Ohio Bobcats (6-2 SU, 5-3 ATS) vs. Buffalo Bulls (6-2 SU, 6-2 ATS)
College Football Week 11
Date and Time: Tuesday November 5th, 2013. 9:00PM Eastern
Where: University of Buffalo Stadium Buffalo, N.Y.
by Jay, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: OU +3.5/BUF -3.5
Over/Under Total: OFF at time of print.
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College football returns early this week when the Ohio Bobcats
meet the Buffalo Bulls for an important Tuesday night Mid-American
Conference showdown. Buffalo currently leads the MAC Eastern division with
a perfect 4-0 mark in conference play. However, the Bobcats could overtake
the top spot and put their selves in position to make a run at their first
MAC Championship in 45 years with a victory over the Bulls this Tuesday
Buffalo will enter this early week match-up as 3.5 point favorites as the Bulls (6-2 SU) have got off to their best start in over 20 years. The Bulls have done well as favorites recently covering 4 of their last 5 games against the number. Buffalo had a rough start against two of the nation’s best in Ohio State and Baylor to start the season but have knocked off 6 straight wins since that point. The Bulls defense has been extremely impressive holding opponents to just 12.1 points during that winning stretch and their defense will need to be just as good again this week.
Ohio has also housed one of the best defenses in the MAC allowing just 21.9 points per game (29th in FBS) which should make scoring rather difficult on both sides of the ball this week. Conversely, the visiting Bobcats appear to have the better offense entering this Tuesday night’s affair. Veteran quarterback Tyler Tettleton has been solid this season by completing 68% passing for 2,029 yards with 17 touchdowns and 6 picks. The Bobcats have not been able to run the ball as effectively this season with running back Beau Blankenship and the offense has relied on Tettleton more often. As a result, Ohio has averaged a fairly respectable 275 yards per game through the air.
Blankenship on the other hand has rushed for just 550 yards through 8 games this season. Considering the fact Blankenship rushed for 1,600 yards as a junior last year, he has been a disappointment to this point in the season. Obviously the offensive line troubles have accredited to the setback in the running game. The Bobcats’ offensive line lost 3 starters from 2012 and they have struggled with inconsistency every week. Their play will be critical this week against a Buffalo defense that ranks 2nd in the MAC against the run and 1st with 25 total sacks.
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If Buffalo’s defense is able to stay disruptive upfront, they may not need much help from their offense. In the case they do need help from the offense; the Bulls have not thrown the football extremely well this season despite the fact quarterback that Joe Licata has played fairly well. Still, the Bulls rank 85th in passing averaging just 208 yards per game. Luckily Buffalo has a guy that they can turn towards in senior running back Branden Oliver. Oliver has rushed for 874 yards this season and has 9 touchdowns on the ground. The senior tailback has been the focal point for the offense this season and there is not any reason to expect anything different again this week.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: This is a tough game to predict. Ohio from a talent standpoint should be the better football team. Yet, it is hard to ignore the fact Buffalo has vastly improved especially on the defensive side of the football. If I had to throw a dart at this game, I would have to side with the Bobcats considering the fact they have veteran playmakers on offense to come up with crucial plays down the stretch. However, I do believe the best play on the board will be the under once the total is released. Ohio has gone under the number in 6 of their 8 games this year and I expect that trend to continue in another hard fought game. Take Ohio +3.5 and the under.
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