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Buffalo vs Central Michigan Odds & Picks: Value on Short MAC Favorite

Buffalo vs Central Michigan Odds & Picks: Value on Short MAC Favorite article feature image
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Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Central Michigan linebacker Lawi’a Brown.

Buffalo vs Central Michigan Odds

Wednesday, Nov. 9
7 p.m. ET
ESPN2
Buffalo Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+2.5
-110
53.5
-110o / -110u
+120
Central Michigan Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-2.5
-110
53.5
-110o / -110u
-140
Odds via PointsBet. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Wednesday night MACtion features a Buffalo team coming off of its first conference loss of the season at the hands of Ohio. The Bulls now head to Mount Pleasant hoping to earn bowl eligibility against a well-rested Chippewas team.

Central Michigan has struggled most of the season as a result of injuries on both sides of the ball. But in their last game before the bye week, the Chippewas notched a big win over Northern Illinois.

They’ll hope to roll the momentum of that 35-22 win right through the bye as they look to move to .500 in conference play.

The Chippewas defense has been one of the best in the MAC at stopping the run, but will it be enough to hold back a Bulls team trying to run their way to a bowl game?


Buffalo Bulls

With its loss last week, Buffalo moved into a three-way tie for first in the MAC East. If it wants to keep its hopes of making the conference championship alive, this game is a must-win.

The Ohio game was a rude awakening for the Bulls, who had seemed unstoppable prior to last week. As some expected, their five-game win streak was due in part to facing two backup quarterbacks and getting extremely lucky when it came to turnovers.

However, their defensive success in the red zone has had nothing to do with luck. Buffalo ranks 50th nationally in points allowed per drive and 53rd in Defensive Finishing Drives.

The Bulls haven’t been great on defense overall, though, ranking 89th in yards allowed per game.


Central Michigan Chippewas

Despite giving up four turnovers for the second week in a row, the Chippewas overcame Northern Illinois for a big win. It was a massive step in the right direction after they lost three of their four conference games in October.

The return of star running back Lew Nichols III immediately paid dividends for the Chippewas. I think they may see even more improvement from the team as a whole after a much-needed break.

There are questions surrounding the quarterback position, and after a three-quarterback rotation against NIU last week, head coach Jim McElwain said he has no plans to change that approach.

No matter who starts under center, the Chippewas can find success against a Bulls team that ranks 112th in Defensive Passing Success Rate. However, they’ll have to do so without tight end Joel Wilson, who led the team in receptions and receiving touchdowns before a season-ending injury.

The loss of Wilson, compounded with the return of Nichols, puts serious pressure on the Chippewas’ offensive line.

Last week against NIU, Central Michigan didn’t allow a single sack while putting up 245 yards on the ground. If the Chips can perform in a similar manner, it would go a long way toward securing their first home win of the season.

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Buffalo vs Central Michigan Matchup Analysis

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

Buffalo Offense vs. Central Michigan Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 98 40
Line Yards 116 2
Pass Success 57 85
Pass Blocking** 76 36
Havoc 88 8
Finishing Drives 43 62
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Central Michigan Offense vs. Buffalo Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 93 12
Line Yards 123 52
Pass Success 83 112
Pass Blocking** 113 63
Havoc 99 15
Finishing Drives 112 53
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling 112 42
PFF Coverage 92 70
SP+ Special Teams 41 116
Seconds per Play 25.5 (45) 24.2 (27)
Rush Rate 52.7% (69) 49.5% (93)
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.

Buffalo vs Central Michigan Betting Pick

Central Michigan ranks as one of the best teams in the country when it comes to Defensive Havoc, coming in at 10th. Buffalo, meanwhile, isn’t far off from being one of the worst at 122nd nationally.

And while the Chippewas will be met with some challenges in the passing game against a Bulls team that ranks 28th nationally in Passing Down Success Rate Allowed, I think their success on the ground can once again lead to a big win.

In the Chips’ last game before the bye, Nichols’ return from injury sparked the rush offense for Central Michigan, which now faces a considerably worse run defense. I think his role will be even bigger against the Bulls.

There’s some concern when it comes to turnovers, as Buffalo has been one of the best in the nation with 20 takeaways on the season. On the other side, the Chippewas have given the ball up four times in each of their last two games.

With how big of an issue turnovers were prior to the bye week, I expect ball security to be one of the Chippewas’ main goals.

Central Michigan opened up as a 3.5-point underdog for this matchup before quickly moving to +2.5. But as of Tuesday evening, the Chippewas have moved across a pick’em and currently sit as a 1-point favorite. Our Action Network PRO Projections nearly make Central Michigan a 4-point favorite.

I locked in the Chips at -1, and I’d take them as high as a 3-point favorite.

Pick: Central Michigan -1 ⋅ Play to -3

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