Entering the 2017 campaign with unwavering optimism, the Cardinals’ season has been quickly derailed by two losses (Clemson & North Carolina State) in the first six weeks of the regular season.
Louisville gave up 613 total yards to the Tigers and 520 total yards to the Wolfpack, bringing into question whether head coach Bob Petrino’s defense is capable of stopping any opponent outside of Kent State and Murray State.
Overall, Louisville’s defense is 0.2 yards per play worse than average in 2017 (5.4 yards per play to teams that would combine to average just 5.2 yards per play against a mediocre stop unit).
Louisville’s secondary has been particularly bad, allowing opposing quarterbacks to complete 62.9% of their pass attempts at 7.7 yards per pass play. What makes those figures even more staggering is the fact that the Cardinals’ secondary has faced a group of quarterbacks who would only average 6.8 yards per pass play against a mediocre backfield.
Boston College once again has an anemic offense that is 0.4 yards per play worse than average (4.2 yards per play against teams that would combine to allow 4.6 yards per play to a mediocre attack).
However, the Eagles possess a solid defense that is allowing 5.4 yards per play to teams that would combine to average 5.7 yards per play.
The unit’s strength resides in the backfield where the Eagles’ secondary is allowing a mere 5.8 yards per play to a group of quarterbacks who would combine to average 7.1 yards per pass attempt against a mediocre secondary.
Boston College should limit a very good Cardinal aerial attack that is 1.3 yards per play better than average, thereby forcing Louisville to run the ball more frequently.
While the Cardinals will be able to move the chains against a bad Boston College front seven, the end-result is a game clock that keeps ticking in favor of the double-digit underdog.
My math model only favors Louisville by 14.9 points and the Eagles are a profitable 8-2 ATS as road underdogs over the last three seasons. Boston College head coach Steve Addazio is 9-2 ATS in road affairs versus .501 or greater opposition, whereas the Cardinals are a woeful 3-12-1 ATS in their last sixteen games overall.
Louisville is also 1-7 ATS in its last eight October affairs, 0-4 ATS in its last four games following a loss, 0-6 ATS in its last six home games and 5-16 ATS in its last 21 home contests versus teams with a losing record.
Finally, the Cardinals are just 2-8 ATS as conference home favorites of 14+ points and 2-6 ATS following an upset road loss.
With Boston College standing at 7-1 ATS in its last eight road games versus teams with a winning home record, grab the generous number with the Eagles and invest with confidence.
Oskeim’s top sports picks have received 32 distinguished awards from The Sports Monitor since 2007. Check back daily for more top sports picks from the 2016 Handicapping Champion!