Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#797 Buffalo 152.5 vs.
#798 DePaul -9
Sunday, December 8, 2019 at 5:00pm EST
Written by Nick Cowie



#797 State University of New York at Buffalo
#798 DePaul University


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Buffalo will take a trip to Chicago this Sunday to take on DePaul in a non-conference matchup. Buffalo is off to a 5-3 start this season, challenging themselves with tough competition. Two of their losses come to power conference teams in UConn and Vanderbilt. They carry that Vanderbilt loss into this game after winning three straight. DePaul is off to the undefeated start that no one expected, starting 9-0 with wins over Iowa, Boston College, Minnesota and Texas Tech. They come in high off an overtime victory over Texas Tech.

Buffalo looks to push the pace

Buffalo has seen success this season when they are able to push the pace. They count on a lot of possessions and transition play for their wins. Despite shooting just 43 percent from the field as a team, Buffalo averages 80.4 points per game and has scored 75 or more in all of their wins. The key for the Buffalo offense is turnovers. They force 16.5 turnovers per game, giving them extra possessions to compensate for average shooting. On average, 20.3 points are added to the Buffalo total every game as a direct result of turnovers. As good as DePaul has looked, they have coughed up the ball about 13 times a game this year which could be a potential area of exploitation for Buffalo.

In terms of offensive production, Jayvon Graves has been the man for Buffalo this year. The junior guard comes into this contest leading the team with 16.8 points per game. He also adds 5.6 rebounds and shoots 38 percent from deep. If there is one knock on Graves, it has been that he has left a lot of points at the free throw line, especially for a guard. He converted just 60 percent of his free throws so far this season. Graves, and the rest of Buffalo will need to take advantage of any free points they can get to give themselves a chance against this hot DePaul team, especially in hostile territory. As a team, though, Buffalo sits at just 61 percent from the line.

DePaul rolls to an undefeated start

To the surprise of many, DePaul is off to a 9-0 start, taking down some top competition on their way. The most recent came in an overtime thriller over Texas Tech. Reed Paul came up big in that one as he has for the whole start of the season. The junior forward averages 15.6 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 3.4 blocks per game. Buffalo tends to rely on their guards, so Paul could be a massive problem for them in the paint. Averaging a double-double and creating so many turnovers off blocked shots is no joke, especially against the kind of competition DePaul has already faced.

Having an advantage down low also likely gives DePaul an advantage in the rebounding game and possession battle. They pull in an average of 40.7 rebounds per game which is 5.6 more than their opponents have managed. Buffalo on the other hand, is dead even with their opponents in rebounding and does not seem to have the same type of physicality down low as DePaul. This will help DePaul control the game and suck Buffalo into the pace that they want to play at rather than a crazy transition shootout. If DePaul can control the rebounding, this is their game to lose.

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This crazy winning streak won't last forever fro DePaul, but Buffalo is not likely to be the team to break it. Buffalo counts on turnovers to produce about 25 percent of their offense. While DePaul is susceptible to turning the ball over, scoring that much off of the turnovers is a different story. Expect DePaul to bully the Buffalo forwards down low and have a big advantage on the boards. The Blue Demons will be able to play their pace and get the win as long as they are better than a disaster from the free throw line.

Prediction: DePaul Blue Demons

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These teams are not particularly amazing in terms of shitting consistency, but something they can both do is create scoring opportunities for themselves. The over has been very reliable both in Buffalo road games and in DePaul home games when they are the favorite for over a year. Again, this comes down to DePaul free throw shooting. As long as they are not a disaster from the line, the over should be safe. Both teams can shoot from three and there are not any lockdown defenses in this matchup.

Prediction: Over

Written By Nick Cowie

Nick graduated with an environmental science degree and is a freelance writer, covering anything from fighting to forestry. He is a washed up swimmer and a sports and comedy enthusiast.