This Thursday the Buffalo Bulls will host the Akron Zips in Week 9 action. Kickoff is set for 7:30 EST at at UB Stadium and can be seen on ESPN3. Oddsmakers have the Zips listed as a massive 17.5-point road favorite. Click here for more game previews and betting odds.

Akron vs Buffalo Vegas Odds Preview

The Zips (5-3) come into this game off a 35-25 win at Ball State, covering as a 3.5-point road dog. Akron actually trailed by 10 at the half before outscoring the Cardinals 28-8 in the 2nd half. This came on the heels of the Zips ugly 0-41 home loss to Western Michigan.

The Bulls (1-6) come in off an ugly 7-44 loss at Northern Illinois. Buffalo also failed to cover, as a massive 24-point road dog. Buffalo turned it over 4 times and was outgained by 173 yards.

Free Betting Pick & Predictions: Buffalo +17.5

As tough as it is to back a bad team like the Bulls, I think the value is with Buffalo here. Knowing that the public is going to be on Akron, there’s little doubt this line is inflated.

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Keep in mind just a few weeks ago, Akron was a mere 8.5-point road favorite at Kent State. The Golden Flashes aren’t a whole lot better than Buffalo. Kent State is just 1-3 in the MAC and 2-6 overall. Akron wasn’t able to cover that small spread, winning by a final of just 31-27.

I just don’t think the Zips have the makeup of a team that you can trust to lay this kind of number. Akron is one of the least experienced teams in the country. In fact, they came in ranked 124th in experience. They also are not good defensively. The Zips are 102nd against the run (210.0 ypg) and 109th against the pass (268.8 ypg).

Akron is also a team that has a history of not playing well on the road in games they are expected to win. The Zips are just 4-11-1 ATS as a road favorite since 2006. This is also the first time since 1999 they are favored by more than 17 on the road. It just so happens Buffalo was the opponent in that game. The Zips were favored by 20 and won the game 17-10.

Don’t get me wrong, Buffalo is an awful team. The Bulls have the 121st ranked offense and the 101st ranked defense. They are scoring just 14.9 ppg and giving up 33.4 ppg. The key here is that it’s going to be hard for Akron to take this game seriously. The Zips are coming off a big road game against Ball State. They also have a huge home game on deck next Wednesday against a Toledo team that is 3-0 in the MAC and 6-1 overall.

It’s also worth pointing out that the Bulls are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games against a team with a winning record. Akron is also just 1-6 ATS in their last 7 Thursday games.