Week 4 College Football Free Pick - Boston College at Clemson (9/20/17)
FREE PICK: Boston College +34 at Clemson (Covers 58.2%)
Picking huge underdogs isn't a satisfying feeling on Saturdays. These games typically get out of control early, and you're hanging on for drives at the end of the fourth quarter.
Boston College will fit that bid this week. As nearly five touchdown underdogs, BC has little chance to win this game; however, they do have a solid chance of covering the spread.
First, let's start with Clemson. The Tigers are coming off a huge 47-21 victory at Louisville where they dismantled the Cardinals in a game some predicted they would lose outright (not us, of course!). BC is the exact opposite of that Lamar Jackson-led Louisville team. They will play slow on offense, play decent defense, and prevent the big plays that could sink them early.
Against a similar Auburn team two weeks ago, Clemson won just 14-6. Auburn is demonstrably better than BC, but the Clemson's offense may not be as efficient as some think without Deshaun Watson. According to our college football power rankings, Clemson ranks 18th in passing efficiency and 28th in rushing efficiency. That's a bit lower than one would anticipate from the #2 team in the country.
Coming off the primetime victory of the season, Clemson may be in for a bit of a letdown, especially considering their upcoming opponent of #13 Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. We would call it a trap game if BC wasn't so inept. Nonetheless, there's a decent chance they cover the spread as five touchdown underdogs considering their pace of play and ability to chew up the game clock.
According to 50,000 games played by our simulation engine at PredictionMachine.com, Boston College wins over Clemson just 1.0% of the time with an average losing score of 37.9 to 12.3. As a 34-point underdog losing by an average margin of just 25.6 points, the Wildcats cover the spread 58.2% of the time, which would justify a $61 wager for an average $50 bettor.