Two schools that like to focus on their running games, Chippewas (+7.5) are set to welcome their MAC rival Buffalo Bulls (-7.5) to Central Michigan. This afternoon game gets underway at 12:00 p.m. ET and interested parties can witness the action live on CBS Sports Network.
Betting Preview: Buffalo Bulls at Central Michigan Chippewas
Central Michigan is projected as the underdog and is currently getting 7.5 points in this Saturday MAC matchup. The Bulls are also receiving -330 moneyline odds while the Chippewas are +250. Oddsmakers have placed the over/under (O/U) at 50.5 points, and on the surface it looks like there should be multiple good in-game betting opportunities for this matchup.
Early action has leaned in favor of both the Bulls and the under. The line initially opened at 6.5 and the O/U was originally 52.
The Bulls have gained 0.7 units so far and are 3-2 against the spread (ATS). The team’s posted an O/U record of 4-0.
The Chippewas have lost 2.5 units this season. The team is 4-1 ATS and has an O/U record of 2-3.
The Bulls have gone 4-1 straight up (SU), including 1-0 SU against MAC opponents. The Chippewas are 1-4 SU overall and 0-1 SU in conference play.
The Bulls dropped one to Army West Point 42-13 in a thumping where their defense allowed the Black Knights to run for 281 yards on 64 rush attempts, including four rush TDs. Kelvin Hopkins Jr. had a productive day for the opposition in that one with 89 rushing yards on 19 attempts. On the offensive side of the ball, Tyree Jackson completed just 10 passes on 24 attempts for 152 yards and one touchdown. Emmanuel Reed (63 rushing yards on 16 attempts) led the ground attack while K.J. Osborn (four receptions, 82 yards, one TD) and Charlie Jones (two catches, 53 yards) handled the receiving duties in the defeat.
One game ago, Michigan State took care of this Central Michigan team by a score of 31-20. The Chippewas defense allowed the Spartans to run for 160 yards on 47 rush attempts, including four rush TDs. Felton Davis III put up a productive outing in the win, recording 66 yards on three catches for Michigan State. For Central Michigan, Tommy Lazzaro completed 19-of-34 passes for 153 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. Lazzaro (32 yards on 11 rush attempts) handled the running game while Julian Hicks (five receptions, 41 yards, one TD) and Brandon Childress (three catches, 46 yards) led the Central Michigan pass-catchers in the loss.
Breaking down the offensive play-calling, each squad has a similar (55-45) run-pass ratio on the season. Having said that, the Bulls have run for 151.0 yards per game and have nine scores on the ground this year. The Chippewas haven’t been quite as productive, as they’re logging 108.6 rushing yards per game and have three total rush TDs.
Based on the early season results, the Bulls may have an edge in all aspects of the ground game, as their backfield has generated 4.1 yards per carry while their defense is allowing 3.7 yards per rush attempt to opponents. The Chippewas have rushed for 3.1 yards per carry and given up 4.3 yards per rush attempt to opponents.
The Bulls offensive scheme has averaged 243.0 yards through the air overall and has 16 passing scores so far. The Chippewas have produced 147.2 pass yards per contest and have five total pass TDs.
Buffalo has let opponents run for an average of 170.6 yards and throw for 184.6 yards per game. The Central Michigan defense has allowed 149.0 yards per game to opposing passers and 187.4 yards per game on the ground. The Chippewas are giving up an adjusted net yards per pass attempt (ANY/A) of only 3.32 to opposing QBs, while the Bulls have allowed a 5.23 ANY/A.
Jackson probably has the edge over Lazzaro in this one, as his adjusted net yards per pass attempt stands at 9.48for the season (and 7.79 over the past two games). Lazzaro’s ANY/A is 2.68 for the season and 2.04 over his last two games.
These two MAC foes did not get a chance to face each other last year.
Buffalo Bulls vs. Central Michigan Chippewas NCAA Pick
SU Winner: Buffalo, ATS Winner: Buffalo, O/U: Under
Team Betting Trends
- Buffalo was favored by 7 points in its last game and the Over/Under was 54. The over cashed and Buffalo did not cover in the 42-13 defeat to Army West Point.
- Buffalo, as a team, has produced 4.15740740740741 yards per carry across its last three outings and 4.3 over its last two.
- Central Michigan has averaged 3.0 yards per carry over its last three matchups and 2.5 over its last two.
- Central Michigan has lost four fumbles this season while Buffalo has lost one.
- In its last three games, Buffalo is 2-1 ATS and the over cashed in each of those three.
- Central Michigan was favored by 28 points in its last game and the O/U was set at 45.5. The over cashed and Central Michigan failed to cover in that 31-20 loss to Michigan State.
- Over its last three games, Central Michigan is 3-0 ATS and the under cashed in two of those three.
- The Bulls offense has created seven pass plays of 40 or more yards, while the Chippewas have put up zero such plays.
- The Buffalo defense has allowed four pass plays of 40 or more yards, while Central Michigan has given up zero such plays.
- The Buffalo offense has created four rushing plays of 20 or more yards, while Central Michigan has created zero such runs.
- The Bulls defense has allowed four rushing plays of 20+ yards, while the Chippewas have given up nine such runs.
- The Buffalo defensive unit has 12 sacks on the year while Central Michigan has 11.