College Football Odds, Picks, Predictions for Buffalo vs. Kent State: Put Trust in Golden Flashes Over Bulls

College Football Odds, Picks, Predictions for Buffalo vs. Kent State: Put Trust in Golden Flashes Over Bulls article feature image

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  • Kent State hosts Buffalo in a 7 p.m. ET MAC clash on ESPNU.
  • The Golden Flashes opened conference play with a win over Bowling Green while the Bulls lost to Western Michigan.
  • Alex Hinton breaks down the game and provides his best bet.

Buffalo vs. Kent State Odds

Buffalo Odds+6.5 (-105)
Kent State Odds-6.5 (-115)
Moneyline+200 / -250
Over/Under66 (-110 / -110)
Time7 p.m. ET
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Last week, Buffalo took a 10-7 lead into the fourth quarter against Western Michigan. The Bulls were unable to finish, ultimately falling to the Broncos 24-17.

Western Michigan looks like the best team in the MAC this season, a spot that has usually been held by Buffalo over the last few seasons.

This week, Buffalo will travel to Kent State for a pivotal MAC East division matchup.

Kent State got a stiffer test than most anticipated from Bowling Green. It pulled out a 27-20 win, but it failed to cover as 16.5 point favorites.

Back at home this week, Kent State will have a bit of added motivation going against a Buffalo team that dropped 70 points against them last season.

Kent State leads the all-time series 13-11.

Buffalo vs. Kent State Betting Preview

Saturday, Oct. 9
7 p.m. ET

Buffalo Bulls

Buffalo Offense

Last season, Buffalo torched Kent State on the ground to the tune of 515 yards rushing. Jaret Patterson had a record-setting day with 409 rushing yards and eight touchdowns.

Patterson is off to the NFL and Buffalo's rushing attack is not formidable this season. The Bulls rank 84th in Rushing Success Rate.

Buffalo rotates three backs and Kevin Marks Jr. continues to be the lead back despite the least production. Marks Jr. had 11 carries for 34 yards last week while Ron Cook Jr. had three carries for 56 yards and a touchdown.

Despite a change at head coach in the offseason, Buffalo has the same philosophy of pounding the rock and letting quarterback Kyle Vantrease manage the game. Vantrease is completing 61.3% of his passes with four touchdowns and three interceptions.

Buffalo Defense

Buffalo excels in creating pressure, with the fourth-best pass-rush grade, according to PFF.

The Bulls are averaging 3.2 sacks per game this season and have been bolstered by the return of defensive end Taylor Riggins. He was an All-MAC selection in 2019 but has battled injuries since. Riggins already has multiple sacks in two different games this season.

The Bulls are 104th in Rushing Success Rate defensively, which is an area Kent State will look to exploit. Kent State will have an advantage in Rushing Success Rate and Line Yards.

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Kent State Golden Flashes

Kent State Offense

Kent State has been an offensive juggernaut in the MAC over the last few seasons but that has yet to be the case this year.

Last week, the 27 points the Golden Flashes put up were the most it has scored this season. The level of competition has something to do with it as Kent State has played Texas A&M, Maryland and Iowa in the non-conference portion of its schedule.

However, Dustin Crum has not looked like the same player this year.

Crum's completion percentage has dropped from 73.5 to 58.2 and he has just three touchdown passes. As a result, Kent State ranks 121th in Passing Success Rate.

It has not helped matters that he has been under constant duress this season. The Golden Flashes didn't allow a sack last week against BGSU, but in the previous two games, Crum was sacked 12 times.

Kent State Defense

Kent State prides itself on taking the ball away. The Golden Flashes rank second in the country with 10 interceptions and fourth overall with 14 takeaways.

Starting corners Montre Miller and Elvis Hines each have three interceptions.

Despite Kent State's ball-hawking prowess, it ranks 99th in Passing Success Rate defensively. It also struggles to affect the quarterback, ranking 127th in pass-rushing grade, according to PFF.

Buffalo vs. Kent State Matchup Analysis

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

Buffalo Offense vs. Kent State Defense




Rush Success8478
Line Yards10170
Pass Success9399
Pass Blocking**112127
Big Play12677
Finishing Drives116109
**Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Kent State Offense vs. Buffalo Defense




Rush Success8104
Line Yards1533
Pass Success12121
Pass Blocking**534
Big Play10077
Finishing Drives12123
**Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling589
PFF Coverage11959
Middle 860105
SP+ Special Teams110125
Plays per Minute239
Rush Rate59.% (38)65.4% (12)

Data via College Football Data, FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF and SportSource Analytics.

Buffalo vs. Kent State Betting Pick

You can bet that Kent State will sell out to stop Buffalo's rushing attack, particularly after being torched last year.

If successful, Buffalo will be unable to counter or unwilling to. We have to yet see Buffalo put the game in Vantrease's hands and ask him to win it. He might have to match the Kent State offense.

Kent State showed flashes of coming out of its offensive shell last week. Crum got it done with his arm and legs, adding 93 yards on the ground.

Keshunn Abram and Dante Cephas form a solid duo for Crum to throw to on the perimeter. They should have success against a Buffalo secondary that ranks 119th in coverage.

In the end, I trust Kent State's offense more than Buffalo's. As a result, I'm taking the Golden Flashes at home.

Pick: Kent State -6

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