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Eagle Eye Betting: Weekly Wagers on Boston College Football


Week 1 – Northern Illinois Huskies at Boston College

Location: Chestnut Hill, MA – Alumni Stadium

Betting Lines

Spread: Boston College -8.5 (-110) -- Over/Under Points: 50.5 -- Moneyline: Boston (-340) NIU (+270)

Welcome to the 2023 season. My name is Peter Collins and I will be bringing you my weekly picks against the spread, over/under and moneyline selections for YOUR Boston College Eagles. You can hear my picks as well as Brett Rider’s picks, in advance on our weekly podcast: BC Banter available for streaming on all major platforms. As a note, I will be using DraftKings when I refer to betting odds or lines. Without further ado, let’s get into this week’s matchup.

This Saturday, September 2, the Boston College Eagles square off in the season home opener against the Northern Illinois Huskies (NIU). Boston College started the week as 9.5-point favorites, but as I write this on Tuesday night it's already slid down to 8.5 points. The over/under was at 52 points and now it’s at 50.5 points. What does Vegas know? Why the shift? I have no answer for that, but I will try to answer some questions here today.

2022 had similar storylines for both week 1 foes as injuries derailed their season hopes resulting in matching 3-9 final win-loss records. Who will come out on top this week? Will BC cover the spread? With the over or under at 50.5 points, is week 1 a shootout or does defense reign supreme? What should we expect on both sides of the ball from each opponent?

If you're super familiar with BC’s roster and just want to learn up on NIU or even just want my picks, scroll on down to the end, I won’t hold it against you.

Boston College Offense:

Let's get caught up quickly. Last year Boston College lost their week 1 starting quarterback, Phil Jurkovec, to injury and thrust their freshman Emmett Morehead in action to finish the season. He started the last four games and as a starter he threw for 1,029 passing yards and 9 touchdowns. Credit the team site game notes for this stat: Morehead was one of three freshmen (true or redshirt) QBs in the country with multiple games of 325+ passing yards and 3+ touchdowns. Morehead did all this while “protected” by an offensive line ravaged with injuries. This year’s team is greatly improved up front and ultimately may turn out to be one of their strengths. Head coach Jeff Hafley addressed the need for starting offensive line talent this offseason adding two transfers who will cover the left side of the line in Logan Taylor (LT) and Kyle Hergel (LG). Projected NFL first round pick Christian Mahogany (RG) highlights the list of returning lineman who joins the other two projected starters in Ozzy Trapilo (RT) and Drew Kendall (C). Hafley did his best to replace the loss of NFL first round draft pick wide receiver Zay Flowers with UCF transfer Ryan O’Keefe, who has elite speed and will look to stretch the field. He will line up alongside tight end George Takacs and wideouts Jaden Williams and Joseph Griffin Jr. Look for Pat Garwo III to handle the rock along with Alex Broome. The offense should bounce back this year for Boston College.

This Saturday against NIU, I think Boston College will look to run the ball behind their improved line, absolutely no surprises there. While Boston College should be able to run effectively due to their own talent, NIU has a good defensive line which could make some stops. NIU’s weakness lies in the secondary. NIU allowed 32 touchdowns last year through the air, I’ll be looking for Emmett Morehead to hit paydirt at least twice. Special teams, mainly the kicking game, remain a concern for the Eagles as last year Eagles kicker Connor Lytton struggled going 9 for 17 (52.9%). I project BC to score 28 points. Garwo goes for over 100 total yards, Emmett throws for two touchdowns and over 250 yards.

Boston College Defense:

Donovan Ezeiruaku leads the Boston College defense, who look to improve on their national rank of 100th in terms of points per game at 30.3. Boston College lost a decent amount of talented secondary players to the portal and will look for sixth year cornerback Elijah Jones to step up and lead this new young group. Jalen Cheek, Cole Batson, John Pupel and Amari Jackson should all see plenty of time on defense for the Eagles pass defense. In 2022, Boston College let up 2,000 total yards rushing which equated to 166.7ypg to go with 25 TDs allowed. We all remember last year when Rutgers ran the ball the length of the field to finish off the win in week 1, that cannot happen again here if BC hopes to have a good start to the season. NIU was able to run the ball well in 2022, so look for BC to stack the box and control the line of scrimmage. Shitta Sillah, Cam Horsley, George Rooks and Ezeiruaku look to control the game in the trenches. Vinny DePalma leads the linebacking core of Jaylen Blackwell and Kam Arnold. Classic Boston College football, running, defense, and clock management should lead them to victory.

Northern Illinois Offense:

As mentioned prior, the Northern Illinois Huskies (NIU) finished with a record of 3-9 in 2022. Huskies redshirt senior quarterback Rocky Lombardi is back after only playing in four games last season due to injury. The Huskies had 4,477 total yards (373ypg) last year, 18 touchdowns through the air and 19 via the ground. They ran the ball 478 times and threw for 328 pass attempts, a run heavy offense. That may have had something to do with the injury to Lombardi, but also could be because they run it well. Last year they averaged 190.4ypg on the ground which puts them in the top 50 (FBS). In 2021 the Huskies won the Mid-American Conference Championship where they were led by their 4th in the nation rushing attack who averaged 241.4ypg. Look for the Huskies to try to mix in a heavy dosage of rushing attempts on Saturday but won’t be shy to let Lombardi throw the ball in his return. Reports from training camp suggest kicker Jake Seibert made multiple field goal attempts from 40 yards and further. NIU will hope to run the ball but may need to start passing if they find themselves down in the game.

Northern Illinois Defense:

In 2022 Northern Illinois defense let up 32.8 points per game via 32 TDs through the air and 14 on the ground. As I mentioned on this week’s episode of BC Banter, a star player to watch on the Huskies defensive line is Redshirt Sophomore James Ester. Ester, a two year captain, was last year's team MVP starting all 12 games at Defensive Tackle. He made 28 total tackles, including six tackles for loss, two sacks and two forced fumbles. Raishein Thomas is another player on the defensive line to look out for. He started 11 games in 2022 and has 110 career tackles, 12.5 which were tackles for a loss. NIU is replacing 3 of the top 5 tacklers from a year ago at the linebacker position and is also revamping their secondary after a disappointing 2022 season. Look for the defensive line to anchor the NIU defense as they battle it out in the trenches.

Skip to here if you just want the picks:

The Eagles, in year four under head coach Jeff Hafley, are 2-1 in season openers. I think Boston College will improve that record to 3-1. Boston College is still being weighed down in Vegas due to last year’s debacle at offensive line. After the first offensive series of the game, we will know if the line is worth a wager. Waiting and live betting wouldn’t be the worst move, but I don’t have that luxury, so I am taking BC at -8.5 points.

The over/under is a tricky one for this game will all the unknowns. At 50.5 points total and an 8.5-point line, Vegas is somewhat predicting a 30-21 Boston College win. That would cover the spread by a half point and have the over hit by a half point. I think Boston College will score high 20's, maybe even 30+, but will NIU do their part and score 21 points? I have NIU scoring one maybe two touchdowns, and a few field goals early in the game. I am taking the under, I just don’t see these teams engaging in a shootout or a high scoring affair although this one will be close. I don’t like taking the under when I am a fan of one of the teams as I never want to root for them not to score. Good luck with your bets, let me know your picks in the comments.

“Scared money don’t make no money” – Young Jeezy. Pete’s Picks

Boston College -8.5

Under 50.5 points

Boston College Moneyline

Brett’s Picks

Boston College -8.5

Under 50.5 points

Boston College Moneyline


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Pete Collins, Contributor, to Eagles Daily. He may be reached at

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