Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:01 AM
Clemson at Boston College
Editor's Note: Brian Edwards easily cashed a winner on last night's 'under' (69) in Wake Forest's 27-23 upset win at N.C. State. Since Oct. 13, Brian's guaranteed picks have hit at a 10-3 clip (76.9%, +6.7 Units), so don't miss out on his next pay-if-it-wins-only selection for tonight!
Matchup: Clemson at Boston College
Venue: Alumni Stadium, Chestnut Hill, MA
TV/Time: ABC, 8:00 p.m. ET
Clemson will take its undefeated record to Chestnut Hill on Saturday night to face Boston College in a crucial ACC showdown. As of early Friday night, most betting shops had the Tigers installed as enormous 19-point road favorites with a total of 55.5. The Eagles were +800 to win outright (risk $100 to win $800).
While most are focused on Clemson (9-0 straight up, 5-4 against the spread) remaining unbeaten on the way to another College Football Playoff berth, Boston College is hoping to win out and steal the Tigers’ spot as the ACC Atlantic’s representative in the conference championship game.
Steve Addazio’s team is 4-1 in ACC play with a road game at FSU and a home scrap with Syracuse in the regular-season finale on deck. Since losing a 28-23 decision at North Carolina State on Oct. 6, BC has ripped off three consecutive wins both SU and ATS. The Eagles are off last week’s 31-21 win at Va. Tech as two-point road underdogs.
Boston College (7-2 SU, 7-2 ATS) trailed 14-7 at halftime in Blacksburg, but it scored 21 unanswered points to take a 28-14 lead with 8:51 remaining in the fourth quarter. After the Hokies responded with a touchdown with 4:48 left, BC put the game away with 2:31 remaining on Colton Lichtenberg’s 28-yard field goal.
A.J. Dillon led the way by running for 96 yards and one TD on 24 carries. Sophomore QB Anthony Brown connected on 15-of-26 throws for 177 yards and one TD without an interception. He also rushed for 37 yards on seven totes, while Travis Levy produced 75 rushing yards and a pair of scores on 11 attempts. Tommy Sweeney caught four balls for 61 receiving yards and Korab Idirizi had two receptions for 49 yards and one TD.
Dillon, a first-team All-ACC selection as a true freshman in 2017, was playing in his second game after missing back-to-back contests with a sprained ankle last month. He rushed 32 times for 149 yards and one TD in his initial return on Oct. 26 when BC dropped Miami, 27-14.
Dillon has rushed for 897 yards and eight TDs, averaging 5.5 yards per carry. Ben Glines has 376 rushing yards and three TDs with a 5.6 YPC average. Glines also has nine receptions for 123 yards and three TDs.
Brown is vastly improved in his sophomore season. His touchdown-to-interception ratio has improved from 11/9 to 16/5. Brown has completed 57.9 percent of his passes for 1,567 yards. Sweeney is his favorite target, hauling in 24 receptions for 230 yards and three TDs. Kobay White has 19 catches for 298 yards and three TDs, while Jeff Smith has 17 grabs for 275 yards and a team-best four TDs.
BC is unbeaten in five home games with a 4-1 spread record. This is the Eagles’ second home underdog spot, as they were 3.5-point puppies in the win over the Hurricanes two Fridays ago. During Addazio’s six-year tenure, BC has compiled an 8-8 ATS record as a home 'dog.
Clemson has a 4-0 SU record and a 3-1 ATS mark on the road. As road favorites since Dabo Swinney took over midway through the 2008 season, the Tigers have gone 16-18 ATS.
Swinney’s team has dealt out four straight pimpslaps since needing a fourth-quarter rally to nip Syracuse, 27-23, as a 24-point home favorite back on Sept. 29. Clemson has breezed to victory at Wake Forest (63-3), vs. N.C. State (41-7), at FSU (59-10) and vs. Louisville (77-16), beating the closing spread by 110 combined points.
Trevor Lawrence was named the starting QB over Kelly Bryant on the Monday before hosting The ‘Cuse. Bryant elected to transfer and retain a year of eligibility after getting the demotion. Lawrence was knocked out of the game against the Orange with a head injury in the first half.
The true freshman QB has done nothing but deliver since returning the following week at Wake Forest. Lawrence threw for a career-best 314 yards and four TDs without an interception in the beatdown of the Seminoles in Tallahassee. For the season, Lawrence has connected on 65.1 percent of his throws for 1,549 yards with an 18/3 TD-INT ratio.
Tee Higgins has 35 receptions for 514 yards and seven TDs, while Justyn Ross has 22 catches for 476 yards and five TDs. Amar Rodger has 32 grabs for 390 yards and four TDs, and Hunter Renfrow has caught 27 balls for 305 yards and one TD.
Clemson is ranked seventh in the country in total yards, 30th in passing yards, sixth in rushing and fourth in scoring with a 47.8 points-per-game average. The Tigers are four-deep in the backfield with Travis Etienne serving as the featured back. Etienne, a second-team All-ACC pick as a true freshman last season, has rushed for 999 yards and 15 TDs. He has an incredible 8.6 YPC average on 116 attempts.
Lyn-J Dixon has 457 rushing yards, four TDs and an eye-popping 11.1 YPC average. Senior Adam Choice (7.9 YPC) has turned 45 carries into 354 rushing yards and three TDs, while Tavien Feaster has produced 294 rushing yards and four TDs with a 6.3 YPC average. Feaster ran for a season-best 101 yards and two TDs on merely six attempts last week, but he sustained a concussion that has him listed as ‘questionable’ at BC.
Clemson is ranked fifth in the nation in total defense, 18th at defending the pass, eighth in run defense and fourth in scoring ‘D,’ holding opponents to 13.3 PPG. This unit is led by a defensive line that’s stocked with future NFL players.
Junior DE Clelin Ferrell, a first-team All-American in 2017, has recorded 31 tackles, 7.5 sacks, five tackles for loss, four QB hurries, two forced fumbles and a pair of passes broken up. Senior DT Christian Wilkins, a third-team All-American in 2016 and a first-team All-ACC pick last year, has produced 29 tackles, 6.5 TFL’s, 2.5 sacks, four QB hurries, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.
Clemson is second in the nation in TFL’s with 89 and third in sacks with 32. The Tigers are +3 in turnover margin, while BC is +8.
In addition to the iffy status of Feaster, Clemson starting OG Sean Pollard (back) and CB Mark Fields (groin) are listed as ‘questionable.’ Dillon’s ‘probable' status is the extent of BC’s injury report.
The ‘over’ is 5-4 overall for the Tigers, 4-0 in their road assignments. They’ve seen their games average combined scores of 61.1 PPG.
The ‘over’ has hit at a 5-4 overall clip for the Eagles, going 4-1 in their home contests. They’ve watched their games average combined scores of 61.3 PPG.
Clemson has won seven games in a row over BC, but the Eagles are 4-1 ATS in the past five head-to-head encounters. The Tigers captured a 34-7 victory last year, but they were unable to cover as 33.5-point home ‘chalk.’ This was an extremely misleading final, too, as the game was knotted at 7-7 until Choice scored on a six-yard TD dash with 11:59 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Etienne rushed for 113 yards and two TDs on nine carries, while Renfrow had six receptions for 53 yards. Dillon was held to 57 rushing yards and one TD on 18 attempts. Brown completed just 14-of-30 throws for 133 yards with one interception.
According to weather.com as of early Friday evening, Saturday night’s forecast was calling for clear conditions and temperatures in the 30s. However, winds are expected at speeds of 10-20 miles per hour and “could occasionally gust over 40 mph.”
Kickoff is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. Eastern on ABC.
Follow Brian Edwards' sports gambling opinions on Twitter at @vegasbedwards.