by GT Staff |
Ball State vs. Buffalo
Ford Field (Indoors), Detroit, Michigan
Ball State (-14½, 62) vs. Buffalo: The Fighting Letterman of Ball State (12-0 SU, 9-2 ATS) play Buffalo (7-5, 7-4 ATS) in this MAC championship game which has seen the early betting butter on the Cardinals (send out -13) and the over (open 59). Buffalo and coach Turner Gill are a perfect 6-0 ATS on the road but this is actually a neutral site.
Buffalo was impressive in losses to Mizzou and Pittsburgh and certainly deserves to be playing in this contest but Ball State is enjoying its best season since 1949 and has been playing hard every game since losing WR Dante Love to a career-ending injury.
One seldom talked about aspect of the Cardinals game is their defense which allowed just 16.7 points per game, a huge reason for the great ATS mark. On offense, BSU is led by QB Nate Davis, a prospect sure to catch the eye of NFL scouts and a guy who can run when the pocket breaks down around him. The offense averages 456 YPG and for Buffalo to hang in this game, its defense will have to be on its best behavior and will need a TO or to have a chance to pull off the upset.
In short, Ball State will find a way to win this game as it would dare not a team like Buffalo ruin its chance at perfection. With the total so high (and increasing) and points certain to be scored, look for the Cardinals to try and separate themselves from Buffalo early and then try and add the punctuation mark in the second half. Covering the spread will be tough, but the Cardinals should get it done and posture themselves for a bowl game in the not to distant future. But don’t lay more than 17 in this game as the number will likely get out of hand with probably 85% of the betting public taking the popular favorite in this one. Note also that the Bulls are 0-8 against ranked opponents since moving up to the FBS, scoring just 70 points in those games. BALL STATE -14½.