Buffalo vs. Miami Ohio: Bet on Road Favs as the College Football Pick

Matthew Jordan

Tuesday, October 27, 2015 4:54 PM GMT

I'd like to tell you that Thursday's Mid-American Conference game between Buffalo and host Miami of Ohio means something in the grand scheme of things. Alas, it doesn't. Check our free pick.

Bulls Can Inch Closer To Bowl Eligibility
Buffalo is under first-year coach Lance Leipold, who was hired last December from Division III Wisconsin-Whitewater, where Leipold was one of the most successful coaches in NCAA history. Leipold reached the 100-win plateau in just 106 games, the fastest coach to do so any NCAA level. He also won a handful national championships. He replaced the fired Jeff Quinn.

The Bulls (3-4, 1-2 MAC East) still have a shot at reaching a bowl game for the first time since 2013. After this, they close at Kent State, vs. Northern Illinois, at Akron and home to UMass. Buffalo probably can't beat Northern Illinois, but the rest are all winnable.

The school does come off a pretty impressive 41-17 win over Ohio on Saturday to end a three-game losing streak. Jordan Johnson made his first career start at running back and responded by rushing for a career-high 147 yards and two touchdowns. Joe Licata threw for 212 yards on 21-of-32 passing. He became the second quarterback in school history to throw for 8,000 yards in a career (8,103).

The Bulls  picked off four passes and Okezie Alozie and Ryan Williamson each returned picks for scores. It was Buffalo's first game since it joined the FBS in 1999 with two pick-sixes. With 13 tackles, Brandon Berry became the first UB player to have double-digits in tackles in five straight games since J.J. Gibson in 2001. The Bulls have now forced 12 turnovers in their three victories on the season. They are +11 in turnovers in their three wins, compared to -8 in their four losses. Te team's nine interceptions are seven more than the Bulls had all of last season. The Bulls have scored six defensive touchdowns (leads nation) over the last five games. Prior to that, it took them 31 games to score six defensive TDs.

Buffalo is 5-2 ATS on college football odds and 3-4 'over/under.'

 

Long Season In Oxford
Miami (1-7, 0-4) looks like one of the nation's worst programs this season under second-year coach Chuck Martin. He might be in some jeopardy as the RedHawks were 2-10 in his first season. But to be fair, Martin took over a program that was 0-12 in 2013 and hasn't finished with a winning record since 2010.

The RedHawks won their season opener over little Presbyterian but have largely been outclassed since then. They come off a 35-13 defeat at Western Michigan. Freshman Billy Bahl was 13-for-26 for 200 yards for Miami. Sam Martin caught six of those passes for 134 yards. Linebacker Paul Moses, who played running back last year, led the Miami defense with a game-best 12 tackles, including five solo tackles.

Miami has a very young roster. Of its 110 players, 62 are either redshirt or true freshmen. The RedHawks have just 15 seniors. Miami's top five rushers are either redshirt or true freshmen. Eight of Miami's top nine pass catchers are sophomores or younger. Of Miami's 13 touchdowns scored, 11 are by sophomores or freshmen.

Miami is 4-4 against the spread on college football picks this season and 4-4 O/U.

 

Last Meeting
Buffalo beat visiting Miami 35-27 on Sept. 27, 2014. Anthone Taylor rushed 36 times for 222 yards and three second-half touchdowns in the MAC opener for both teams. Licata went 28-for-38 with 276 yards and threw two touchdowns for the Bulls. Andrew Hendrix threw for 238 yards and three scores for Miami. He had Miami up 27-26 early in the fourth on a 32-yard TD pass to Alex Welch. Buffalo had 29 first downs to Miami's 13 and the Bulls held the ball for nearly 39 minutes. Neither team turned the ball over. Buffalo has won three straight in the series but trails 12-5 all-time. The last time these two teams competed in Oxford was in 2013, a contest Buffalo won 44-7.

 

Final Analysis
Give the points, go 'under' the total. Buffalo is 5-0 ATS in its past five road games vs. teams with a losing home record. The favorite is 6-0-1 ATS in the past seven meetings. The 'under' is 4-1 in Miami 's past five conference games.

College Football Picks: Buffalo -7.5 & Under 50.5 at 5Dimes

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