Buffalo at Miami-OH
Saturday, 11:30 am PT - ESPN3
CRIS Opener: Miami -2.5 O/U 47
CRIS Current: Miami -2.5 O/U 45
Two MAC squads currently dealing with multiple quarterback injuries as Buffalo heads to Miami-Ohio. The Bulls are down to their third-stringer, Kyle Vantrease, who was thrown into the fire during last week's 14-13 loss to Northern Illinois. Buffalo's offense didn't do much with Vantrease under center which was to be expected considering he's a true freshman. Last season, Miami started 0-6 but finished 6-0 thanks in large part to a switch at quarterback. Gus Ragland, who replaced Billy Bahl, finished the season with over 1,500 yards and a stellar 17-to-1 TD-to-INT ratio. Ragland was thus the starter heading into this season but went down with an injury two weeks ago vs. Bowling Green. The RedHawks had no choice but to go back to Bahl who looked lost in last week's embarrassing loss to bottom feeder Kent State. Bahl finished 12-of-29 and threw two interceptions. In the end you have the top two offenses in the MAC in terms of yards per play vs. league foes and yet because of the dire quarterback situations, a total of only 45.
Scroll through the pointspread records of every college football team and you'll notice that Buffalo is a perfect 7-0 ATS. There's obvious concerns that the market will eventually catch up to this squad as well as the precarious situation at quarterback. But I've been impressed with the overall strength of the this team on both sides of the ball. Their statistical profile, particularly on defense in conference play, doesn't look great but bettors should take into account the seven overtime affair they played vs. Western Michigan. Talent-wise, the Bulls have edges on both side of the ball in this matchup. And the dicey quarterback situation isn’t nearly as concerning when you look at Miami's drop-off in production from Ragland to Bahl. There's a reason the market isn't currently showing Miami as -3 home chalk; Buffalo even with a third-string QB is the better of these two squads. I'm on the short road underdog in this matchup.