Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#337 Boston College -8.5 vs.
#338 Rutgers 51.5
Saturday, September 21, 2019 at 12:00pm EDT
High Point Solutions Stadium, Piscataway
Written by Nick Raffoul

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#337 Boston College
#338 Rutgers University
2-1
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The Boston College Eagles will travel to SHI Stadium in Piscataway, New Jersey on Saturday afternoon for a non-conference tilt versus the Rutgers Scarlet Knights.

This game will mark the first meeting between these two schools since the 2004 season. While they haven’t squared off on the field since their days in the Big East, these two programs have a recruiting rivalry that has spanned decades, adding some extra incentive to this game. Rutgers is coming off of a bye, but they aren’t entirely healthy. They might have to play this game without their starting quarterback and Boston College is fresh off an embarrassing home loss to Kansas, so almost anything can happen here. Will the Scarlet Knights be able to pull off an upset at home against a tough ACC opponent?

BC loses to Kansas as 21-point favorite

Boston College entered last week’s matchup versus a Les Miles-led Kansas team as 21-point favorites at home, but it was the Jayhawks that covered the number, defeating the Eagles 48-24 and ending their 48-game losing streak versus Power Five opponents. It was a humbling defeat for BC, which opened the season with a good conference victory versus Virginia Tech and followed that up by thumping Richmond the next week. The Eagles had no answer for the Jayhawks offense, which racked up 567 yards of total offense, including 329 on the ground. The defense routinely missed tackles and gave up big plays, which will be a point of emphasis against Rutgers.

Anthony Brown finished 18 of 36 passing for 195 yards and a touchdown, while workhorse running back AJ Dillon rushed for 151 yards and score in a losing effort. However, the offense went cold in the second half, scoring zero points after halftime. Brown has yet to throw an interception in three games, while Dillon has rushed for at least 80 yards and a touchdown in each game so far this year. He has racked up 318 rushing yards with five total touchdowns for the season and is averaging a healthy 4.7 yards per carry.

Sitkowski could get the start on Saturday for Rutgers

Rutgers had a week to recover after being embarrassed in their Big 10 season-opener versus No. 20-ranked Iowa. Fresh off a much-needed bye, the Scarlet Knights will try to recover from a 30-0 defeat versus the Hawkeyes in a game in which they totaled a paltry 125 yards of total offense, including only 47 yards through the air. Penalties (seven for 61 yards) and turnovers (two interceptions and a fumble lost) limited the Scarlet Knights to just 22:22 time of possession. Some are calling this a must-win for the Scarlet Knights and head coach Chris Ash, who is on the hot seat again after the goose egg at Iowa. Boston College doesn’t look as strong as advertised, making this a winnable contest for Rutgers, but they might have to play this game without their starting quarterback, McLane Carter, who is in concussion protocol after taking a big hit last week. Carter was not seen on the field during the team’s practice on Tuesday and Ash said that he would have to be symptom-free for five days before being cleared for action.

That will open the door for backup Artur Sitkowski to retake the starting job. The 6-foot-5 sophomore quarterback struggled in his first collegiate season, throwing only four touchdowns and 18 interceptions before losing the starting job to Carter in spring camp. Sitkowski was 4 for 11 for just 19 yards with an interception in relief for Carter last week. Ball security will be a major theme once again this week against a Boston College team that leads the ACC with six interceptions. The Eagles also sport a plus-seven turnover margin, which is tied for the best mark in the nation.

If Rutgers is going to win, they are going to have to play disciplined defense and have success running the football. The Scarlet Knights would be smart to lean on their dynamic duo at running back, as they have an emerging star in sophomore Isaih Pacheco, who has amassed 223 total yards and four touchdowns in his first two games this season. He is joined in the backfield by junior Rasheem Blackshear, who ran for 586 yards and three scores last year.

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Rutgers fell behind early and got horrendous quarterback play last week, negating their run game. Their quarterbacks combined to go 10/27 for 47 yards and two interceptions and they handed the ball off to Pacheco and Blackshear just 15 combined times. I expect that to change this week against a Boston College defense allowing 214 yards per game on the ground. The Eagles just lost to Kansas at home and eight points seems like a pretty big number against a Scarlet Knights team that could surprise some people this year. Kansas laid down a blueprint for beating Boston College last week, as they rushed for a combined 329 yards en route to a 48-24 road victory. Not only do I expect the Scarlet Knights to cover, but they could win this game outright. Take Rutgers and the points at home in this one.

Prediction: Rutgers +8

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Both teams are committed to running the football, but Rutgers appears to have the better defense. Combine that with the possibility that the Scarlet Knights’ passing attack could be anemic once again this week and the under is a very strong play here. The total is currently set at 57.5, which is generous for a Rutgers team starting its backup quarterback after being blanked last week and a Boston College squad that was just upset at home versus Kansas. Look for this to be a hard-fought game and take the under in this ACC-Big Ten matchup on Saturday afternoon.

Prediction: Under 57.5
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Written By Nick Raffoul

Shortly after graduating with an Honors in Business Administration, Nick turned his attention from traditional stocks and bonds to investing in the performance of sports teams. And has now joined our team here at Winners & Whiners. Nick uses a combination of advanced stats and historical data to create sports investment models to identify value and generate consistent profits. Let Nick win for you.