Battle of Aviation: Eagles vs. Yellow Jackets. College football has officially returned and with it comes frequent visits to the sportsbooks. Some fans like auspicious bets while other prepare to wager on entertaining games that are not as predictable. The matchup between Boston College and Georgia Tech falls into the latter. Neither school is coming off a great – or even adequate – season and will be trying to get a head start on a turnaround year. They will be facing each other on Saturday the 3rd of September at the Aviva Stadium. This will be a neutral cite game as it is located in Dublin, Ireland and it would be practically impossible for either team to call this a ‘home field advantage’. Let’s check in on the NCAA betting odds and see what they have to say about this particular matchup.
Saturday, the 3rd of September
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets -3 ½ (-105) 43 ½ (-110) -170
Boston College Eagles +3 ½ (-115) 43 ½ (-110) +150
The sportsbooks may slightly favor the Eagles but it’s not by much, and a quick glance at their performance in 2015 will reveal why. They started off strong by winning two games against Maine and Howard respectively but fan’s hopes of a successful season quickly dwindled away. After going 3-1 in their first four games Boston failed to win another game for the rest of the season. This led to them being ranked lasted in the ACC and obviously missing an invitation to both the playoffs and a bowl game. This ultimately led the Eagles to dispose of their offensive and defensive coordinators but not their head coach, Steve Addazio, who will be heading into his 4th year.
Georgia Tech didn’t post any better stats than their ACC rival. The Yellow Jackets went 3-9 overall with a 1-7 ACC record ultimately leading to a dead last ranking in the Coastal Division. The sportsbooks aren’t expecting Paul Johnson, Georgia Tech’s head coach who will be heading into his 9th year, to lead the Yellow Jackets to a better season either, many are predicting that Georgia Tech will finish 6th in the Coastal Division in 2016. The program has definitely seen better days under Johnson’s leadership and if the Yellow Jackets don’t find success soon they may have to say hello to a new head coach.
Georgia Tech’s 2015 offense was one-dimensional to say the least. They posted an unimpressive 121.3 YPG (yards-per-game) through the air but an eye-raising 256.7 YPG on the ground. Justin Thomas, last year’s starting quarterback, will be returning and after throwing 13:8 TD:INT fans are just hoping he does a better job of not turning the ball over. Defensively Georgia Tech fared much better, and this can largely be attributed to the amount of playing time they were getting. When your quarterback has a turnover rate of over 50% you can be certain your defense will be getting a lot of reps. Georgia’s key to winning this game is jumping to an early lead because if they have to rely on their passing then they’re better off forfeiting.
Even though the Yellow Jackets have a pretty shoddy offense the Eagle’s might even be worse. Just look at their passing YPG (202.9) or even their rushing YPG (165.1). They do have a senior transfer under center this season, Patrick Towles, who will be trying to get this team above .500. On the other side of the ball Boston performed much better. The defense only allowed 83.3 YPG on the ground, which is jaw-dropping to say the least. Through the air they allowed 171.3 YPG which once again proves that the strength of this team resides on defense. Defensive play will be the key to this game for the Eagles, if they can capitalize on an early turnover then this game will pretty much be in the bag, even if the sportsbooks disagree.