The No. 25 ranked Boise State Broncos (10-3) are set to face off against the Boston College Eagles (7-5) in the 2018 First Responder Bowl. Kickoff is set for 1:30 EST on Wednesday, December 26th at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, TX. The game will be televised on ESPN.
Oddsmakers opened this thing up at Boise State -3.5, but the line has dropped to -2.5 and even -2 at some places. The total for this contest is at 55.5 at most books, with some sitting at 56.
First Responder Bowl Odds Preview: Boston College vs Boise State
The Broncos are coming off another successful season under head coach Bryan Harsin. Boise State won 10-games for a third straight year and the fourth time five years under Harsin. The only downside is they came up short in the game that mattered the most, losing 19-16 in overtime to Fresno State in the MWC title game.
Broncos have been to a bowl game in every year under Harsin and have performed well with a 3-1 record. Last year they beat Oregon 38-28 as a 7-point underdog in the Las Vegas Bowl.
The Eagles got off to a great start this season. They opened up 7-2 and were 4-1 in ACC play. Then came a November home game against Clemson, which the Eagles lost 27-7 and all but ending their dreams of winning the Atlantic and playing for a conference title. You could see how much that loss to the Tigers affected this team, as they went on to lose at Florida State and at home to Syracuse to finish up the year.
This will be the Eagles sixth bowl game under head coach Steve Addazio, who is finishing up his 6th year with the team. It hasn’t exactly gone well in the postseason for BC. They are just 1-3 in bowl games with Addazio. However, they did lose by just 7-points in last year’s Pinstripe Bowl to Iowa and had a 1-point overtime loss to Penn State in the 2014 Pinstripe Bowl.
2018 First Responder Bowl Free Pick & Betting Predictions: BC +2.5
My early lean here would be to grab the points with Boston College. I think the metrics favor Boise State and to the public this line looks legit. The Broncos are ranked in the Top 25 and the Eagles closed out the year with 3 straight losses. For me, watching these two teams play this year, I don’t think there’s any question who the better team is. That’s Boston College.
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I just think they are being way undervalued due to losing their last 3 games. That just tells you that they didn’t go into that game against Clemson believing they could keep it close, they thought they were going to win. Losing at Florida State and at home to Syracuse were to be expected given the circumstances. There was nothing left to play for. The ACC title was out of reach and they had already ensured a winning record with 7-wins.
That loss to Clemson was on Nov. 10th and the season for the Eagles concluded on Nov. 24th. That’s more than enough time for BC to put that loss completely behind them and turn their attention to finishing this year the right way with a win over Boise State. I think the fact that the Broncos are ranked and favored to win, only lights that much more of a fire under this Eagles team.
No disrespect to Boise State, but were talking about arguably the second most talented team in the ACC against a Group of 5 team that already flopped once when given a shot against the big boys. It’s like people forget that the Broncos lost 44-21 at Oklahoma State. A Cowboys team that ended up finishing the year 3-6 in the Big 12 and just barely making a bowl at 6-6. Give me Boston College +2.5