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Week 8: Bulls vs. Broncos Preview/Pick

NCAA Football Odds – Buffalo Bulls vs. Western Michigan Broncos

Buffalo Bulls (3-4 SU, 2-4 ATS) at Western Michigan Broncos (3-4 SU, 2-4 ATS)
Saturday, October 24 – 2 PM ET
NCAA Football Odds: WESTERN MICHIGAN -5, Total 50

Here are some of the NCAA college football betting trends as they relate to this matchup:

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BUFF has lost four of its last six games SU
BUFF has covered ten of its last 13 road games
BUFF has lost 18 of its last 25 road games SU
BUFF has played six of its last eight road games OVER the total
WMU has lost six of its last nine games SU
WMU has won nine of its last ten home games SU

We’re not sure whether Buffalo’s 21-17 win over Akron last week (actually a loss in the NCAA football odds), or its 40-0 shutout of Gardner-Webb the week before, are “buy signals” for them, but we can tell you that Turner Gill’s team has turned the ball over just three times in the last three games, compared to 13 times in the three games prior to that.

Buffalo really does need an infusion of some offense; after all, the Bulls have scored more 23 points in only one of its games against Division I opposition, and that was against Pittsburgh, a game that got out of hand in the third quarter. But Ike Nduka and Brandon Thermilus, the top two tailbacks, both suffered high ankle sprains last week and have not really been practicing. Nduka had rushed for 303 yards in two games as a starter before leaving the contest with Akron rather early.

Meanwhile, Western Michigan has at least been getting balance out of Brandon West (462 yards the last four games), opening things up for QB Tim Hiller, who frankly was expected to do better. Hiller has come back in games against Toledo and Central Michigan, throwing for 680 yards with five TD’s. Zach Maynard is actually ranked ahead of Hiller on the NCAA efficiency charts, and has thrown for over 200 yards in four straight games, but can he carry this offense by himself if his running backs can’t make post? Remember that James Starks, a pro prospect, had surgery that ended his season, so they’re pretty far down the depth chart.

Last year’s game was a tight one, as WMU won by a 34-28 margin in overtime. The technical numbers actually look good for Buffalo; they had been on a streak of seven straight covers on the road before losses in the NCAA football odds at Central Florida and Temple. Western Michigan has covered just four of its last 14 as a favorite, and Buffalo is 9-4 ATS in its last 13 as a dog. I’m not sure how much this all means when the Bulls are hurting in the backfield and Hiller is moving the chains a lot (27 first downs last week) for a team playing a homecoming game and still in the hunt for a bowl appearance.

Let’s lay the points with Western Michigan, the five-point favorite in the NCAA football odds.

OUR  PLAY: WESTERN MICHIGAN -5 ***

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