Buffalo-Ohio Betting Preview: Bulls Due for Some Regression?

Buffalo-Ohio Betting Preview: Bulls Due for Some Regression? article feature image
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USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Tyree Jackson and Nathan Rourke

Buffalo at Ohio Betting Odds

  • Odds: Ohio -2.5
  • Over/Under: 66
  • Time: 7 p.m. ET
  • TV: ESPN2

>> All odds as of 10:45 a.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and track your bets


Buffalo is looking to clinch the MAC East on Wednesday night, but Ohio stands in its way with an outside shot of winning the division. The Bobcats are a short favorite after this game opened as a pick’em.

Buffalo has really come together under coach Lance Leipold, ranking top 50 in offensive and defensive S&P+.

Ohio’s offense might be the MAC’s best, led by dynamic dual-threat quarterback Nathan Rourke, but the defense leaves something to be desired. The Bobcats allow 6.21 yards per play, 106th in the nation.

Buffalo Due for Some Regression?

By Steve Petrella

The Bulls have had an excellent season, and are on track to make their first MAC Championship Game since 2008. But should we expect things to run smooth the rest of the way?

Buffalo has been the recipient of some good turnover luck (5.3 more than expected) and has a Second Order Win Total of 7.9 compared to just a 9-1 record. That means if you played Buffalo’s schedule over and over, on average, it would have one fewer win.

Buffalo isn’t a regression candidate in the sense that it will completely fall off. Much of what the Bulls have done is very sustainable.

But as Collin details below, this Ohio offense is just the one that can take advantage of the Bulls. The Bobcats are efficient on early downs, and will keep the chains moving against a quality Buffalo defense.

Ohio Being Undervalued?

By Steve Petrella

As Stuckey detailed last week, Ohio might be a little undervalued still, though the move from a pick’em to -2.5 erases any pure line value. Based on our power ratings, this game should be a pick.

The Bobcats were the preseason MAC favorite and at just 6-4, have fallen short of expectations. But three of their four losses have come by four points or fewer, and they could easily be 8-2 and knocking on the door of the top 25. That’s not how this team is being talked about.

Ohio has also been excellent at home this season, going 3-1 against the spread. It’s covered 55% of its home games in the last decade, which gives the Bobcats 3.19 points on the spread for being at home, according to our metrics.

I’ll back Ohio at under -3.

A Case for Points

By Collin Wilson

Expect plenty of points in this game with Ohio’s rank of 106th in S&P+ defense and Buffalo ranking 89th in S&P+ rushing defense. The Bulls’ rushing defense is important, as the Bobcats are 11th in rushing S&P+ and will have no problem at the line of scrimmage or in explosive plays on the ground.

Buffalo’s defensive strength shines through on passing downs. Unfortunately for Buffalo, Ohio is almost never in passing down situations. The Bobcats are fifth in the nation in percentage of first downs coming on first or second down, per Football Study Hall.

Trends to Know

By Evan Abrams

Buffalo enters this road game 9-1 this season and 8-2 against the spread. Teams playing in November or later, winning at least 90% of their games and are over .500 ATS, are 21-28-2 ATS (42.9%) when listed as an underdog, per our Bet Labs data. Since 2015, these teams are 3-8-1 ATS, losing bettors 5.2 units.

By John Ewing

A majority of spread tickets have been placed on Buffalo, but the line has moved from pick’em to Ohio -2.5. This is called reverse line movement and is an indication of sharp action.

There is also a higher percentage of money than tickets wagered on the Bobcats, which suggests pros are targeting Ohio. Since 2016, it has been profitable (+51.74 units) to wager on teams in this situation.

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