Kent State-Buffalo Betting Preview: How Will Wild Weather Affect Tuesday MACtion?

Kent State-Buffalo Betting Preview: How Will Wild Weather Affect Tuesday MACtion? article feature image

USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Tyree Jackson and Woody Barrett

Kent State at Buffalo Betting Odds

  • Spread: Buffalo -20
  • Over/Under: 42
  • Time: 7:30 p.m. ET

>> All odds as of 9:30 a.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and track your bets

Buffalo is out front in the MAC East and plays a potential division-clinching game against Ohio next week.

But will the Bulls slip up against Kent State on Tuesday in a game that’s expected to have horrid weather?

Betting Market for Buffalo-Kent State

By Steve Petrella

Books opened Buffalo -21.5, but that was quickly bet down to -20 despite 75% of the money coming in on the Bulls.

This game represents the power of MACtion. According to our data at Sports Insights, Buffalo-Kent State has already attracted more bets than all NHL and NBA games on Tuesday combined.

Weather Tanks Over/Under

By Evan Abrams

Books opened this total at 57 on Monday afternoon, and just a few hours later, it sunk all the way to 40. A 17-point swing in just a few hours.

The total now sits as low as 41.5 at some books.

Why? High winds. The weather looks ominous, and since the game was just a day away when bettors hammered the under, the forecast was more reliable.

The average wind at kickoff is projected to be around 25 mph at University of Buffalo Stadium, with gusts up to 40 mph. The winds looks like they’ll blow diagonal across the field — from one endzone corner to the opposite endzone corner.

Since 2005, the under is 65-36-3 (64.4%) when wind speed is 20 mph or faster at kickoff, profiting under bettors 26.5 units, per our Bet Labs data. This trend has gone 12-6-1 to the under the last three seasons.

But since this total has fallen so much, it’s lost most of its value. Our Collin Wilson makes this raw total about 51.

Will Pass-Happy Buffalo Suffer?

By Steve Petrella

You’d have to think so. Based on our data, wind has a much more adverse effect on passing and offense than rain.

Quarterback Tyree Jackson and now-healthy receiver Anthony Johnson form one of the country’s best pass-catching batteries. The Bulls rank ninth in passing S&P+ and a lot of that is generated through big plays. They have 19 passing plays of at least 30 yards, 14th-most in the country.

Kent State will need the help of the wind to slow down Buffalo. The Flashes are much better against the run than against the pass (116th in passing S&P+).

On offense, Kent State averages a respectable 4.27 yards per carry (72nd) and quarterback Woody Barrett can make some plays with his legs. In a game where throwing might be limited, that should be an advantage, but Buffalo knows he won’t dare throw the ball and can gameplan around that.

It’s hard to imagine any scenario in which either team moves the ball effectively, and there probably won’t be any field goals kicked.

Big Spreads, Low Totals

By Steve Petrella

It stands to reason that the underdog would benefit from a low total. If there are fewer points expected in a game, it will be harder for the favorite to cover a big number, right?

It hasn’t not been the case, but it hasn’t been an overwhelmingly positive trend, either. Two-touchdown dogs in games with totals lower than 45 are 172-162-6 against the spread (51.5%) since 2005. If you bump it up to 20 points, like this game, the dog is 78-66-3 (54.2%).

I usually like betting big dogs with low totals, but this is a pass for me. There’s too much uncertainty with the weather, and while the opening total had loads of value, that’s long gone.

If I have to pick a side, I’d go with Kent State just because of the possibility that neither team can score and the Golden Flashes control some clock with their ground game to stay inside this big number. Or maybe this game gets super weird and they can keep it close.

One Key Trend

By John Ewing

Buffalo (8-1) is undefeated in MAC play while Kent State (2-7) has won one conference game, which helps explain why the Bulls are three touchdown favorites.

Since 2005, teams that have won 75% or more of their games and are favored by 14 or more points against a conference opponent that has lost 75% or more of their games have gone 165-141-4 (54%) ATS.

Late in the season, November and December, the against the spread record improves to 72-42-2 (63%) ATS per Bet Labs.

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