Buffalo vs. Coastal Carolina Odds, Picks: Expect Plenty of Points
Photo by Joshua Bessex/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Justin Marshall & Jamari Gassett (Buffalo)
- Maurice Linguist and the Buffalo Bulls take on Jamey Chadwell and the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers in a Saturday afternoon Group of Five college football matchup.
- The Chants open as double-digit favorites, but odds have been moving toward the Bulls this week.
- Dan Keegan breaks down this game below and explains why he's betting on the offenses below.
Buffalo vs. Coastal Carolina Odds
Buffalo heads to Myrtle Beach following a stinging Hail Mary loss to Holy Cross.
This is a matchup between two defenses really struggling to find their footing early in the season, and both are looking to rebound after tough showings against FCS programs.
While Buffalo has struggled to find traction on either side of the ball, Coastal Carolina still boasts a quality offense featuring quarterback Grayson McCall and head coach Jamey Chadwell’s unique option scheme.
Coastal’s rushing attack is the best unit in a game that could potentially feature a lot of scoring.
The Bulls have been a program in near-constant transition following last year’s late-offseason loss of head coach Lance Leipold. Maurice Linguist was tabbed for the job, taking the role after the spring game when he was hired away from his post as co-defensive coordinator at Michigan.
So far, he has not been able to oversee any kind of success on his side of the ball. His team gave up 31 in a loss at Maryland in Week 1, but that total wasn’t higher only because of some glitchiness by the Terps. Then the Bulls allowed 37 in a home loss to Holy Cross, including a game-winning Hail Mary.
The Bulls currently sit at 106th in SP+, with their defense coming in at 111th. (A side note: the Bulls must be itching for conference play to start, as five different MAC programs rate worse overall than Buffalo.)
The Bulls have been better against the rush than the pass, and have actually held their two opponents to only a 23.8% Success Rate when rushing the ball, tied for fifth in the country.
Their top defender coming into the season was linebacker James Patterson, but he has struggled so far this year, missing eight tackles, according to PFF charting. Adding more consistency from Patterson could increase this unit’s lone bright spot.
The pass defense has been largely woeful. The Bulls have pressured opposing passers only 10 times over two games and rank 110th in EPA on pass plays.
Buffalo’s offense has really struggled to move the ball on the ground. Against Holy Cross, it could not protect two different two-touchdown leads thanks to an inability to salt the game away in the second half.
Mike Washington is the Bulls' leading rusher, with 88 yards over two games on 20 carries. This rushing attack has fallen a long way since the Leipold era.
The quarterback is former Rutgers three-year backup Cole Snyder, who had a fine showing against FCS Holy Cross, but had a long day against Maryland in the opener.
Buffalo’s Success Rate when passing is 26.1%, good for 127th in FBS.
The Bulls are searching for answers everywhere right now.
You know the drill by now with Coastal Carolina: Chadwell’s unique triple-option scheme, McCall delivering dimes across the field, the turf is teal and the players are mulleted.
It’s a fun scene in Conway, South Carolina.
What you might not realize is the steps back the defense has taken after losing a wash of starters from last season’s outfit.
In both of the Chanticleers’ games so far, the offense staked them to an early lead, and then had to keep pace, as the defense couldn't hold off against rallying offenses. (Army actually briefly took a lead early in the third quarter before the Chants reclaimed it for good on the next possession.)
Gardner-Webb, in particular, was able to stay close by pushing pace, running 65 plays against the Coastal defense. The Chants' defense ranks 120th in EPA Allowed against the pass, despite playing a service academy and a middling FCS program.
Defensive coordinator Chad Staggs tried an interesting wrinkle against Gardner-Webb. Star edge rusher Josaiah Stewart was dropped into coverage four times on Saturday, after doing it only once previously in his career.
Gardner-Webb targeted him on three of those four snaps and gained 63 yards.
Let’s put that one on the shelf, coach.
The Coastal offense is defined by its versatility and adaptability. The running game was hugely successful against Army (60% SR), so the Chants only asked McCall to drop back 17 times. Against Gardner-Webb, the passing game starred with three explosive plays and a 54% Success rate.
Coastal’s offense is excellent, and will need to be on a weekly basis opposite this leaky defense.
Buffalo vs. Coastal Carolina Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Buffalo and Coastal Carolina match up statistically:
Buffalo Offense vs. Coastal Carolina Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Coastal Carolina Offense vs. Buffalo Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Pace of Play / Other
|SP+ Special Teams||74||38|
|Seconds per Play||26.3 (64)||30.7 (123)|
|Rush Rate||50.0% (75)||65.7% (12)|
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.
Buffalo vs. Coastal Carolina Betting Pick
Coastal will be able to find the end zone early and often against Buffalo, and I see it potentially clearing 40 points. If Buffalo pushes pace like it did when behind against Maryland (72 plays), this could be a really high-scoring affair.
The game opened at Coastal -20, but has since dropped to around two touchdowns. If you can find -13.5, I would take that. I would also consider team over props — like Coastal first-half team total — if you can get good lines around the key numbers (say, 20.5).
But ultimately, let’s just keep it simple and take the over. Coastal will be able to name its number on offense and will continue the trend of letting lesser offenses hang around.