The Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl kicks off the 2019 bowl season. Buffalo (7-5) will take on Charlotte (7-5) in down in Nassau. Both teams finished fourth in their divisions within their conferences. Also, this is the first time in program history where Charlotte will play in a bowl game. The 49ers won their last five games of the season to get to 7-5, and the Bulls won five of their last six. As of writing this, 81 percent are siding with Buffalo to cover as 6.5-point favorites, and 99 percent believe the game will go over 58 points.
Date: Friday, December 20, 2019
Time: 2:00 PM ET
Location: Thomas Robinson Stadium, Nassau, The Bahamas
Buffalo will head to the Bahamas thanks to their rushing attack. Overall, their offense is mediocre as it ranks 52nd in success rate, and averages 5.4 yards per play (85th). However, their rushing attack ranks 37th in success rate, and 47th in explosiveness. Also, their offensive line ranks in the top-40 in line yards and stuff rate, and 23rd in power success. They will have an advantage in the ground game against a Charlotte defense that can’t matchup
on the line, or in stopping the run. The Bulls run the ball almost 70 percent of the time on offense, so it could be a long day for Charlotte if they can’t get off the field. Now, if Buffalo falls behind, they may struggle to catch up. Their passing attack ranks 78th in success rate, 109th in explosiveness, and average 6.6 yards per play (102nd). Charlotte will be able to defend the pass if they get a lead.
Buffalo’s defense has been very strong this year, and one of the best in the MAC. They rank 22nd in success rate, and 26th in limiting explosive plays. Also, they’re holding teams to 23.5 points per game (23rd), and 4.7 yards per play (15th). They should be able to limit a Charlotte offense that ranks 61st in success rate. However, Buffalo’s offense should run all over the Charlotte defense and put up points that way. If Charlotte fall behind their strength is their explosive passing attack, that Buffalo struggles to defend. This might help keep Charlotte within a touchdown against Buffalo. Now, the matchup to watch is between the offensive and defensive lines. Buffalo ranks 10th in sack rate, and Charlotte ranks 34th. If the Bulls are able to get to the quarterback, then Charlotte isn’t going to be able to complete the big pass plays to stay in it.
This season, Charlotte hasn’t had the most consistent offense. They rank 61st in success rate, and have scored an average of 30 points per game (49th). However, they rank 18th in explosiveness and average 6.2 yards per play (22nd). The 49ers are going to need to rely on their explosive offense to move the football in the Bahamas. Their rushing and passing explosiveness both rank 24th in the country, and Buffalo’s defense struggles to defend explosive pass plays. If they can move the football through the air, they will be able to hang around in this one. However, as of writing this, it is expected to be windy during game time with winds between 20-30 mph. This will make it difficult for Charlotte to pass the ball, as their explosive pass plays are the only edge they have on Buffalo’s defense.
Charlotte’s defense is too credit for their five game winning streak. In their first seven games, they allowed 39.4 points per game. In their last five, they allowed 22.8 points per game. All five games were against Conference USA opponents, but Buffalo’s offense will be better than what Charlotte has seen from their own conference opponents. The 49ers will need to figure out how to slow down Buffalo’s rushing attack. They rank 37th in rushing success, and Charlotte ranks 110th in defending the run. Also, Charlotte is at a huge disadvantage o the defensive line, as Buffalo should be able to control the line of scrimmage. The 49ers need to hope their offense can get a lead because Buffalo struggles to move the ball through the air. This could be a long day for the 49ers defense that is going up against an offense that runs the ball nearly 70 percent of the time.
Betting Pick: Under 58
Despite all the tickets being on the over, I think this game will stay under 58 points. Buffalo ranks second in time of possession due to their incredible rushing attack. Charlotte isn’t going to know how to defend it, so the Bulls will be able to drain clock. Also, the one edge Charlotte has over the Buffalo defense might not be able to help them. Winds are expected to be between 20-30 mph, as of writing this. The 49ers will need to look for other ways to move the ball because passing in strong winds isn’t very affective. I don’t think the 49ers will be able have much success against the Bulls defense if they can’t create explosive plays.