The Boston College Eagles are the NCAA betting favorites to get their first win of the 2016 season versus the U Mass Minutemen on September 10th at Gillete Stadium in Foxborough, in the latest chapter of the Boston College–UMass football rivalry. The odds for people who would like to place an NCAA football bet on this game are:
Boston College -17 (-110) 39½ (-110) -900
Massachusetts +17 (-110) 39½ (-110) +600
The luck of the Irish did not favor the Eagles as they lost their season opener 14-17 to the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets on September 3rd in Dublin. It was an especially painful defeat because Boston College’s offense bested Tech in total offense, passing yards, rushing yards, and first downs. The Eagles had several opportunities to improve their lead, but Colton Lichtenberg missed two field goals, and QB Patrick Towles had a turnover in the red-zone. Moreover, the Eagles got the ball on their 25 with 5:57 left to play but ran the ball three times in a row into a stacked box for 2 yards and an underwhelming three-and-out. Georgia Tech cut BC’s lead to 14-10 and Yellow Jackets QB Justin Thomas make the Eagles pay for their past sins with a 22-yard pass to Qua Searcy, and a 26-yard connection to Ricky Jeune. Dedrick Mills scored on a 4-yard sweep put the final numbers on the score. So, the Eagles don’t get any coffee. Coffee is for NCAA betting closers only.
The Minutemen, on the other hand, instilled the fear of god into the souls of the Florida Gators for most of their season-opening game on September 3rd. U Mass was within three points of Florida entering the fourth quarter until running out of steam fading during a 24-7 loss at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. A last ditch effort from sophomore QB Luke Del Rio culminated in a field goal that allowed the Gators to escape with the win by the skin of their teeth. Another heart-breaking loss, but when it comes to a team that won three games last season, a moral victory is as good as season-opener victory. And a nod is as good as wink to a blind bat.
That’s as far as the two teams’ previous games are concerned. If we analyze the rivalry in a vacuum, we’ll see that Boston College leads the all-time series 20-5 and has won the last eight straight games – in fact, the most recent U Mass win was a 27-0 shutout in 1978. The last encounter took place in August 2014, when the Eagles defeated the Minutemen 20-5. Also of note for NCAA betting fans who also happen to be sticklers for details, 2016 will be U Mass’ first season competing as an independent. All things considered, everyone expected BC to beat Georgia Tech – which they didn’t – and no one expected U Mass not to lose to Florida – which they did, though no one expected it to be such a close contest either. Therefore, the Eagles are the favorite on paper. But the Minutemen have the momentum going forward.