Buffalo -2.5 (o/u 51.5) vs. Troy
The NFL’s Buffalo Bills won’t be in the playoffs this year. That means the NCAA’s Buffalo Bulls will have to carry the post-season torch for the city’s fine citizen. The Bulls completed a fine 10-2 regular season schedule only to lose by a single point (30-29) to Northern Illinois in the MAC conference championship game. A win in that game probably would have earned the Bulls an invitation to play on New Years eve/day. As it is, Buffalo will be taking a fine balance offensive attack to Alabama. Senior QB Tyree Jackson led an offense that score almost 35 PPG with 2,857 yards passing with 27 TDs against 11 interceptions.
Troy enters this contest with a fine record of 9-3, good enough for 2nd in the East division of the Sun Belt conference. They started the season off with a 56-20 loss to NCAA powerhouse Boise State and suffered a very disappointing loss to a mediocre Liberty team. The only other loss came at the hands of Sub Belt champion Appalachian State. On both side of the ball, Troy played solid football, using a stingy defense (just over 21 PPG allowed) to stay in games until the offense could secure the win. It’s always refreshing to see a well-coached team without stars that is able play to its strengths and minimize its weaknesses.
The MAC was a really solid conference this year. To say that Buffalo comes in battle-tested would be an understatement. On the other side of the ball, Troy has learned how to keep away from turnovers and keep itself in competition for the win. These are the toughest games to handicap.
Prediction: Troy scores right at 30 PPG on a consistent basis. While the Buffalo defense is solid, not great, there’s every reason to believe Troy will hit their mark in this game. Troy defense is very good at stopping both the run and the pass. In a game that figures to be very close, the tip has to go to the team with the best defense. Play Troy +2.5