Kent State Is Our NCAA Basketball Pick On The Road At Buffalo

LT Profits Sports Group

Tuesday, February 23, 2016 4:17 PM UTC

Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016 4:17 PM UTC

Kent State could simultaneously knock Buffalo out of the MAC East Division race and keep itself within one game of Akron with a road upset Tuesday, and it just might happen!


The road underdogs appear to offer nice value in a potential outright upset in Tuesday night MAC action when those Kent State Golden Flashes (18-9, 10-12-1 ATS) pay a visit to the Buffalo Bulls (15-12, 12-11-2 ATS) at Alumni Arena in Buffalo, NY at 6:00 ET in a game available on ESPN3.

The point spread at 5 Dimes has Kent State as a decent road underdog for this contest with the current line at +5½ on the NCAA Basketball odds board at odds of -105.


Division Title Still Within Reach
Kent State still has eyes on a MAC East Division title after a huge 85-76 win over first place Akron on Friday, leaving the Golden Flashes at 9-5 inside the MAC and 18-9 overall while moving to within one game of the Zips, who stand at 10-4. If the Flashes can win their next three games at Buffalo here followed by a trip to Miami-Ohio and a home game vs. Bowling Green, it could set up a de facto playoff game for the division title at Akron in the season finale.

The Bulls stand one game behind Kent State and two games behind Akron at 8-6, and a loss here would knock Buffalo out of division title contention as it would leave the Bulls three game behind the Zips with three games remaining, and Akron already clinched the tiebreaker by sweeping the season series. The Bulls had been the losing NCAA Basketball picks in three straight games before beating Bowling Green on Saturday, but this assignment looks tougher.


Golden Flashes Have Revenge in Mind
Kent State is actually tied for second place with Ohio at 9-5 in a MAC East where two games separates first place from fourth place, so at the very least the Golden Flashes can make it just a three-team race with an upset win here and remember that the Golden Flashes have split with Ohio this year, making every game important from here on out.

Kent State also has revenge in mind after getting upset at home by Buffalo as a 6½-point favorite 76-67 way back on January 8th, and the Golden Flashes appear to be in a position to get that revenge at a seemingly overlay price here. After all, Kent State is in the better current form having won three of its last four games including the potential season-defining win over Akron.

The Golden Flashes did not shoot well in the first meeting at 40.3 percent overall including just 2-for-14 from beyond the three-point arc, while Buffalo shot an abnormal 52.2 percent in that upset and went 8-for-17 from downtown. We do not see a duplication of either of those shooting performances here tonight.


Kent State is Not Bowling Green
That may be especially true for Buffalo, as the Bulls rank 108th in the country in scoring, 217th in overall field goal percentage, 161st in two-point shooting, 302nd in three-point shooting and 182nd in offensive efficiency! Those rankings do not exactly exude confidence in a 5½-point favorite, nor does the expected reversion to the mean after the uncharacteristically good shooting by Buffalo in the first meeting.

As mentioned, the Bulls broke the ice after the three-game losing streak that included two mild upset losses as small favorites here at home with the 88-74 win over Bowling Green on Saturday, but remember that is a Bowling Green that is 4-10 inside the MAC and that is ranked 219th in the country overall on the Pomeroy Ratings. Kent State represents a rise in class, and the earlier upset by Buffalo may actually hurt the Bulls’ cause here by giving Kent more motivation.


A Visitors Series as of Late
Finally, the visiting teams have been doing well in their head-to-head series in recent meetings with the earlier upset by Buffalo making the roadsters 6-2 ATS in the last eight meetings. Also, Kent State tends to maintain its good form going 4-1 ATS in its last five games following an ATS win and 5-2 ATS in its last seven games following a straight up win.

Look for those patterns to continue as at the very least Kent State takes this game down to the final buzzer as it fights to keep itself alive in the MAC East race visiting Buffalo on Tuesday.


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NCAA Basketball Pick: Kent State +5½ (-105)
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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