My math model only favors Syracuse by 2.8 points in this game but the line is inflated due to the fact that Boston College has lost three straight games to Clemson, North Carolina State and Louisville. Syracuse had lost three consecutive games by a field goal prior to last week’s improbable comeback against Virginia Tech in which the Orange scored touchdowns in the game’s final 2 1/2 minutes to win 41-36.
Syracuse has exceeded market expectations in five straight games and relies on a ground attack that rushed for 354 yards against Wake Forest and 314 against Virginia Tech. However, the Eagles’ defense ranks 28th in the nation in Success Rate Allowed on rushing plays and should have success containing RB Sean Tucker and QB Garrett Shrader.
The Orange do not pose a threat through the air as they rank 87th in the country in Passing Success Rate. Shrader is 73rd in EPA/Play this season among qualified quarterbacks and will struggle against a Boston College defense that is 44th in Passing Success Rate Allowed.
One of the most important factors in this game will be the team’s respective abilities to finish drives. Boston College is ranked 57th-nationally in Offensive Finishing Drives, averaging slightly over four points per opportunity past the 40-yard line. That ranking should improve after this game against a Syracuse stop unit that is 110th in Defensive Finishing Drives, allowing nearly 4.5 points per opportunity.
From a technical standpoint, Boston College is a profitable 20-8 ATS in its last 28 games as a road underdog, while the home team is 0-5 SU and 1-4 ATS in the past five meetings in this series. The Eagles have won their last three trips to the Carrier Dome and are desperate to salvage a season that is on the brink of collapse after starting 4-0.
I expect Boston College to save its season this afternoon as the Eagles are a profitable 15-4 ATS in their last nineteen October affairs, 9-4 ATS in their last thirteen games following a loss and 5-1 ATS in their previous six games off a double-digit loss at home. In contrast, Syracuse is a money-burning 2-6 ATS in its last eight games off a win and the underdog is on an 80% ATS winning run in this series.
Grab the inflated number with Boston College as Oskeim’s Free Pick Winner for Saturday, October 30.