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Ohio Buffalo Odds

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Ohio Buffalo Odds

The Ohio Bobcats are 6-2 overall as the season begins to unwind.  They have a 3-1 record in MAC play, and will face one of the best teams in the conference on the road this week when they take on the Buffalo Bulls.  The Bulls are also 6-2 on the season, but own a 4-0 record in conference play.  Ohio lost their season opener on the road against Louisville, and suffered a three point loss at home to Central Michigan for their only conference loss of the season.  Buffalo opened the season at 0-2, dropping games to ranked teams from Ohio State and Baylor.  They have since won six consecutive games, blowout out each of their four MAC opponents.

Kick-off takes place this Tuesday at 8:00 PM ET with television coverage being provided by ESPN2.  The oddsmakers have given Buffalo the edge in this game, listing them as 3.5-point home favorites over Ohio.

Why Ohio Covers

Ohio is scoring an impressive 35.3 points per game on the road this season.  They have a very balanced attack on offense, which makes them one of the toughest teams in the MAC to defend.  They are stronger through the air than on the ground, completing 66.1% of their pass attempts for 275 yards per game.  However, they have also run the ball for an average of 153 yards on 4.1 yards per carry.  They face a Buffalo defense that is mediocre across the board.  The Bulls are allowing 141 rushing yards per game, and 239 passing yards.  Buffalo’s opponents have averaged a mere 56.6% completion percentage for 242 passing yards, and if they continue to allow their opponents to play inline with their statistical averages the Bobcats should win this game in a blowout.

The Buffalo Bulls are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 home games against a team with a winning record on the road.

Defensively Ohio has allowed 21.7 points per game.  They have faced some very strong running teams, and that will be the case again this week against the run-biased Bulls.  Buffalo averages a mere 3.9 yards per carry, and they are completing well under 60% of their pass attempts for 208 yards.  The Bobcats are outgaining the Bulls by an average of 47 yards per game.  Defensively they have held opponents to an average of five yards per game less than Buffalo’s defense.  These teams are very evenly matched statistically, with Ohio getting a slight edge.  I don’t think home field advantage will be enough alone for the Bulls to dominate this game.

Why Buffalo Covers

The Bobcats may be averaged 35.3 points per game on the road, but the Bulls are not far behind at 35.2 points per game when playing at home this season.  Buffalo has continuously been undervalued by the oddsmakers, easily covering the spread in each of their past five games.  Their ground attack is relentless, and should tire out this Bobcats defense.  Buffalo has averaged 43 running plays per game at home this season, and they have amassed 182 rushing yards in those games.  They may not gain a lot of yardage through the air, but that has not stopped quarterback Joe Licata from throwing 14 touchdowns to just four interceptions this season.

The Bobcats are 1-7 ATS in their last eight games following a win by more than 20 points, and they are 0-9 ATS when coming off a performance in which they scored more than 40 points.

The biggest edge the Bulls have in this game is defensively.  They have held opponents to just 13 points per game at home this season, and have yet to be defeated when playing in front of their home crowd.  After getting off to a fast start, the oddsmakers have been overvaluing Ohio, and that has resulted in a 1-2 ATS performance in their last three games.  The Bobcats have played a soft schedule on the road, facing the likes of Eastern Michigan and Akron, and that has led to some very misleading statistics.

My Prediction

Buffalo is clearly the better team, and until someone in the conference gives me a reason to believe otherwise, I am going to continue taking them as such small favorites.  They have certainly played a soft conference schedule, but so has Ohio.  Lay the points on the home team because the Bulls should win this game by a touchdown or more.

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