College Football Odds, Picks, Predictions for Ohio vs. Buffalo: Full Betting Guide For MAC Clash

College Football Odds, Picks, Predictions for Ohio vs. Buffalo: Full Betting Guide For MAC Clash article feature image
Credit:

Steven Branscombe/Getty Images. Pictured: Dylan McDuffie (left) and Kyle Vantrease.

  • Buffalo is searching for its first win in MAC play this season as it hosts Ohio.
  • The Bulls are averaging over 30 points per game, but fell to Kent State in a shootout last week.
  • Darin Gardner dives into this Week 7 college football matchup and offers up his top pick.

Ohio vs. Buffalo Odds

Ohio Odds +7.5 (-115)
Buffalo Odds -7.5 (-105)
Moneyline +250 / -320
Over/Under 56.5 (-105 / -115)
Time 12 p.m. ET
TV ESPN+
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Going into the year, Buffalo and Ohio were both expected to be some of the top contenders in the MAC, as they were tied for the third-best odds for the conference title at many books.

However, each team has had its fair share of struggles early on in 2021, with Buffalo sitting at 0-2 in conference play and Ohio sitting at 1-1. As of now, this MAC East looks like Kent State’s to lose if neither of these teams takes a significant step forward.

The Bobcats sit at 1-5 overall after four straight losses to start the year, which included a bad one in Week 2 vs. FCS Duquesne. Ohio got into the win department in the conference opener against Akron, but then dropped a close one to Central Michigan last week.

Buffalo has taken a big step back after a dominant 2020. The team’s highlight of the year so far may be the fact that it kept it close against Coastal Carolina in Week 3. The Bulls have dropped two straight, with back-to-back losses to Western Michigan and Kent State in conference play.

Both teams really need a win in this one to have any hope in the conference title race. Buffalo is a favorite of more than a touchdown, but is that deserved with how the Bulls have performed in 2021?


Ohio vs. Buffalo Betting Preview

Saturday, Oct. 16
12 p.m. ET
ESPN+

Ohio Bobcats

Ohio Offense

It’s becoming clear that this Ohio offense only has one reliable way to move the ball.

Among all FBS starters, quarterback Kurtis Rourke ranks seventh-worst in yards per attempt. The Bobcats seem to have given up on the passing game to a degree, as they have only combined for 29 total attempts in the past two games compared to 93 rushes.

If Ohio continues to call plays like it has been, the running game will be the key to this matchup. It’s been effective overall, with a ranking of 17th in expected points added (EPA) per carry.

Running back De’Montre Tuggle has been a big bright spot for the Bobcats, as he’s leading the conference in Pro Football Focus‘ rushing grade and racked up 201 rushing yards in the team’s lone win of the season.


Ohio Defense

Ohio’s offense is much better on the ground than it is through the air, but the opposite is true for the defense The Bobcats are 43rd in EPA allowed per pass, but 129th when transitioning to the rush. To date, the Bobcats have held every opponent under nine yards per attempt in the passing game.

Cornerback Jamal Hudson has been the bright spot in this secondary, as he’s allowed just 40 yards into his coverage this season, per PFF.

This defense is starting to look like a run funnel, considering it ranks in the bottom-five in EPA per carry, PFF run defense grade, missed tackles per attempt and stuff rate. It has looked better as the Bobcats have entered conference play, but this is still an Achilles heel for the Ohio defense.


Buffalo Bulls

Buffalo Offense

Buffalo had one of the best rushing offenses in the country last year behind Jaret Patterson, but after he and several offensive linemen departed, the ground game has taken a big step back.

The offensive line may be the biggest culprit in Buffalo’s struggles on the ground, considering it ranks 114th in PFF run blocking grade. Running back Kevin Marks Jr. was very efficient last season in a backup role, but he has seen his yards per carry almost cut in half this year.

The passing game has definitely been worse for Buffalo, though. Quarterback

Kyle Vantrease ranks 105th in PFF passing grade among 121 quarterbacks with at least 100 dropbacks, averaging just 5.8 yards over his past two games as Buffalo has entered conference play.

Overall, this offense is generating points on just 29% of drives, which ranks 92nd in the country.


Buffalo Defense

It will be interesting to see if an Ohio offense that has really struggled in the passing game is able to do anything against a secondary that has had plenty of issues, as well.

The Bulls look OK in that regard in terms of Success Rate as they rank 126th in yards per attempt allowed.

While the coverage hasn’t been great, the pass rush has still been productive, ranking 31st in sack rate.

The Bulls have one of the best defenders in the conference on the edge in Taylor Riggins, as his 92.2 PFF grade ranks second in the entire country at the position. Against an Ohio offense that has really struggled to move the ball through the air, Riggins could make a big impact in this game.

The Bulls haven’t been very good against the run, either, with a ranking of 109th in Rushing Success Rate allowed. There are some pieces on this defense, but overall, it just hasn’t been as effective as it needs to be this season.

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Ohio vs. Buffalo Matchup Analysis

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

Ohio Offense vs. Buffalo Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 21 109
Line Yards 4 105
Pass Success 123 121
Pass Blocking** 66 11
Big Play 87 106
Havoc 55 88
Finishing Drives 71 46
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Buffalo Offense vs. Ohio Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 51 107
Line Yards 67 122
Pass Success 92 106
Pass Blocking** 100 108
Big Play 87 73
Havoc 6 125
Finishing Drives 95 87
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling 123 34
Coverage 26 128
Middle 8 60 48
SP+ Special Teams 125 117
Plays per Minute 107 17
Rush Rate 58.8% (41) 58.% (45)

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


Here, we have two struggling, run-heavy offenses facing off against one another.

Drives could be limited here, as these offenses enter this game ranked 89th and 95th in possessions per game. Additionally, Ohio runs at a snail’s pace when it has the ball, ranking 111th in seconds per play. Buffalo ran 99 plays last week when trying to keep up with Kent State, but has averaged just 61 plays per game in their three non-blowout games this year.

When considering how the game’s pace could play out combined with each offense’s poor efficiency, it’s hard not to take a long look at the under.


Ohio vs. Buffalo Betting Pick

There hasn’t been a significant amount of movement in this total through the week.

It opened at 55.5 and has settled at 56.5 in most shops at this point.

For me, the under is a play in a game I project at 50.7. Expect a light passing workload on both sides, as neither team has proved that it can do much of anything through the air.

In a run-heavy matchup where possessions could be limited on both sides, points could be hard to come by in this MAC East contest.

Pick: Under 56.5

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