On Tuesday (11/7/23), Ohio faces Buffalo in a MAC matchup. In this article, find the latest betting odds where Ohio is a 7-point road favorite. In addition, find a full breakdown of the matchups and our best bet which is under 44 total points.
Ohio Bobcats Vs. Buffalo Bulls Prediction
After setting the college football world on fire last year, Kurtis Rourke simply hasn’t been the same quarterback this season. His yards per attempt have dropped from 9.3 to 7.1 while his big-time throw rate has dropped from 7.4% to 4.0% per PFF. The losses of wide receivers James Bostic (graduation) and Jacoby Jones (season-ending injury) certainly haven’t helped, nor did Rourke’s own injury earlier this season.
The Ohio downfield passing game simply hasn’t been as explosive this season. Kurtis Rourke was top five in the FBS with a 96.5 PFF passing grade and 55.2% adjusted completion rate on 20+ yard throws last year. However, this season he has a 63 PFF passing grade and 31.4% adjusted completion rate on those deep throws. As a result, his yards per attempt has dropped from 17.1 to 8.4.
Meanwhile, Buffalo’s offense has lacked juice this season. Quarterback Cole Snyder has gotten worse week by week, and he’s coming off his worst performance with just a 34.1% completion rate and 3.7 yards per attempt along with five turnover-worthy plays. Snyder lost his top three receivers from last season, which certainly hasn’t helped matters.
While Ohio’s offense has taken a step back, their defense remains elite this season. They’re top 20 in the FBS in overall defensive EPA and success rate. The Bobcats have played just the 127th-ranked strength of schedule per ESPN’s FPI, so those results have to be taken with a grain of salt, but it’s not like Snyder and company present a difficult test this week – the Bulls rank 119th in overall EPA/play on offense.
Coming off their bye week, I expect Ohio to get the win here, but I don’t see much value on their spread, which currently sits at -7. With their stout defense and disappointing offense, the Bobcats have been an under team all year, going 7-2 to the under this season. Against a Buffalo team that ranks 21st in defensive EPA, let’s bet on another low scoring game in this midweek MACtion affair.
Ohio Vs. Buffalo Prediction: Under 44 Points
Ohio Vs. Buffalo Best Odds
The market consensus has Ohio sitting as 7-point road favorites here, and that’s a fair number against a 3-6 Buffalo team. The over/under currently sits at 44 points, but after opening as high as 45.5 points, it’s clear that the market is backing the under here. Keep in mind that 45 is a very key number when betting totals in college football.
Ohio Vs. Buffalo Key Matchups
In this midweek MACtion affair, there are some intriguing matchups to take note of. Let’s dive into some of the key matchups that will determine the winner of this game between Ohio and Buffalo.
Sam Wiglusz Vs. Buffalo’s Secondary
While Ohio lost two of their top receivers from last season, Sam Wiglusz returns after leading the team with 73 catches for 877 yards and 11 touchdowns. This season, he has 44 catches for 519 yards and three scores. With the Ohio run game rendered completely ineffective this season, Wiglusz’s role as a short area receiver is even more important.
Against a Buffalo team that plays off coverage in its 4-2-5 scheme in an effort to take away downfield explosives, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Wiglusz rack up receptions in this game. Wiglusz spends most of his time in the slot for Ohio, and the Bulls have struggled in the slot all season, where Demetrius Harris and Amonte Strothers have both allowed a catch rate over 80%.
Kurtis Rourke DIME to Sam Wiglusz pic.twitter.com/BFE7SQTBS4
— Cam Mellor (@CamMellor) October 21, 2023
Ron Cook Jr. Vs. Ohio’s Run Defense
The only skill position player who has been somewhat consistent for Buffalo is running back Ron Cook Jr. He’s coming off a season-high 97 rushing yards against Toledo last week, and he has forced 20 missed tackles on 104 attempts this year. The Bulls will need him to have a big game to find any consistent offense against this stout Ohio defense.
Ohio has been elite against the run this year, however, where they rank 7th in rushing success rate allowed. Linebacker Bryce Houston has had a particularly strong season for the Bobcats – he leads the team with 38 run stops per PFF and has a missed tackle rate of just 11.5%.
— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) October 2, 2021