Home Betting News Saturday’s best bet: Week Three edition

Saturday’s best bet: Week Three edition

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2020 has felt like the worst bet in all of our lives. That game where the team you backed coughs up the ball on the first two possessions, fails to get a single first down in the entire first quarter, the starting quarterback gets injured and you’re down 38-0 at halftime.

But if we can find any solace, it should be in the fact that Saturday morning (as you read this), you’ll have a cool, crisp 51 degree temperature outside, the leaves will begin making their final descent towards the ground and an entire college football slate is at your fingertips.

Without further ado, let’s unveil that top pick of week three.

Boston College +5.5 at Duke

The pick:

Where?

Wallace Wade Stadium – Durham, NC
12 PM ET kickoff

Why?

Should we skip the pleasantries and just get the why not out of the way?

Inexperienced coaching staff.
Inexperienced QB(s).
First game of year vs. team with one game under belt.

Okay, now that that is out of the way, let’s focus on why Boston College will not only cover this game, but stands as a solid candidate for an outright win in the town Coach K built.

First year head coach Jeff Hafley is a superior defensive mind.

Since starting as a defensive assistant at Albany in 2001, Hafley has bounced around defensive coaching positions in the NFL, Pitt, Rutgers and finally the co-defensive coordinator for Ohio State a year ago.

To put it simply, Hafley’s pedigree runs rich and deep on the defensive side of the ball, and he’s inheriting a defense that was pretty much a liability in 2019, giving up an average of 32.2 PPG (101st in the country).

Hafley brought over former San Francisco 49ers linebackers coach Tem Lukabu as DC, and the two have gotten 15 spring practices to work, bend and mold a defense with a strong potential, built around one of the better linebackers in the country in Max Richardson.

I don’t expect BC to become the 2000 Baltimore Ravens overnight, but remember, when we’re handicapping, we are to be focused on the myopic side of scouting: what will that defensive unit do for me Saturday, and only Saturday?

Duke’s offense absolutely stunk last year. They finished 10 or worst in the ACC in scoring, passing, rushing and hanging onto the football. That stagnant unit carried over their struggles to South Bend, where they managed to hang 13 points against a Notre Dame defensive unit that, at the very least, seemed asleep at the wheel at times.

The lone scoring drive from the Blue Devils came thanks to a turnover, in which the offensive unit had to cover just 39 yards, doing it in six plays.

Transfer quarterback Chase Brice did show some bright spots for Duke, corralling 195 of his 259 passing yards (20 of 37) in the first half. He and TE Noah Gray (5 catches for 68 yards) seemed to be on the same page together, and that connection will be the most critical for BC’s defense to interrupt.

When we peel back the layers of Duke-Notre Dame, I’m not sure what kind of validity there really is to team A playing one game already vs. team B who has yet to strap up for a regular season tilt (BC had their opener with Virginia Tech postponed). We learned a few things from Duke – items that have been dissected, front and back by Boston College in game films and practice. At the end of the day, I don’t see an advantage for Duke in terms of reps, physicality and conditioning because of the one-game ahead factor.

What about the offense?

Here’s a quote no bettor wants to hear when backing said team:

“Right now, it is ‘or’ so both could be starting. There are a couple of ‘ors’ on the depth chart and that’s just how we feel right now. It’s not just the quarterback position. I want to build this thing on competition.”

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AP/Boston College athletics

Well we’re going to have to take the bullet on this one, and accept that Notre Dame transfer, and former Pine-Richland standout QB Phil Jurkovec may not be on the field 100% of the time, but instead splitting reps with junior Dennis Grosel, who finished with just under 1,000 yards passing last season, boasting a 9/3 ratio in five games.

With that, beast-mode running back AJ Dillon, TE Jake Burt and tackle John Phillips have all departed the offense, but with that you get three returning offensive linemen, two four-star tackles, a slew of talented receivers, including transfer Jaelen Gill and under the radar tailback David Bailey, who showcased his talent in last season’s tilt with Syracuse, in which the junior ripped off 172 yards on 16 carries with a pair of touchdowns.

After you get past a tough defensive line, there is not much to brag about with Duke’s defense, which faced key departures this year. Smothering an aggressive pass rush anchored by projected first rounder Chris Rumph II will be the key that fits the door to a BC cover.

Where’s the action?

Team Money % Bets %
Duke 39% 54%
Boston College 61% 46%

*Numbers according to Action Network

Best number?

DraftKings (+6) is currently the best number among legal PA sportsbooks.

FanDuel (+4.5) is offering the worst number.

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