Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 4:00 PM EST odds are subject to change.
Buffalo @ Ohio +119
Peden Stadium - Athens, OH
7:30 PM EST. There is much on the line in Athens tonight, as the winner of this battle of MAC schools will officially become Bowl eligible. That’s a big deal for a pair of programs that did not have high expectations coming into the season. Last year, the Bulls were 4-8, while the Bobcats were 3-9. Both programs had different coaches on opening day 2022 than they did 2021. At the moment, the Bulls and Bobcats are both 5-3 and both have been profitable this season with Buffalo going 6-1-1 against the spread, while Ohio is 5-3.
When we get under the hood, the similarities between these two programs end. We’ll start with the Bobcats, who are totally legit. Led by quarterback Kurtis Rourke, the Bobcat offense has evolved into a unit that is first in yards per attempt. Rourke, a good Canadian lad, leads the MAC in passer rating and yards. He’s also completing 68.5% of his passes. Rourke is a double-threat pivot, supported by his 189 rushing yards and four majors on the ground. We could go on and on about the Ohio offense, but trust you get the point. We’ll leave you with one more—the Bobcats passing attack also tops in the MAC at 301 yards per game.
The Bulls have more market presence when compared to Ohio, as they’ve been a staple of the MAC for years. That discrepancy in perception gives us an opportunity to fade a team that ranks just fifth in the MAC in yards per play (YPP) at 5.3. If you're wondering how a program that has been known for its high octane offense over the years is so average in that department, that number starts to make sense when you consider the Bulls rely on the big play and only the big play.
Buffalo pivot Cole Snyder slots in at 5-of-12 of MAC QBs in passer rating at 130.7. Despite the uptick in victories, the Bulls success rate down-to-down ranks just 108th in the nation. That stat further supports the Bulls are either gaining yards in bunches or their offense is shuffling off the field sooner rather than later. That “luck based” approach to offense has been the Bulls calling card on defense too. Buffalo leads the MAC in turnovers, another luck-based statistic.
Here is what we know—the Bulls have been covering by wide margins of late, including four of their last five by double digits. The Bulls were a significant pooch (+7½) at home to Toledo last time out, won (34-27), and now Buffalo is favored on the road in Ohio, where the Bobcats are and playing well and not relying on luck-driven variances to bounce their way to succeed. Bobcats outright is the call.
Ohio +119 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.38)