It’ll be a Big Ten vs. ACC battle in the 2017 Pinstripe Bowl as the Iowa Hawkeyes take on the Boston College Eagles. The game will kickoff at 5:15 EST on Wednesday, December 27 at Yankee Stadium in New York. Fans can watch the game on ESPN.
Iowa enters the game as 3-point favorites. The over/under is set at 45.5 points. Click here for a full list of bowl game betting odds and links to game previews.
Pinstripe Bowl Vegas Odds Preview: Iowa vs Boston College
Iowa’s season has been defined by their blowout of Ohio State, a game that likely cost the Buckeyes a spot in the College Football Playoff. Despite that win, Iowa struggled at times in Big Ten play, finishing just 7-5 overall and 4-5 in conference play.
Nevertheless, the Hawkeyes are bowling for the fifth year in a row and for the 15th time in 19 years under Kirk Ferentz. Unfortunately, Iowa hasn’t won a bowl game since 2010, so they’ll be looking to break a five-game bowl losing streak.
Boston College also finished the season 7-5. The Eagles finished the season strong, winning five of their last six games after a shaky start to the season. Unfortunately for the Eagles, quarterback Anthony Brown won’t be able to play in the bowl game. But senior Darius Wade did a fine job of helping the Eagles close out the season.
Steve Addazio has won seven games and taken the Eagles to a bowl game in four of his five years at BC. Winning the Pinstripe Bowl and getting to eight wins for the first time since 2009 would be a small but significant step forward for the Eagles.
2017 Pinstripe Bowl Free Betting Pick & Predictions: Boston College +3
I’m not thrilled with how Iowa played late in the season after beating Ohio State, particularly the loss to Purdue. Meanwhile, Boston College appeared to make some serious strides during the second half of the season. I see this being a close game, but I think the Eagles are a little better team, so I’ll lean toward BC as the underdog.
Unlike most bowl games, the Pinstripe Bowl is played outdoors in a cold climate. The weather has been a factor in this game in the past, and that could very well be the case again. If there’s snow or wind, the advantage swings toward the better running team, and that’s Boston College.
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BC freshman running back A.J. Dillon is one of the best backs in the country that not enough people know about. He ran for over 1,400 yards and 13 touchdowns this season, eclipsing 200 yards twice. He ran absolutely wild the second half of the season against teams like Louisville, Florida State, NC State, and Syracuse. He was first-team all-ACC and the league’s Rookie of the Year. Dillon is the real deal and he’ll be poised for a big bowl game on national TV.
To be fair, the Iowa defense is strong and has put up a fight against plenty of teams with good rushing attacks. But Dillon and the BC ground game aren’t far behind teams like Wisconsin and Penn State that had plenty of success running the ball against Iowa. That may seem hyperbolic, but keep in mind that Dillon averaged 183 yards per game by himself over the final six games of the season.
On the other side of the ball, the Hawkeyes were inconsistent running the ball this season, averaging under 4 yards per carry. With Nathan Stanley, Iowa has the better quarterback in this matchup, which should help. However, the Eagles played strong defense down the stretch, giving up 12 points per game over their final five games, so they won’t be easy to score against.
Even if the weather isn’t a problem in this game, BC’s running game is going to be tough to stop. The Hawkeyes are a quality team, so they won’t be a pushover. But with a powerful running game and stingy defense, I like the Eagles in the Pinstripe Bowl, especially as the underdog.