For Saturday’s top parlay, we stay in the ACC for a matchup that you shouldn’t let fly under your radar. Top sportsbooks have released their odds for Saturday’s Week 8 college football competition. One game, in particular, interests me as worth investing in: Boston College vs. Louisville.
For reasons that I will explain, you should play both spread and total for this game. Feel free to parlay both bets at online sports betting site in order to maximize your profit.
Boston College Eagles vs. Louisville Cardinals
Saturday, October 23, 2021 – 4:00 PM EDT at Cardinal Stadium in Louisville
Boston College’s Quarterback Situation
Initial Eagle starting quarterback Phil Jurkovec suffered a season-ending wrist injury in Week 2. Because of the central role that he’s played in the Boston College offense since taking over the helm in 2020, his loss might seem like a big deal for your sports betting.
For two reasons, Lousiville backers will want to say that Jurkovec’s absence is decisively important. One, he was the starter. Two, his initial backup quarterback and current Eagle starting quarterback Dennis Grosel have been producing poor statistics.
Grosel vs. Jurkovec Comparison
In order to evaluate whether Jurkovec’s absence should meaningfully concern Boston College backers, let’s compare the two from a purely numerical standpoint. Methodologically, I will avoid considering Jurkovec’s stats this season because he’s thrown only 28 passes, 24 of which came against FCS school Colgate and four of which came against low-profile UMass. Right now, Grosel’s passer rating is 121.7, which is 17 points lower than Jurkovec’s was last season.
However, 79 of Grosel’s 143 pass attempts this season came against NC State and Clemson. Both of those teams rank top-25 nationally in limiting the opponent’s passer rating. Last season, Jurkovec attempted 336 passes. Of those 336 passes, he attempted zero against defenses that rank top 25 in limiting opposing passer rating.
Grosel’s inferior passer rating -- both compared to Jurkovec and in his past two games -- is therefore easily explainable in terms of the massively tougher competition that he’s faced. So, know for your best bets that there is no statistical basis for claiming that Jurkovec’s absence is meaningful in view of who his replacement is.
One may try to resist by suggesting that Jurkovec is better because his coach named him the starting quarterback.
But coaches repeatedly fail to give the starting job to the better starting quarterback. Guys like Kyle Trask of Florida and NC State’s Devin Leary had to take over the starting job midseason from quarterbacks who were starting in their place despite clearly being qualitatively inferior. Leary and Trask are just two examples.
Eagle Offense vs. Cardinal Defense
Before struggling against highly-ranked NC State and Clemson pass defenses, Grosel ably and efficiently led Boston College to a win over Missouri. In that game, Grosel produced a completion percentage higher than Jurkovec’s career average. The question emerges: does Louisville’s pass defense more closely resemble, in terms of quality, Missouri’s or that of NC State and Clemson?
Easily, the answer is the former because the Cardinals are situated three spots behind Missouri in ranking 94th nationally in limiting opposing passer rating. Recently, the Cardinal defense gave up 34 points to a Virginia squad that is totally one-dimensional on offense in that it relies heavily on the pass, owning the nation’s fourth-highest pass-play percentage.
The week before losing to underdog Virginia, Louisville conceded 34 points to a Wake Forest offense that is normally run-friendly, but that threw 40 times with Sam Hartman. Hartman, in that contest, accomplished his second-highest pass yardage total of the season. This is a Cardinal defense that is awful about keeping a lead because, if the team starts doing well, complacency and passivity set in.
But the UCF game -- in which Louisville allowed 35 points -- shows that the Cardinal defense remains vulnerable in all four quarters even against more run-friendly teams. Similar to UCF, Boston College boasts a big-time playmaker in its rushing attack.
BC’s offense relies heavily on Pat Garwo III, who is accruing 6.2 YPC this season partly because of his repeated ability to amass a lot of yards on individual plays. The Eagle offense soars with high point totals when Garwo thrives with over five YPC, which is a figure that he will accomplish against a Cardinal defense that still ranks 88th in limiting opposing YPC after facing Virginia’s famously anemic ground game.
For your NCAAF picks, expect Boston College to cover the spread with its able two-dimensional offense. In addition to liking the Eagles to score given their big-play running back and Louisville’s vulnerability to quarterbacks confident enough to attempt any amount of volume against it, I think the Cardinal offense will score enough to send the game ’over.’
Louisville repeatedly manages to score 30 points against FBS teams, only struggling in its very first two-quarters of the season and in the second half when it coasted to a 31-23 victory over Florida State. For the above reasons, expect an Eagle victory in which Louisville accrues 30 or so points.
But we’ll happily take the free points on principle. For the above reasons, parlay the Eagles ATS and the "over." Be sure to use our trusty parlay calculator for your parlay betting needs.
NCAAF Pick: Over 58 at -110 with BetOnline
Parlay: +291 with BetOnline
*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.