Brian Kelly needs to keep his team focused heading into Saturday afternoon’s Notre Dame at Boston College pick. It would be easy for the #2 ranked Fighting Irish to come out flat after last week’s emotional 47-40 double OT win over then #1 Clemson.
The Golden Eagles know “the Holy War” is extra-special this season with ND being a temporary member of the ACC. It’s a great opportunity for Boston College to bounce back from a 40-7 loss at Notre Dame a season ago. The Irish also won 49-20 in their last trip to Chestnut Hill in 2017 however. ND is a -11.5 favorite in this meeting, but that’s down from a -13 open.
Notre Dame Set to Cruise?
The Irish have gotten off to a 7-0 start in the awkward 2020 campaign, putting them on a collision course with another meeting with Clemson in the ACC Championship Game. It could be another all out performance from the Irish in the Notre Dame at Boston College pick with a bye next week and a meeting with the potent North Carolina offense on the Friday after Thanksgiving.
One big advantage for ND on Saturday is their offensive line, considered among the nation’s best. The Irish ran 40 times for 208 yards vs. Clemson last week, led by 140 and 3 TDs from Kyren Williams. The Irish showed their offensive versatility though as Ian Book also had a 300+ yard passing game.
Boston College has moved on from the Steve Addazio regime that was in charge when then #16 Notre Dame rolled over BC 40-7 as -20.5 favorites in South Bend. Book had 3 TDs in that game as the Irish outgained BC 501 to 191 in total yards. Will Jeff Hafley put together a better offensive game plan?
Can Boston College Keep Up?
There are two positives that BC can take coming into Saturday’s game, the first is that they were able to hang with top-ranked Clemson 34-28 two weeks ago, going up 28-10 at one point in the 2nd quarter. The other thing that gives the Golden Eagles confidence is that even though Notre Dame is undefeated, they haven’t always been great. The 7-0 Irish resume features a 12-7 win at home vs. Louisville as -15 point favorites in week 7.
Now to the things that will worry BC backers in this tilt. The Golden Eagles only beat Syracuse 16-13 last week on the road as -14.5 favorites. Granted a late Orange TD with 0:21 left made that game closer than it looked, and it was a sandwich game for BC between Clemson and Notre Dame. Also, aside from the close game with Lousville, ND has won their five other games beside Clemson by at least 14 points.
The player to watch for Boston College in this matchup is Phil Jurkovec, the QB who spent the last two years as part of the Notre Dame program. Jurkovec has 15 TDs to 4 INTs on the season, and would love nothing more than to play spoiler against his old squad.
Free Notre Dame at Boston College Pick
The side is tough, because ND has won big in this series the last two games, but is also coming off an emotional win. BC has shown they can stick with top notch competition in their one score loss to Clemson as well.
Ultimately a total lean is the way to go. Jurkovec will lead the Boston College to some points on Saturday, or at least he should as Notre Dame allowed a 439 yard passing game to Clemson’s DJ Uiagalelei last week. Book and the Irish are going to get theirs as well.
Notre Dame 37 – Boston College 31
Free Pick: Over 51.5