Updated 2019 Bahamas Bowl Odds, Betting Pick and Prediction: Will Buffalo Run All Over Charlotte?
Joshua S. Kelly, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Benny LeMay
- The updated betting market for the 2019 Bahamas Bowl makes Buffalo a favorite (spread: Buffalo -7), with the over/under at 51.5. The total has taken a ton of betting action throughout the week, due to the weather forecast for Friday, which includes extremely heavy winds.
- How should you be betting Charlotte vs. Buffalo, and does Charlotte have any value as a 7-point underdog?
- Our experts make their picks and analyze all of the angles for the Bahamas Bowl below.
Updated 2019 Bahamas Bowl Odds & Picks: Buffalo vs. Charlotte
- Spread: Buffalo -7
- Over/Under: 51.5
- Date: Friday, Dec. 20
- Time: 2 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN
- Location: Nassau, Bahamas
Charlotte is making its first ever FBS postseason appearance against Buffalo in the Bahamas on Friday to kick off bowl season.
The 49ers are likely to hold onto coach Will Healy after he was rumored for the Ole Miss and Missouri vacant positions.
You can throw any potential motivation advantage out the window as both teams are seeking their first bowl win in program history. This will mark Charlotte’s first bowl appearance since the inception of its program in 2013.
The Bulls do have bowl experience, but lost all three trips, including their most recent appearance last year in the Dollar General Bowl (lost 42-32 to Troy).
Who has the edge in the first game of the 2019 bowl season? Let’s dive in.
Odds as of Friday afternoon and via DraftKings, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $500.
Buffalo vs. Charlotte Line Movement
Buffalo has been the most popular bet within the first wave of bowl games. The Bulls are attracting an impressive 82% of bettors as 6.5-point favorites — a line that has come up from -4.5.
It’s worth noting, though, that the 18% of bets on Charlotte have accounted for 31% of money wagered thus far, revealing how bigger bettors see this spread.
The total has come crashing down thanks to a windy weather in store in Nassau. Seventy-three percent of money on 50% of actual bets have also hit the under, driving the number from around 58 to 51.5. We did see some buyback on the over at 51. — Danny Donahue
Latest News & Weather
- This could be one of the windiest games in college football that we’ve ever tracked, at 29 mph with gusts up to 40 mph. Wind has a negative affect on passing in particular, though these are two run-first teams.
- No notable players are sitting out.
- Charlotte’s top two tacklers, LB Jeff Gemmell and DB Marquavis Gibbs, are both questionable.
Two Fun Facts
- Buffalo was one of the unluckiest teams in the country this season, ranking bottom 25 in turnover luck, second order win total and games lost with a positive yards per play differential.
- Both Charlotte and Buffalo rank bottom 10 in special teams efficiency and bottom 20 in net starting field position.
Collin Wilson: Strength on Strength
This game could be slower than what we’ve seen in previous Bahamas Bowls, which are known for their wild finishes and bad beats. Both teams rank outside the top 100 in pace of play.
Charlotte’s bread and butter has been its offensive line and explosive rushing attack. Even in games without star running back Benny Lemay, Charlotte has still had multiple backs over 100 yards.
But the Bulls defense is top 30 in defensive rushing success rate and against explosiveness, setting up a matchup of strength-on-strength.
On the other side of the ball, the Charlotte defense has had issues with the rush all season. Buffalo’s biggest advantage comes on the ground, with top 30 ranks in line yards and power success on offense in contrast to the 49ers rank outside the top 100.
The strength-on-strength matchup on this side of the ball will be Buffalo’s offensive line vs. Charlotte’s pass rush — both are top 10 in sack rate.
The current point spread is almost in line with the Action Network projection of -5.5, leaving close to no value in the current offering.
The total certainly deserves attention, as both teams run a slower pace and will have success moving the chains on the ground. Not only do these teams rank outside the top 100 in seconds per play, both offenses rank top 25 in rush rate.
Although precipitation is in the forecast, high winds are expected to bring chaos to the few passing attempts.
The under is the only look for me given the weather and run rate, but it’s lost most of its value. — Collin Wilson
Stuckey: Waiting for the Right Number
Well, luckily this line won’t force me to play two MAC teams on the opening day of bowl season. And with this line looking like it might reach +7, I may end up with money on Charlotte since I personally make this line +4.
As a result of the heavy forecasted winds, the total has steadily dropped throughout the week. Those same conditions may also be the reason we are seeing this line creep up in favor of the favorite Bulls. You’d think that the wind would hurt a Charlotte offense that is much more capable through the air more than Buffalo.
On offense, the Bulls rely on an outstanding offensive line and workhorse back Jaret Patterson, who’s one of seven backs with over 1,500 rushing yards this season.
Charlotte’s defensive line profiles similar to most of the inferior ones we saw in the MAC this year (8 of the 11 other MAC teams not named Buffalo rank 85th or worse in yards per rush allowed). The super sophomore should have lanes to run through against a very vulnerable Charlotte front seven.
The 49ers can also run the ball but will have a much stiffer test against a much more stout Buffalo front seven. The Bulls were one of only eight teams in FBS to allow fewer than 3.0 yards per rush on the season. Meanwhile, Charlotte allowed 5.0 yards per rush, which ranks 110th in the nation.
Charlotte will have the advantage on special teams as Buffalo has one of the worst special teams units in the entire country. However, the field goal edge for Charlotte may be negated by the heavy winds.
The heavy winds hurt Charlotte more than Buffalo but a move up to +7 or above would still be too much. If this gets to a touchdown, I’ll make a small investment on the 49ers. — Stuckey
Stuckey’s Pick: Charlotte only at +7 or better