Kent State Golden Flashes (1-9 SU, 4-6 ATS) vs. Buffalo Bulls (4-6 SU, 4-6 ATS)
College Football Week 13
Date and Time: Wednesday, November 19, 2014, 8:00 pm EST
Where: University of Buffalo Stadium, Buffalo, N.Y.
by Badger, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Kent +7/Buff -7
Over/Under Total: OFF
The Buffalo Bulls need to win their final two games of the season in order to have any sniff of a bowl game possibility in December, and it will start this Wednesday night with Mid-American Conference MAC-tion when they host the one-win Kent State Golden Flashes in University of Buffalo Stadium on ESPNU.
Buffalo put a whoopin on Akron in last weeks mid-week MAC game, racking up 536 yards of offense and four Joe Licata touchdown throws to hand the Zips a 55-24 victory. For the Bulls, home-cooking has been the key as they moved to 4-2 at home this season with Wednesdays night game against the Flashes standing to be their finale for the 2014 campaign.
Meanwhile, the 2014 season for Kent State has turned ugly once again as they have dropped three in a row including a 30-20 heartbreaker at Bowling Green last week on the road. Moral victories aside, the Golden Flashes are probably sick of playing well only to drop another double-digit loss, so this week represents another opportunity for them to get things going in the right direction and spoil the Bulls thoughts of becoming bowl eligible.
For the third straight week Kent State will go into the game as a big underdog, as oddsmakers set the opening point spread for Wednesday nights tilt with Buffalo as 7-point favorites at home. With over 24 hours yet till kickoff, an over/under total has yet to be released for this game.
What makes this game a little harder to handicap is the fact that neither of these teams do anything exceptionally well. Buffalos Licata is a solid QB, but hes not going to romance you with exceptional arm strength and the Bulls 260 yards passing a game is 43rd in all of FBS. Running back Anthone Taylor is a 1,000-yard rusher (1,166) with 10 TDs on the season, but again the Bulls are so inconsistent that its hard to hang your hat on Buffalos offense doing it week in and week out. Taylor could have a huge game this week with plenty of carries, especially since the Golden Flashes defense is one of the worst against the run in the land (allow 217 ypg 112th).
Kent States coaching staff needs to make a choice at quarterback, because they keep giving sophomore Colin Reardon the start until he throws too many interceptions and doesnt take care of the ball (15 INT to just 12 TD), then they give Nathan Strock the ball and the freshman seems to provide the spark. Buffalos defense is a typical MAC defense, allowing huge plays and big scoring numbers (32.6 ppg -104th) which explains a lot as to why the Bulls are 4-6 and struggling to get to the .500 mark on the season.
Historically these two schools have alternated wins and losses on the field, with Buffalo winning on the road in Kent last year (41-21), only to watch the Golden Flashes do it to them on the road the year before in 2012 (23-7). Going all the way back to 2002 these two are an even-steven 5-5 SU on the field, with Buffalo holding a small 4-3-1 ATS edge at the window.
The betting trends point to a Kent State wager on Wednesday, especially since the underdog is 5-1-1 ATS in the last seven head-to-head meetings, the road team is a 4-0-1 ATS and the fact that Kent State is also 3-1-1 ATS in their last five visits to Buffalo on the road.
Badgers Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I have a really hard time backing Kent State these days, because Im not sure who theyre playing at QB or what they are trying to accomplish on offense. But that said, I dont think Buffalo should be a touchdown favorite, thats only based on their 55-point outburst last week. Ill take Kent State plus the points on Wednesday, but I certainly wont be putting much on the line when I do. Take Kent State plus the 7 points.