North Carolina Tar Heels (12) vs. Boston College Eagles Betting Picks and Predictions
02 October 2020
|Date:||Saturday, October 3rd|
|Time:||3:30 PM ET|
The 1-0 North Carolina Tar Heels will go on the road Saturday to face off with the 2-0 Boston College Eagles at 3:30 PM ET in Alumni Stadium. You can watch this game on ABC or ESPN3. The Tar Heels open as 14-point favorites and we’re working with a 54.5 over/under. The Eagles nearly fell to Texas State a week ago, but came back late and won a thriller. North Carolina hasn’t played September 12th, and it remains to be seen whether they are rusty or extra prepared. With both of these teams looking to hold onto their undefeated records, this one will be a fun one to watch. Let’s dive into how this one ends up and who will cover the spread.
When The North Carolina Tar Heels Have The Ball
The Tar Heels have played just one game this season after their week two matchup against the Charlotte 49ers was cancelled. Let’s revisit what went down nearly a month ago when UNC beat the Syracuse Orange 31-6. The score is a bit misleading as the Tar Heels struggled to distance themselves from the Orange until the 4th quarter. They certainly didn’t look like the 12th best team in the country for the majority of the game.
QB Sam Howell ended up completing 25 of 34 passes for 295 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. It was a worse game than he had in all of 2019, and it wasn’t what we expected from a guy that entered the season with Heisman goals. He’ll look to bounce back against a Boston College defense that is susceptible against the pass.
Running Back Javonte Williams saved this offense from going scoreless as he carried the ball 14 times for 57 yards and three touchdowns. He’ll share carries with Michael Carter, who’s the more explosive of the pair and a better pass-catcher. Sam Howell will run a bit as well and is always a threat in the Red Zone to run one in.
The best players on this team outside of Howell come at wide receiver with Dyami Brown leading the bunch. He caught 51 balls for 1,034 yards and 12 TD’s. Dazz Newsome followed with 72 catches, 1,018 yards and 10 TD’s. Howell has the honor of delivering the ball to two guys that will likely get drafted in the top two rounds. It just comes down to the offensive line protecting Howell and giving him the time to get the weapons the ball.
When The Boston College Eagles Have The Ball
The Boston College Eagles are an underrated team and they’ve taken care of business through the first two weeks of the season. After beating up on Duke 26-6, they had a tough battle against Texas State and escaped with a 24-21 victory over the Texas State Bobcats. Their first lead came with just three seconds remaining when Aaron Boumerhi converted on a 36-yard FG.
The offense has struggled through the first two weeks, but that’s no surprise with Sophomore QB Phil Jurkovec starting his first two games under center. It’s going to take time for this offense to gain chemistry and they looked relatively better in the second-half against Texas State. They’ll need to lean on David Bailey more, who’s one of the toughest guys in College Football to tackle.
He was an excellent complement to A.J. Dillon, who’s now on the Packers. If this Boston College offense wants any chance of staying with the Tar Heels, Bailey will need to see 20 carries and 100+ yards.
At receiver, Zay Flowers is beyond explosive. He’s averaged 26 yards per catch with 182 yards and a touchdown. Tight end Hunter Long has caught 16 balls through two games with 174 yards and two scores. Jurkovec has shown a reliance on the TE position and UNC needs to lock Long down in the RZ. The Eagles have the tools to keep it close with North Carolina if they can execute defensively.
The Tar Heels didn’t look good against the Syracuse Orange and Boston College will make them pay if they come out flat once again. I just don’t think it happens. This UNC offensive line will tighten things back up and give Howell the time to deliver the ball to the weapons he has extreme familiarity with. Brown and Newsome are two of the best receivers in the entire country and either can put up 150 yards in this matchup.
Williams and Carter are a phenomenal pairing at running back and I expect the Boston College defense to struggle with the balanced attack. The Eagles struggled with Texas State a week ago and this UNC attack is far more deadly. Sam Howell was a leading Heisman candidate to begin the season and I think he quickly gets back into that discussion.
Make sure to jump on this number before it reaches two touchdowns. The public is on North Carolina and this number will almost surely jump to 14. Get on it quickly and take the Tar Heels -13.5. If it’s too late, don’t be afraid to buy half of a point.
The Pick: North Carolina -13.5
The over is my favorite bet in this game as I’m not a big fan of either of these defenses. First of all, this North Carolina Tar Heels offense was terrible in week one and still put up 31 points. They’re going to show up after two weeks off and I expect them to put up close to 45 points themselves. On the other side of the ball, Boston College has plenty of weapons to play with and the UNC defense is nothing to be scared of. While they did allow just six points to Syraucse, BC is going to score a couple of times and the over is a safe wager.
The Pick: Over 54.5
Final Score Prediction: North Carolina 45, Boston College 14