Vegas Game Preview: Boston College at Northern Illinois Odds & Free Pick

2016 was an up and down year for the Boston College Eagles. After upsetting North Carolina State on the road to get to 4-4, B.C. was waxed by Florida State and Louisville by a combines score of 97-14. Staring down the barrel of a losing season, the Eagles shut out UConn 30-0 and then took home a hard fought 17-14 win at Wake Forest to get bowl eligible. Boston College won its bowl game against Maryland but HC Steve Addazio still finds himself under the gun after going 7-6, 7-6, 3-9, and 7-6 in four season.

Until three years ago, you could just go ahead and pencil in Northern Illinois for 10+ wins and some part of the MAC title. The Huskies have fallen on hard times of late falling to 8-6 and 5-7 over the last two years. This is a redemption year for NIU and fifth-year HC Rod Carey. This game will be vitally important to the Huskies as their ambitious nonconference schedule also includes games at Nebraska and San Diego State.

These teams have met twice before with Boston College winning 20-10 in 1971 and 17-14 (-5) at Chestnut two years ago. The 9:30 PM EST kick will be televised CBSC and also on Direct TV channel 211.

Boston College at Northern Illinois Las Vegas Point Spread & Total

Boston college has been living on great defense and a horrific offense for the last two years. In fact, the Eagles have finished in the top ten in the country in total defense the last two years while at the same time finishing in the bottom ten in total offense. It was this good and bad. Last year, the Eagles had more sacks than either Alabama or Michigan. The passing game averaged just 110 ypg. in conference completing just 46% of its passes for just four touchdowns … that’s all year! Boston College figure to better on both sides of the ball and the stop unit got a lift when Harold Landry (16.5 sacks) decided to forego the NFL draft and return to school.

It was a tough year last year for Northern Illinois as it started the year 1-6 (including two triple OT losses) but to its credit never quit going 4-1 down the stretch with the lone loss to kingpin Toledo. The Huskies certainly have had excuses with its starting quarterback being knocked out of five of their last 18 games. NIU returns 12 but none of last years top producers. Three of their four MAC road games are winnable as are all four home games. The Huskies miss Ohio and Miami, Oh from the East so 8 wins and a bowl game is very possible.

Free College Football ATS Pick & Prediction: Boston College -2.5

Boston College welcomes in a new quarterback who will have the benefit of running the offense behind three pretty good veteran offensive linemen. The Eagles return their top two rushers and top two wide outs. The defense might not be top ten in the country formidable but they’ll still be pretty good and let’s remember that this is an ACC team that faces much better.

We’re going to take Boston College at this writing’s number of -2 1/2. The Eagles are better on both sides of the ball and the offense figures to be able to do some business against a Husky defense that gave up 148 points in their first four games of nonconference play last year. Let’s call this one 27-10 Boston College.

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