Buffalo Bulls (7-2 SU, 7-2 ATS) vs. Toledo Rockets (6-3 SU, 6-2-1 ATS)
College Football Week 12
Date and Time: Tuesday, November 12, 2013, 7:30 pm EST
Where: Glass Bowl, Toledo Ohio
TV: ESPNU/DirecTV 208
by Badger, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Buff. +4/Tol. -4
Over/Under Total: OFF
Not only will a winning streak come to and end, but someones Mid-American Conference title hopes could come crashing to the ground on Tuesday night, when the Buffalo Bulls travel to the Glass Bowl to play the Toledo Rockets in primetime on ESPNU.
For the Bulls, who enter Tuesdays game on a 7-game win streak and on top of the MAC East standings (5-0 MAC), the game versus the Rockets at the Glass Bowl is the only stumbling block standing in their way of a showdown versus Bowling Green for the East title on November 29th. Buffalo made a big statement in last weeks dismantling of Ohio, 30-3, in a mid-week special game on the four-letter network, but their march toward a MAC title-game shot will have to through the Glass Bowl for the Bulls.
For Toledo, in the midst of a four-game win streak, the heart of their MAC schedule is upon them starting on Tuesday night against Buffalo. At 4-1 in the MAC West, the Rockets have already lost to Ball State in the division, but with a date against Northern Illinois ahead on the schedule the Rockets need to win out to stay alive. If the Rockets can continue to score like they have been during the win-streak (43 ppg), they certainly have a chance at spoiling the Bulls dream season.
At 7-2 ATS, Buffalo continues to fly under the radar for some, but since this is really the Bulls first test on the road this season its no surprise that Toledo opened as 3.5- or 4-point favorites at home. As of press time, a total hasnt yet been released by oddsmakers offshore or in Las Vegas.
Most observers outside the MAC havent given Buffalo much of a look this season because their numbers arent exceptionally flashy. At 30.9 points per game and 385 yards a contest, the Bulls are only ranked 5th and 6th, respectively, in those categories in the MAC and dont really make awe you that much on offense. Running back Branden Oliver is the go-to player for the Bulls, and at 140.4 yards per game the senior leads the conference in rushing and has scored 11 touchdowns. Toledo has gotten better on defense this season (4th in MAC), but the Rockets run defense (allowing 165.8 ypg) is going to be tested by Buffalo and Oliver and they need to step up to the challenge if they want to keep their winning ways and stay with the lead pack in the title chase.
Toledos defense will need to rise to the challenge Tuesday because the Bulls have a really solid defense, so the Rockets wont throw 60 points up on the scoreboard in a blink like they have done in the past. Running back David Fluellen (2nd in MAC 133 ypg) and QB Terrance Owens (191.9 total off. ypg) seem like theyve been at Toledo for seven or eight years now, but both seniors lead a Rockets offense that has plenty of big-game experience. Fluellen is nursing a sore ankle (questionable), but together theyll have to move the chains on the Buffalo defense that is second to only Bowling Green in the MAC in scoring (20.7 ppg) and No. 1 against the run (133 ypg), so Owens might have to beat the Bulls through the air, which is not his strong suit.
Buffalo has been a bettors dream against the Rockets in the past, covering in four straight and all of their meetings since these two starting playing together in the Mid-American. They are however just 1-3 SU, losing both of their previous games at Toledo in the Glass Bowl in big fashion (38-15 in 2005; 56-29 in 2003).
the over is 3-1 historically in this series, and even though Buffalo and their defense would scream under play, its actually the over that has a few decent betting trends in its favor. The over is 5-1 for Toledo following their bye week, and the over is also 4-1 in Buffalos last five games on a Tuesday night.
Badgers Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I know that on paper Buffalo hasnt played anyone yet, but I dont think Toledo is as good as they have been in the past either. I called a MAC East title for Buffalo in the preseason and Im sticking with that call. Its going to be ugly, but Oliver will run all over Toledo and the Bulls will find a way to win and cover. Take Buffalo on the road plus the points.
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