The only ranked team in action around college football on Thursday is No. 21 Cincinnati as the Bearcats, runners-up in the American Athletic Conference, take on Boston College of the ACC in the Birmingham Bowl. UC is a touchdown favorite on the Mybookie NCAAF odds.
How to Bet Boston College vs Cincinnati Birmingham Bowl Odds & Game Info
- When: Thursday, 3 PM ET
- Where: Legion Field, Birmingham, Ala.
- TV: ESPN
- Live Stream: WatchESPN
- Radio: SiriusXM
- Birmingham Bowl Odds: Cincinnati -7 (Total 55.5)
Series HistoryThe two teams have previously played seven times, with Boston College holding a 4-3 advantage. Their last meeting was in 1997.
Why Bet on Boston College?Boston College finished the season 6-6 … and then fired coach Steve Addazio. Former Ohio State co-defensive coordinator Jeff Hafley will take over. Rich Gunnell is coaching in the bowl game. Gunnell, a former Boston College standout wide receiver, just completed his fourth season as wide receivers coach at his alma mater.
In addition, star running back AJ Dillon is skipping the bowl game to prepare for the NFL draft. He leaves Boston College as the school’s all-time leading rusher with 4,382 yards. This season he was No. 4 nationally with 1,685 rushing yards, which helped him earn All-ACC honors. His 14 career 150-yard rushing games are the most by any ACC player over the last 20 seasons (Lamar Jackson 13, Dalvin Cook 12).
“At this point in my career, I’ve done everything I set out to do,” Dillon said. Dillon had 178 rushing yards and a touchdown in their final game of the regular season, a 26-19 win against Pitt. Dillon was named to the All-ACC first-team in 2019 for the third consecutive season. Boston College’s second-leading rusher, running back David Bailey, had 816 rushing yards and seven touchdowns, averaging 5.8 yards per attempt. Quarterback Dennis Grosel added 203 rushing yards.
Some TalentRedshirt freshman Tyler Vrabel was named All-ACC honorable mention. One of the top freshmen in the nation, Vrabel was the starter in all 12 games at left tackle in 2019. Vrabel has not yielded a sack on 314 pass blocks in 2019 and allowed just one QB hit and eight hurries this season. BC is third nationally with 0.92 sacks allowed per game in 2019. The Eagles are sixth nationally in rushing with 267.8 rushing yards per game. All five of BC’s starting offensive linemen were named All-ACC.
The Eagles lost quarterback Anthony Brown to a season-ending injury in an Oct. 5 loss to Louisville, putting backup Dennis Grosel in the starting lineup. That prompted a shift to a run-heavy attack.
The Birmingham Bowl is the 28th bowl appearance in school history for Boston College and the 18th bowl in the last 21 years for the Eagles. This will be Boston College’s first appearance in the Birmingham Bowl. The Eagles last played in Birmingham in 1984 when they defeated the University of Alabama 38-31. Last season, BC qualified for the First Responder Bowl in Dallas against Boise State, but the game was canceled because of lightning.
Boston College looks for its first bowl win since a 36-30 victory over Maryland in the 2016 Quick Lane Bowl in Detroit. The Eagles are 14-12 all-time in bowl games. Boston College is 31-111-1 all-time against ranked opponents, including an 0-3 mark in 2019.
- Points per Game: 30.92
- Passing Yards: 183.42
- Rushing Yards: 267.42
- Yards per Play: 5.90
- Points per Game: 31.67
- Passing Yards: 299.58
- Rushing Yards: 180.75
- Yards per Play: 6.46
Why Bet on Cincinnati?Cincinnati’s dreams of an AAC title and New Year’s Six bid fell short with a loss to Memphis in the conference title game, but the Bearcats are still one win from back-to-back 11-win seasons and ranked finishes. Cincinnati is 10-3 overall and ranked No. 21 in the latest College Football Playoff Top 25. It was the first time UC has been ranked in the final CFP rankings.
The Bearcats’ only losses of the season came against No. 5 Ohio State (42-0) and to Memphis twice (34-24, 29-24 in the AAC title game).
Cincinnati averages 29.0 points per game, 67th nationally. The Bearcats rank 85th in the country in total offense (385.0 ypg), 105th in passing offense (187.4 ypg) and 33rd nationally in rushing offense (197.6 ypg). UC has started six different offensive-line combinations this season but still ranks No. 5 in the AAC in rushing offense. UC led the AAC in scoring defense for the second-straight year, allowing just 21.7 points per game.
The Cincinnati defense has five first-team All-AAC selections, led by junior safety Darrick Forrest. He ranks third in the AAC with a team-leading 104 tackles. Forrest also registered 3.5 tackles for loss and three interceptions on the season. He had three games with at least 10 tackles, including 16 in the win over Central Florida and 12 in the AAC title game.
What about the Offense?QB Desmond Ridder threw for 2,069 yards in 2019, and never throwing for more than 300 yards in a game. But what makes Ridder dangerous is his ability to run the ball. Boston College has struggled against mobile QBs and Ridder could be a nightmare for the Eagles defense. Only a sophomore, he led all AAC QBs with 123 rushes for 545 yards and 2 touchdowns. Before the AAC Championship game, Ridder injured his shoulder in practice and it was questionable if he was going to play.
But he did and threw for 233 yards and one interception. Michael Warren II is the team leader in rushing yards with 1,160 and he has also scored 14 touchdowns.
UC is making its second postseason trip to Birmingham, having defeated Southern Miss in the 2007 PapaJohns.com Bowl by a 31-21 margin. UC has won two-straight games at Legion Field, where they are 2-2 all time, with wins at former Conference USA foe UAB in 2003 and the 2007 bowl win.
- Points per Game: 29.00
- Passing Yards: 187.38
- Rushing Yards: 199.54
- Yards per Play: 5.38
- Points per Game: 21.69
- Passing Yards: 233.23
- Rushing Yards: 143.38
- Yards per Play: 5.21
Boston College vs Cincinnati 2019 Birmingham Bowl Betting Trends
- Eagles are 7-1 SU in their last 8 games against an opponent in the American Athletic Conference conference
- Eagles are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games when playing as the underdog
- The total has gone OVER in 8 of Boston College’s last 12 games this season
- Bearcats are 19-0 SU in their last 19 games when playing as the favorite
- Bearcats are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games against an opponent in the Atlantic Coast conference
- The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Cincinnati’s last 6 games played on a Thursday