The Wednesday night (7:00pm ET) match up for week 4 of the 2012 college football season features a pair of MAC teams with the Golden Flashes of Kent State (1-1) traveling to the University of Buffalo Stadium in Buffalo, NY to take on the Bulls of the University of Buffalo (1-1) in prime time. Both teams are 1-1 ATS this season, with Kent St. The Golden Flashes were blown out Kentucky 47-14 on the road in their last game on September 8 as a 6 point underdog; they won their opener 41-21 over Towson to cover a 7 point line. Buffalo blew out Morgan St. 56-34 at home, failing to cover a 32 point line, and lost their opener at Georgia 45-32 as a 38 point underdog. Kent State has won 4 of the last 5 meetings, with the most recent meeting a 9-6 win in 2009 at Kent St to push on a 3 point spread.
The Kent St. offense averages 27.5 points per game (72nd nationally) and 338 yards per game of total offense (103rd in the nation). Quarterback Spencer Keith is in his fourth year as a starter and is consistent if unspectacular, having thrown for 309 yards with a 61% completion percentage this season. The defense has allowed 34 PPG to rank 99th nationally, and 427.5 YPG to rank 90th in the nation.
Buffalo averages 39.5 PPG (25th in the nation) and 459 YPG (39th in the nation) in what is primarily a run-oriented offensive attack built around junior running back Brandon Oliver. Oliver has run for 349 yards while averaging 6.3 YPC through the Bulls’ first two games after running for 1,395 yard and 13 TDs last season in his first year as the primary ball carrier. The Buffalo defense has had a great deal of trouble stopping the run so far this season, ranking 108th in the nation in that category with 214 YPG allowed. The Bulls rank 88th overall in total defense with 425.5 YPG allowed, and rank an atrocious 113th in scoring defense with 39.5 PPG allowed through 2 games.
Kent State vs. Buffalo Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Kent State Golden Flashes +3.5
@ Buffalo Bulls -3.5
Over 52 (-110)
Under 52 (-110)
Betting odds taken from Bovada.lv
Kent State vs. Boise State Pick:
Kent State is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 MAC games, 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games overall and 3-9 ATS in their last 12 road games. The Bulls are 8-17 ATS in their last 25 games overall, 5-11 ATS in their last 16 home games and 4-11 ATS in their last 15 MAC games. The over is 5-1 in Kent State’s last 6 games overall and 13-5 in their last 18 September games. The over is 4-1 in the Bulls’ last 5 games overall and the under is 8-3 in their last 11 home games. In head-to-head play, the road team is 4-1-2 ATS in their last 7 meetings, and the underdog is 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings.
These two teams have not exactly been stellar on defense so far in this young season, both have allowed schools both large and small to score points against them. Buffalo can score points as well, and the Bulls should not have a hard time adding to their point totals against a Kent St. defense that ranks in the lower third among all FBS teams in scoring defense and total defense. They allowed 539 total yards to a Kentucky team that ranks in the middle of pack nationally in total offense and is predicted to finish at the bottom of the SEC. The Wildcats (106th in the nation in rushing offense) were able to average 6.2 YPC as well; Buffalo is a much better running team and should be able to run at will on Kent St. Both teams have gone over in every game this season, and with two bad defenses, the over is not a bad play at all here. Buffalo has the better offense and playing in front of the home crowd and against an atrocious run defense they should be able to cover with relative ease. If you feel like taking a bigger risk, parlay the over and the Bulls, but the call here is to take Buffalo at home in this game to cover.
PICK = Buffalo -3