Clemson once again has put itself in the driver’s seat in the ACC and will try to maintain its momentum against the conference doormats when it visits Boston College on Friday. The third-ranked Tigers, who served notice with their 42-36 home win over then-No. 4 Louisville last weekend, will try to extend a pair of impressive winning streaks – their 19-game regular-season run and an 11-game string in ACC play.
On the other side of the coin are the Eagles, who have dropped 10 straight conference affairs, including a 49-0 rout at the hands of Virginia Tech on Sept. 17. Clemson coach Dabo Swinney is not looking too far ahead, knowing how much of a struggle it was to get out of Chestnut Hill the last time the Tigers paid a visit in 2014, when his team eked out a 17-13 triumph.
“They always play tough and every time we go up there, it is always a battle,” he told reporters this week. “We’ve had two or three times up there that we’ve been fortunate to come away with a win, especially a couple of years ago.” Boston College followed its ugly loss to the Hokies with consecutive non-conference victories, including a 35-3 rout of Buffalo on Saturday.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN.
LINE: Clemson opened as a 16.5-point road favorite and was bet up as high as -17.5. The total has moved down from 45 to 42.5 points with money on the Under.
INJURY REPORT: Clemson – QB D. Watson (Probable), CB D. Johnson (Probable), DE A. Bryant (Questionable), CB A. Baker (Questionable) / Boston College – WR C. Garrison (Out)
WEATHER: The forecast for Alumni Stadium is calling for clear skies and winds blowing south at 4 mph.
WHAT BOOKS SAY: “Obviously a very difficult spot for Clemson coming off their epic game versus Louisville last week. Now they have to travel on a short week to take on a very good Boston College defense. But as good as BC is on defense, they’re equally as bad on offense. Clemson is going to struggle to score, in my opinion, so the 17 points on the road seems a bit high. But it’s always tough backing Boston College because their offense is so inept. We’ll see, but you have to assume Clemson comes into this game a bit flat, so I believe BC is a live home dog.” — Peter Childs, supervisor of risk management for Sportsbook.ag.
WHAT SHARPS SAY: “Clemson is now 5-0 SU (just 2-3 ATS) after its big 42-36 win over the Louisville Cardinals last week. Boston College looks much improved from last season and comes into Week 6 sitting at 3-2 after hammering Buffalo 35-3. The Tigers offense averages 35.2 PPG, while BC posts only 23.4 thus far, but these conference opponents are very evenly matched on the defensive side of the ball, with Clemson conceding 16 PPG and the Eagles allowing just 17.2.” – Covers Experts AAA Sports.
ABOUT CLEMSON (5-0, 2-0 ACC, 3-2 ATS): As quarterback Deshaun Watson goes, so go the Tigers, and the junior recorded season highs of 306 yards and five touchdowns in the thriller against Louisville. He also tacked on a season-best 91 rushing yards and has been sacked only twice this season, giving him enough time to consistently find the likes of Mike Williams (25 catches, 373 yards, two TDs) and Ray-Ray McCloud (24, 271, two). Senior linebacker Ben Boulware is coming off a monster performance in which he registered a career-high 18 tackles (three for losses), a fumble recovery and a pass deflection – good enough to earn him ACC Player of the Week honors at his position.
ABOUT BOSTON COLLEGE (3-2, 0-2, 2-2 ATS): Although the level of opponent had a lot to do with it, the Eagles have to be pleased with their improvement on offense, as they averaged 445 total yards in their last two games after being held to 124 by the Hokies. Patrick Towles threw four TD passes with no interceptions in the wins over Wagner and Buffalo after recording two scores through the air and four picks in the first three games of the season. The Eagles lead FBS teams in total defense (202 yards allowed per game) and are seventh in rushing defense (78).
* Underdog is 8-3 ATS in their last 11 meetings.
* Under is 5-2 in the last seven meetings.
* Tigers are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 road games.
* Eagles are 1-5-2 ATS in their last eight home games.
COVERS CONSENSUS: 69 percent of side bets are on Clemson while 71 percent of total bets are on the Over.