Colgate vs. Buffalo College Basketball Odds & Picks: Bet the Raiders
Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images. Pictured: Colgate Raiders
Colgate vs. Buffalo Odds
Colgate begins its journey for three Patriot League Championships in a row.
Last year’s group struggled in non-conference play, winning just four of its 14 matchups. The group specifically struggled on the defensive end of the floor in those games, but the Raiders found their stride once conference play began, winning 19 of their 21 games, including tournament play.
They hope to begin this season on a better note.
Meanwhile, the Bulls had an up-and-down start to last season, but the group put together a nine-game win streak toward the end of the campaign. Jim Whitesell looks to use that momentum as fuel for the non-conference schedule early in 2022-23.
Returning production could have a pivotal impact on the final score.
Colgate has made back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances.
In 2021, the Raiders hung tough with Arkansas in the first half before losing by double-digits. Last year, the program led Wisconsin late in the second half before a six-minute scoring drought ultimately doomed their Cinderella hopes.
The Raiders found their success with outside shooting last season. The program was the second-best 3-point shooting team in the nation, hitting 40% from beyond the arc.
Whether that trend will continue this season remains to be seen. The Raiders lost their top three scorers from 2021-22 — they all averaged over a dozen points per game. More importantly, they all shot above 36% from beyond the arc on their combined 594 attempts.
Head coach Matt Langel will lean on Ryan Moffatt to take more of a leadership role on the offensive end. He connected on 56-of-124 attempts from deep last season, good for 45%.
He will be joined by fellow senior Oliver Lynch-Daniels, who hit 55% of his 3-pointers off the bench last season.
Talk about a reset! The Buffalo basketball program returns only 12% of its minutes from last season, according to Bart Torvik. That is the third-lowest mark in the nation.
The leading returning scorer from last year’s roster is LaQuill Hardnett, who averaged just 2.7 points per game.
Let’s throw out last season’s stats and focus on the roster that Whitesell has been building.
The group of new faces is highlighted by 6-foot-11 center Isaac Jack, who joins the program from Canada, where he averaged 16 points and eight rebounds. They also brought in two freshmen guards in Devin Caesar and Jaden Slaughter.
Whitesell also brought in six transfers from across the country. Isaiah Adams (UCF), Sy Chatman (Illinois State) and Armoni Foster (who averaged 15 points in D-II) will all likely have an immediate impact on the roster.
In addition, Kanye Jones (Boston College) and Jonnivius Smith (Seton Hall) round out the bunch.
The biggest takeaway I have from the imported roster is it has only one player that is listed under 6-foot-4. Seven of the players are 6-foot-6 or taller, and they will likely be focusing on the paint.
Colgate vs. Buffalo Betting Pick
Even the most talented teams that are composed of blue-chip freshmen struggle early in the season until they find time to gel.
That’s going to be Buffalo’s biggest challenge this season, as it returns only 12% of its minutes from last season.
Though the Bulls will have a solid height advantage in this one, they’re going to be matching up against a Colgate offense that ranked second in the nation in 3-point percentage last season.
The Raiders force open lanes with their spacing of snipers along the perimeter.
Despite the height advantage, that’s going to be a massive challenge for the Bulls in this matchup.
Buffalo’s one returnee from last season didn’t dress in its preseason matchup against Daemen University, and his status is unknown for this game.
I’m taking the team with more chemistry and returning production. Buffalo will have some growing pains.