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Akron vs Buffalo Odds & Predictions: Bulls to Reach Bowl Eligibility

Akron vs Buffalo Odds & Predictions: Bulls to Reach Bowl Eligibility article feature image
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Joshua Bessex/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: The Buffalo Bulls’ Rayvante Embry (85), Justin Marshall (1) and Jamari Gassett.

Akron vs Buffalo Odds

Friday, Dec. 2
1 p.m. ET
ESPN+
Akron Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+11.5
-115
55.5
-102o / -120u
+340
Buffalo Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-11.5
-105
55.5
-102o / -120u
-450
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

MACtion isn’t done yet. Akron travels to Buffalo on Friday to make up a rescheduled game to end its regular season.

The matchup was rescheduled from its original Nov. 19 date due to the brutal snowstorm that hit New York. It was no surprise the matchup was rescheduled; even the Buffalo Bills moved their game to Detroit

Despite the MAC Championship being played Saturday, this is still an important game for Buffalo. After losing three games in a row, the program finds itself sitting with a 5-6 record. The Bulls now need this victory to reach bowl eligibility.

Akron, meanwhile, may lack some motivation entering this matchup. The group is 2-9 on the season while being outscored by two touchdowns per game. The Zips are coming off their first conference victory of the season after defeating Northern Illinois, 44-12, last week.

Buffalo should win this matchup and become bowl eligible, but will it cover the spread as nearly two-touchdown favorites?


Akron Zips

Akron has been at the bottom of the MAC for the last four years.

During that span, the Zips have put up a record of 5-36. Expectations were a bit higher under head coach Joe Moorhead this season, but he suffered a similar fate by finishing 2-9 on the year.

The Zips opened the FBS schedule with two losses to Michigan State and Tennessee by a combined score of 115-6. But the program has been more competitive since, losing four of its final seven matchups by one possession.

Akron’s offense relies on a passing attack that averages 42 passes per game, which ranks seventh nationally. Junior quarterback Jeff Undercuffler Jr. has taken over as the starting quarterback for the last two weeks.

Against Eastern Michigan, Undercuffler completed 8-of-18 passes for 133 yards and two interceptions. It was a different story last time out against Northern Illinois, as he threw for 312 yards and three touchdowns with only one interception.

Akron’s rushing attack has been nonexistent this season, averaging only 2.9 yards per carry to rank 127th nationally.

The defense has been equally as bad, allowing 36 points per game against FBS competition. The Zips are allowing 6.1 yards per play and 8.7 yards per pass; both rank outside the top 115 nationally.

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Buffalo Bulls

Buffalo opened the season by losing its first three games, including a six-point loss to Holy Cross. But the Bulls rebounded, ripping off five victories in a row with four of those coming against MAC foes.

Since then, the program has dropped another three games in a row, including a four-point loss to Central Michigan and a three-point loss to Kent State.

The offense owns a rush rate of 54% and averaged 3.5 yards per carry. The backfield is made up of Ron Cook Jr. and Mike Washington, who have combined for 1,187 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Quarterback Cole Snyder owns a 2:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio, tossing 14 touchdowns and seven picks on the season. He’s also completing 60% of his passes while averaging 6.6 yards per pass attempt.

Snyder could be in for a field day in this matchup against a lackluster Akron secondary.

On the other side, the Bulls’ secondary will be put to the test against Akron’s pass-heavy attack. Buffalo has held opponents to just a 55% completion percentage this season, which ranks 17th nationally. It’s also allowing 7.1 yards per pass attempt to rank 61st.


Akron vs Buffalo Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Akron and Buffalo match up statistically:

Akron Offense vs. Buffalo Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 59 23
Line Yards 65 53
Pass Success 65 98
Pass Blocking** 87 62
Havoc 121 12
Finishing Drives 117 77
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Buffalo Offense vs. Akron Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 80 86
Line Yards 114 70
Pass Success 54 122
Pass Blocking** 90 88
Havoc 73 112
Finishing Drives 58 119
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling 110 104
PFF Coverage 119 93
SP+ Special Teams 125 36
Seconds per Play 25.1 (40) 26.9 (76)
Rush Rate 43.3% (121) 55.2% (58)
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.

Akron vs Buffalo Betting Pick

This is a big game for Buffalo, which will want to end its losing streak to reach bowl eligibility. Meanwhile, Akron has very little to play for in this matchup. I anticipate Moorhead using this opportunity to find some of his younger players playing time and get a look at the future.

Akron’s defense has been among the worst in the nation this year, allowing 36 points and 6.1 yards per play this season. Buffalo’s offense will find success both on the ground and through the air.

Snyder will be able to pick apart the Zips’ secondary, which is allowing 8.7 yards per pass attempt on the season.

The Bulls have covered the spread in all five of their victories this season. If they win, they win in convincing fashion. I expect that trend to continue in this matchup against an uninspired Akron side.

Pick: Buffalo -11 (Play to -12.5)

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