These two are becoming bowl regulars and familiar with Montgomery.
Southern won this bowl game, 23-21, over Eastern Michigan four years ago, but failed to cover as a 3-point favorite. Buffalo won here as a 4-point favorite, 17-10, over Marshall two years ago.
We searched, excavated, and attempted to justify taking this Over, but that play does not make sense in many ways. Taking the Bulls and the points is the best tack for the Camellia Bowl.
Georgia Southern vs. Buffalo Betting Lines: Point Spread, Total, Moneyline
Here are current lines from top US sportsbook apps for Tuesday’s Camellia Bowl.
NCAAF · Tue (12/27) @ 12:05pm ET
|Cramton Bowl, Montgomery, AL|
Georgia Southern Eagles (6-6, 7-5 Against the Spread)
The Eagles were sliding on a three-game losing streak before pulling out a rock ‘em-sock ‘em 51-48 double-overtime triumph over Appalachian State to become bowl eligible.
However, they will not have the services of one of the best defenders in college football, Derrick Canteen, who slipped into the transfer portal. One service rated him as a top-10 nickel-slot corner in the game, and he was a freshman All-America two seasons ago.
While he searches for a bigger pond, he departs a pass-heavy squad that played a horrible brand of defense even with him on patrol.
Southern yielded 520 yards a game this season — only Southern Florida at 526 was worse among 131 Division-I programs. Oddly, the Eagles were worse at home (566) than they were on the road (482).
Georgia Southern’s defense without Canteen will be a three-ring circus, which will be Buffalo’s huge advantage.
Kyle Vantrease is the 6-foot-2, 220-pound senior who transferred to Southern from Buffalo, so that will be a major storyline. He accumulated 3,896 yards with 25 TDs and 15 interceptions.
Only Michael Penix Jr. (4,354 at Washington), Austin Reed (4,250, Western Kentucky), Drake Maye (4,115, North Carolina), Caleb Williams (4,075, USC), and Frank Harris (4,063, UTSA) racked up more aerial yardage.
The Eagles pass it 62.2% of the time, a frequency surpassed by only Mississippi State (68.6) and Temple (62.6) in the country.
And their 374 passing-yardage average is fifth in the nation. But their completion percentage of 60.8 is a very middle-of-the-road rate, and their 6.9-yards-per-pass average is poor.
We expect Buffalo’s Shaun Dolac, a 6-1, 220-pound sophomore who has shined at the Bulls’ “Buck” linebacker position, to have his name called often during this ESPN broadcast.
Dolac will be a major disrupter to Southern, as he’s recorded a top-10 national 134 total tackles this season, including 12.5 for loss and 4.5 sacks. At middle backer, James Patterson had a top-20 112 total tackles.
Buffalo Bulls (6-6, 6-5-1 ATS)
The bad news is that the Bulls lost three in a row, too, before their regular-season finale at home against Akron, in which Buffalo did not have the services of running backs Ron Cook Jr. and Al-Jay Henderson.
The good news is that even short-handed, the Bulls zapped the Zips, 23-22, to squeak into bowl eligibility and land in Montgomery.
Cole Snyder, a 6-2, 205-pound sophomore who began his career at Rutgers, threw for 2,765 yards with 17 TDs and eight interceptions this season.
Mike Washington, a 6-2, 216-pound redshirt freshman, is the main tailback without Cook and Henderson in the picture. Washington ran for 606 yards (a 4.1-yard average) and seven TDs (one of his 23 receptions went for a score).
Justin Marshall, a 6-3, 213-pound senior who once played for Louisville, snagged 53 passes for 710 yards and eight TDs.
Quian Williams, a senior, caught 56 passes for 643 yards and five TDs. The former Eastern Michigan star is fantastic, having nabbed 196 passes over the past four years for 15 TDs and a 12.6-yard average.
Near the goal line, Snyder will sneak it over, as he’s done four times.
We see the difference being Buffalo’s defense. Along with Dolac and Patterson being pests, Marcus Fuqua (a sophomore strong safety from Southfield, Mich.) leads the country with seven interceptions.
Camellia Bowl Prediction
Of our three models, all have Buffalo winning by four, three, and three points, respectively. None have the game hitting this total, so that’s a major reason why we recommend steering clear of that hurdle.
And, as is our custom, we recommend a half-unit play here. Consistency and discipline are key to smart sports betting, and bowl games have that extra touch of the unknown that all gamblers should heed.
Pick: Bulls +3.5 (-110)
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