 15.5-point home favorite. Malik Cunningham had a big night with 186 passing yards, a touchdown, and 113 rushing yards with three more touchdowns.
The Cardinals are 86th averaging 225 passing yards, and 14th with 224.5 rushing yards through the first four games. Dual-threat Malik Cunningham leads the offense. Almost everything runs through Cunningham who has 782 of the team's 900 passing yards and 395 of the team's 898 rushing yards. Cunningham has been sacked nine times and has thrown three interceptions but just two touchdown passes. He has added six scores with his feet.
On defense, Louisville allows 163.3 yards per game on the ground, which is 93rd. They also give up 187 passing yards per game which ranks 29th.
Not much to cheer aboutThe Boston Eagles have not covered a spread yet this season, and the over/under is 2-2 in their contests. Last Saturday, Boston College fell behind 31-10 at halftime to Florida State on their way to a 44-14 loss as an 18-point road dog. The Eagles were outgained 530 to 235 in total yards and lost the turnover battle 2 to 0.
The Eagles have been a poor offensive team, ranking 121st with 283.3 total yards per game. They are 87th with 223.5 passing yards and 128th with 59.8 rushing yards. Starting quarterback Phil Jurkovec, who spent two seasons at Notre Dame, is now in his third season at Boston College. He has completed 60.5% of his passes for 843 yards with seven touchdowns and five interceptions. In 2021 Jurkovec had 322 rushing yards and five touchdowns, but this season he has not been a two-way threat, as he has -64 yards on the ground and no scores.
Returning to the Heights this weekend, we will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the 1982 BC football team!— Boston College Football (@BCFootball) September 29, 2022
Coach Jack Bicknell and the Eagles went 8-3-1 and played Auburn in the Tangerine Bowl. pic.twitter.com/MtrElin4lO
Seeing that the Eagles' offense ranks 89th in the nation in time of possession, the Boston College defense has been by far the strongest unit but far from superior. Boston College ranks 72nd in the nation allowing 378.5 total yards a game. They allow 222.3 against the pass which is 67th, and 156.3 against the run, which is 85th.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
Although this is a lot of points to lay on a conference road favorite, I don't have faith in Boston College. The Cardinals opened the season with a 24-point loss to Syracuse, but since then beat a solid UCF team, went toe-to-toe with Florida State, and dominated South Florida. Boston College has been underwhelming with a loss to Rutgers, a double-digit loss to a Virginia Tech team that is very weak offensively, and last week was no match for Flordia State. Boston College's only win this season came against Maine 38-17, and even in that game, had Boston College not won the turnover battle 3-0 it could have been much closer. The ceiling and big play ability for Louisville are so much higher. The Eagles will have to play by far their best game of the season to cover, whereas an average game from the Cardinals could be enough to get it done, as Malik Cunningham is the type of playmaker that can cover up a lot of mistakes with his explosiveness. The Cardinals' pass defense has also been very strong, and the Eagles are no threat to move the ball on the ground.
Full-Game Total Pick
Although Syracuse and UCF are better teams than Boston College, the Cardinals have only averaged 13.5 ppg in their first road contests while allowing 22.5 ppg. Boston College is averaging just 12 ppg and allowing 35.5 ppg through two ACC games which came against Virginia Tech and Florida State. I do expect the Eagles' defense to fare better than the 44 points they allowed to Florida State last week, but I still don't see the offense having much luck as their rushing attack has been a complete joke, and it is not easy to move the ball through the air on Louisville. I will take the under with Louisville winning 31-14.