This Wednesday the Ohio Bobcats (4-5, 4-5 ATS) will host the Buffalo Bulls (3-5, 3-5 ATS). Kickoff is scheduled for 8:00 EST at Peden Stadium and will be televised on ESPNU. Oddsmakers currently have Ohio listed as a 3.5-point home favorite with the total set 55.5 points.
Both of these teams desperately need a win to increase their chances of becoming bowl eligible. The Bobcats need to win two of their final three to finish 6-6, while Buffalo must win three of their last four. The Bulls defeated Ohio 30-3 as a 4-point home favorite last year, but haven’t defeated the Bobcats on the road since 2008. In fact, the home team has won each of the last 4 meetings and is 3-1 ATS during this stretch.
Early Lean on Ohio -3.5
I know there’s not a lot to like about either of these, but I would have to give the edge to Ohio in this matchup. The Bobcats are going to be out for revenge after last year’s embarrassing loss and Buffalo is clearly not as talented as they were a year ago. The Bulls only two wins this season have come at home against bad teams. Two of which were FCS opponents. Their only victory against an FBS team is a 35-27 win over Miami (OH).
You might be inclined to take the points based on how these two teams have performed against the two common opponents that they have played. Buffalo lost at Bowling Green 35-36 and at home to Central Michigan 14-20, while Ohio lost 13-31 at home to the Falcons and 10-28 on the road versus the Chippewas. However, the Bobcats were without starting quarterback Derrius Vick for both of those games and didn’t have leading rusher A.J. Ouellette against Central Michigan. It’s also worth noting that Ohio outgained Bowling Green by 158 total yards, while the Bulls were outgained by the Falcons by 140 total yards.
Bad defenses typically don’t travel well and that’s certainly been the case for Buffalo. The Bulls are giving up 40.0 points and 486.0 yards per game (288 rushing yards/game) on the road.
Both Vick and Ouellette are expected to play against Buffalo and I believe having those two on the field will be more than enough for Ohio to get the win and cover this spread. Defensively the Bulls have not been good. They come in ranked 85th in the country versus both the run (183.0 ypg) and the pass (245.4 ypg). Bad defenses typically don’t travel well and that’s certainly been the case for Buffalo. The Bulls are giving up 40.0 points and 486.0 yards per game (288 rushing yards/game) on the road. Ohio’s defense isn’t great either, but they should benefit from playing in front of the home crowd and the extra time to prepare.
The fact that Buffalo lost by a final of just 14-20 to Central Michigan in their last game, also sets us up in a favorable spot to fade the Bulls. They are just 4-15 ATS in their last 19 after a close conference loss of 7 or less less points. It’s also worth noting that the Bobcats are 7-2-1 ATS in their last 10 following a bye and a lot of that credit goes to head coach Frank Solich.