Editor’s note: This game has been canceled because of COVID-19 issues at Boston College
Three points may be enough for the East Carolina Pirates to beat the NCAAF odds versus the Boston College Eagles at the Military Bowl. Keep reading to get some expert betting advice and cash out at the top-rated sportsbooks!
Boston College Eagles vs. East Carolina Pirates
Monday, December 27, 2021 – 02:30 PM EST at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium
In theory, the Military Bowl matchup between the Boston College Eagles (6-6 SU and ATS) and the East Carolina Pirates (7-5 SU, 7-4-1 ATS) looks like one of our easier college football picks here at the ranch. The Pirates are 3-point underdogs on the NCAAF odds board at Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review) but the projections we’re looking at have Boston College winning by less than a field goal. The consensus numbers are also 90 percent on East Carolina at press time.
We’re not going to look a gift horse in the mouth. Oh, who am I kidding – that’s exactly what we do. The Pirates may indeed belong in your NCAAF bowl picks, but a smaller bet size seems prudent, given the situation on the ground.
Hand in Glove
We’re talking specifically about Eagles QB Phil Jurkovec. He was an excellent fit last year under new head coach Jeff Hafley, and things looked very promising for Boston College this year – until Jurkovec hurt his hand in Week 2 and missed the next six games. The Eagles went 2-2 SU and ATS when he came back in early November, halting a four-game losing streak in the process.
Jurkovec recently announced that he’s returning to the team for 2022, rather than enter the NFL Draft, so this is very good news for BC bettors. It also makes us question those projections just a little. Have they properly accounted for Jurkovec (149.9 passer rating) being under center instead of Dennis Grosel (114.0)? Maybe not.
But then you have the Pirates. This is their first bowl game since they joined the American Athletic Conference in 2014, earning third-year head coach Mike Houston a lucrative contract extension. And again, if you ignore Jurkovec for a moment, East Carolina (No. 69) finished the regular season ahead of Boston College (No. 77) on the F+ charts at Football Outsiders. Nice.
This brings us to the motivation factor. Are the Eagles going to be sufficiently psyched up for this game, having barely qualified to go bowling? Getting Jurkovec back in uniform helps; Hafley is hyping this as an opportunity to build for next year, which isn’t anything. Meanwhile, are the Pirates “just happy to be here”? Or are they going to come out firing on all cylinders in front of a national TV audience?
We’re betting on the latter. Everything still points at East Carolina being the right college football pick, from the consensus to the projections to the advanced stats. Old-school handicappers will also jump at the opportunity to bet on the underdogs from the lesser conference – especially when the Pirates ended up playing a tougher schedule than Boston College. But as we said, make it a small bet to protect yourself from Jurkovec, and may the prolate spheroid be with you.
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.