Buffalo Bulls vs. Bowling Green Falcons
Buffalo Bulls (2-0 SU, 2-0 ATS) vs. Bowling Green Falcons (0-2 SU, 0-2 ATS)
When: Tuesday, November 17, 7 p.m.
Where: Doyt Perry Stadium, Bowling Green, Ohio
Point Spread: BUFF -31.5/BGSU +31.5 (Best Teaser Odds on the Web)
Total: O/U 61
Whenever the visiting team is giving more than 30 points to the host, you know you’ve got a real mismatch on your hands. That’s exactly the situation here in western Ohio, as Bowling Green welcomes in the favorite to win the MAC title in Buffalo. The Bulls probably should have won the MAC’s Eastern Division title last year if they hadn’t stubbed their toe against Miami-Ohio, but they made up for that by drubbing the RedHawks last week, putting them firmly in the driver’s seat for the division.
There appears to be little chance that they’ll have any problems with Bowling Green, which has now lost five consecutive games by at least 35 points, including last year’s 49-7 rout at the hands of the Bulls. Bowling Green hasn’t shown much on either offense or defense as of late, and when it has done anything positive on one side of the ball, it’s canceled it out with a negative showing on the other side. In three of their past five losses, the Falcons were held to seven points or less. Twice, they managed to break 20 points…but in both of those games, the defense responded by giving up more than 60 to the opponent, including last week’s 62 points to Kent State. Unless Buffalo is looking ahead to Kent State — and even that might not be enough — it’s hard to see how the Falcons can even compete in this contest.
How the Public is Betting the Buffalo/Bowling Green Game
Know how I said anything above 30 points for the home team is a sign of a mismatch? Here’s a more obvious sign: that number wasn’t even enough for the public. 54 percent of the tickets came in on Buffalo, which was just enough to push the line from 31 to 31.5. The total has not changed.
Defensive end Taylor Riggins is questionable with an undisclosed issue. Corner Aapri Washington is out with an undisclosed issue.
Defensive lineman Karl Brooks, quarterback Labronz Davis and running back Andrew Clair are all questionable with an undisclosed issue.
More Picks: Get Dan’s Akron at Kent State Spread Bet
When Buffalo Has the Ball
Surprise, surprise: Buffalo can pass after all. The Bulls threw it all over Miami-Ohio, as Kyle Vantrease ended up with 353 yards and four touchdown passes in a total departure from Buffalo’s usual game plan. The Bulls do pass from time to time, but they usually prefer to let Jaret Patterson do most of the heavy lifting on the ground. However, with the RedHawks focused on Patterson, Vantrease and Antonio Nunn took center stage, as the Bulls picked apart the Miami secondary.
Look for Buffalo to get back to Patterson in this one. Bowling Green simply does not have the defense needed to slow down the Bulls’ ground game, and the fact that the Falcons have given up an average of 302.5 yards a game on the ground says that Patterson and Kevin Marks will be able to do pretty much anything they want in this game. Bowling Green has shown no ability to stop lesser offenses, and Buffalo has pounded teams that can actually play a little bit of defense. The Bulls will still pass from time to time, but in this game, don’t expect Vantrease to come close to 300 yards through the air. It’s not because the Falcons have a great secondary; it’s because the ground game is such a mismatch that Buffalo should be able to do whatever it wants from start to finish.
When Bowling Green Has the Ball
So how does an offense that has only scored 27 points in two games possibly keep up with what might be the most talented team in the MAC? If it happens, it’s not going to get done through the air. Matt McDonald has posted some anemic numbers at quarterback, completing just 28 percent of his passes for 233 yards. Unsurprisingly, those numbers also include zero touchdowns to his name. Bowling Green hasn’t even seen a receiver top 70 yards this season, and that’s a two-game total. In short, the Falcons own the weakest pass attack in the MAC by a mile.
Bowling Green does have a couple of quality weapons in running backs Terion Stewart and Trevon Raymore, with Stewart being the more dangerous of the squad. Stewart has gone for 162 yards and two of Bowling Green’s three touchdowns in this brief season, and a 69-yard run earlier this year made it clear that he’s got the speed needed to rip off big plays when a chance presents itself.
The problem is that Buffalo features a solid run defense that has kept better offenses from controlling the game against them, and nothing in Bowling Green’s recent history suggests any kind of commitment to the run. Most likely, the Falcons will fall behind early and toss their entire game plan out the window.
What’s been the easiest way to make money on college football as of late? Bet Buffalo, and if you can do it on a Tuesday, so much the better. The Bulls have covered in their past five games and have covered in each of their past six games on Tuesday night. Plus, they’ve dominated the Falcons for years now; they’ve covered in six straight games and have covered in six of the past seven meetings with Bowling Green.
For the Falcons, there really is no logical reason to take them here. They’re 5-21 in their past 26 home games and have failed to cover in any of their past five contests, regardless of where the game is played. They also could use a low-scoring match, given their own struggles to move the ball. However, low-scoring might not help them stay close, as the under has cashed in six of the past eight meetings between the teams and in all four of their past four matchups in western Ohio.
This could be a chilly night in northwestern Ohio, with temperatures predicted to fall into the mid-20s before all is said and done. Only a slight wind will blow, heading west-northwest at six miles per hour.
Dan’s Pick to Cover
I can’t really see any way that Bowling Green puts up much of a fight. Buffalo appears to have one of the most potent offenses in the MAC, and the Falcons don’t have the offense to stay anywhere close to their running game. I think Buffalo pounds the ball with Jaret Patterson here, leading to the Bulls covering the number and the total staying under, as I think the Falcons won’t do their share of the scoring.
To me, this feels like a repeat of last year’s game. Give me the Bulls to win big.
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