College Football Free ATS Pick: Buffalo Bulls at Kent State Golden Flashes

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Two teams that like to keep the ball on the ground, Head Coach Lance Leipold and the Buffalo Bulls (-6) are gearing up to take on the Kent State Golden Flashes at Dix Stadium. This conference showdown starts at 7:00 p.m. ET and CBS Sports Network is scheduled to televise the action. These schools faced off last year with the final result being a 48-14 win for Buffalo.

Betting Preview: Kent State Golden Flashes vs. Buffalo Bulls

Kent State enters this MAC game as the underdog and is currently getting 6 points. The Bulls are also receiving -240 moneyline odds while the Golden Flashes are +190. Vegas has set the over/under (O/U) at 55.5 points. If Buffalo gets down early on, it would probably result in a worthwhile betting opportunity in-game.

Early action has moved toward the Bulls. The line opened at 4.5, while the game’s total has yet to change after it was initially placed at 55.5.

The Bulls are 5-4 against the spread (ATS) and have gained 3.5 units so far. The team’s posted an Over-Under record of 5-4.

The Golden Flashes are down 0.4 units this season. The team is 5-4 ATS and has an O/U record of 4-5.

The Bulls are 5-4 straight up (SU), including 3-2 SU against conference opponents. The Golden Flashes are 3-6 SU overall and 2-3 SU in conference play.

Kent State comes into this matchup on a zero-game winning streak while Buffalo has lost zero straight. The Bulls are coming off a resounding 43-14 win over Eastern Michigan on November 2. Kyle Vantrease completed 15 passes for 208 yards and one touchdown. Jaret Patterson (160 yards on 33 rush attempts, two TDs) and Kevin Marks (90 yards on 21 carries, one TD) led the ground attack while Antonio Nunn (seven receptions, 87 yards, one TD) and Daniel Lee (three catches, 67 yards) shared the receiving duties in the win.

Kent State narrowly dropped a 35-33 game to Toledo. The team’s defense let the Rockets eat up the clock by rushing for 289 yards on 52 attempts, including four rush TDs. Shakif Seymour was outstanding, putting up 175 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 28 attempts for the Rockets. For Kent State, Dustin Crum completed 14-of-18 passes for 257 yards and three touchdowns. Crum (40 yards on 14 rush attempts, one TD) and Will Matthews (55 yards on 13 carries) spearheaded the running game while Kavious Price (four receptions, 102 yards) and Dante Cephas (four catches, 19 yards) led all Kent State pass-catchers in the loss.

Buffalo has run the ball on 69.2 percent of its offensive possessions this year while Kent State has an overall rush percentage of 58.3 percent. The Bulls have produced 224.4 rush yards per game (including 225.6 per game against Mid-American opponents) and have 18 touchdowns on the ground this year. The Golden Flashes are totaling 170.8 rush yards per game (224 in conference) and have eight total rushing TDs.

If 2019 numbers are any indication, then it appears the Bulls could hold an advantage when it comes to quarterback protection. Their offensive line has yielded only 15 sacks while the D-line logged 35 sacks. The Golden Flashes offensive line has allowed 43 sacks and their defense has sacked opposing QBs just 23 times.

The Bulls offensive scheme has logged 142.3 yards/contest in the air overall (147.6 per game against conference opposition) and has 11 passing TDs so far. The Golden Flashes have recorded 201.9 pass yards per game (250 in the MAC) and have 17 total pass scores.

Defensively, Buffalo has allowed opponents to rush for an average of 85 yards and throw for 208.8 yards per game. The Kent State D has given up 214.3 yards per game to opposing passers and 254.9 yards per game on the ground. The Bulls are giving up an adjusted net yards per pass attempt (ANY/A) of only 5.91 to opposing QBs, while the Golden Flashes have allowed a 7.53 ANY/A.

Crum has completed 121-of-168 passes for 1,393 yards, 13 TDs and zero INTs. Crum’s adjusted net yards per pass attempt stands at 8.02 for the season and 6.82 over his past two outings. In the other locker room, Vantrease is up to 500 passing yards this year, and has completed 48-of-74 attempts with three passing touchdowns and has yet to throw an interception. Vantrease’s got a 7.18 ANY/A, including 8.04 over the last two games.

Buffalo Bulls vs. Kent State Golden Flashes NCAA Prediction

SU Winner: Buffalo, ATS Winner: Buffalo, O/U: Over

Betting Notes

  • The O/U for Buffalo’s last game going into it was 49.5. The over cashed in the team’s 43-14 victory over Eastern Michigan.
  • Buffalo, as a team, has produced 4.0 yards per carry over its last three outings and 3.8 over its last two.
  • Kent State has averaged 4.2 yards per carry over its last three matchups and only 3.5 over its last two.
  • Kent State has lost eight fumbles this season while Buffalo has lost seven.
  • In its last three contests, Buffalo is 3-0 ATS and the over cashed in two of those three.
  • The O/U for Kent State’s last matchup going into it was 64. The over cashed in the team’s 35-33 defeat to Toledo.
  • Over its last three matches, Kent State is 2-1 ATS and the over cashed in two of those three.
  • Kent State has dropped five of its last six games SU, with a 23-point win over Akron on October 12th representing the only victory over that span.
  • The Bulls offense has recorded six pass plays of 40+ yards, while the Golden Flashes have accounted for seven such plays.
  • Both teams have allowed seven pass plays of 40 or more yards and 16 pass plays of 30+ yards.
  • The Buffalo offense has created 12 rushing plays of 20+ yards, while Kent State has created 14 such runs.
  • The Bulls defense has allowed seven rushing plays of 20 or more yards, while the Golden Flashes have given up 15 such runs.
  • The Buffalo defense has 29 sacks on the year while Kent State has just 19.