Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#325 Buffalo -17 vs.
#326 Akron 48.5
Saturday, October 19, 2019 at 3:30pm EDT
Written by Nick Raffoul



#325 State University of New York at Buffalo
#326 University of Akron


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The Buffalo Bulls will head to InfoCision Stadium on Saturday afternoon for a Mid-American Conference clash versus the lowly Akron Zips.

Akron is still looking for its first win of the season and the first victory in head coach Tom Arth’s tenure with the program. The Zips (0-6, 0-2 MAC) will still have a few winnable games left on their schedule, as Buffalo, Northern Illinois, Bowling Green, Ohio, and Miami (Ohio) all come into the week with a 2-4 overall record. Can the Zips bounce back with their first win at home against Buffalo this weekend?

The Bulls should come into this matchup well-rested after getting an extra week to prepare following their bye week. Buffalo is hoping to rebound following a disappointing 21-20 overtime defeat at home versus Ohio in their previous contest. Starting quarterback Kyle Vantrease scored a three-yard touchdown on the first possession in overtime, but Jackson Baltar missed the extra point to put the outcome of the game in jeopardy. Buffalo was unable to stop the Bobcats on the ensuing possession, as O’Shaan Allison scored and Louie Zervos added the extra point to win it for Ohio.

Vantrease finished 16-of-23 for 197 yards and two touchdowns to go along with his rushing score. Not bad for a player making his first start in nearly two years, as Vantrease filled in admirably for regular starter Matt Myers. And not only did Vantrease start at quarterback, but he doubled as team’s punter as well. Sophomore running back Kevin Marks led the team in rushing with a season-high 112 yards, marking his second consecutive 100-yard game and his third of the season. After finishing with 13 rushing touchdowns as a freshman, Marks has been kept out of the end zone this season. He has two touchdowns in five games, but is on pace to eclipse his rushing total from last season (845) after racking up 532 yards in five games.

Vantrease’s performance has left the quarterback situation up in the air ahead of this week’s game at Akron. University of Buffalo head coach Lance Leipold said he hasn’t determined the starting quarterback for Saturday’s game. Myers is expected to return to practice this week, but he hasn’t been officially cleared to play after sustaining an upper-body injury Sept. 28 against Miami (Ohio). To make matters even more complicated, Leipold said Trevor Bycznski, a true freshman, has had the most reps in practice in the last week and a half.

Akron has been a mainstay atop ESPN’s Bottom 10 rankings this season. The Zips remain without a win through six games and are fresh off a 26-3 defeat versus in-state rival Kent State. Akron had won the previous four matchups in the annual Crystal Clinic Wagon Wheel trophy game, but the Zips managed just 288 yards of total offense and averaged just 2.7 yards per carry on the ground in the loss. Quarterback Kato Nelson completed 17-of-28 passes for 202 yards and no scores, finishing with 64 yards on the ground to finish as the team’s leading rushing as well. There was some uncertainty for the Zips under center coming into the week, as Nelson re-aggravated an injury versus UMass, and freshman Zach Gibson looked good in relief, finishing 12-of-16 for 173 yards and a touchdown.

After opening the year with a six-game losing streak, several Akron players have reportedly entered their names in the NCAA’s transfer portal. Yet, head coach Tom Arth was not worried about the departures, preaching patience in his first year with the program.

Akron comes in scoring just 14.3 points and averaging only 307.8 yards of total offense per game this year. They also rank dead-last in the nation in rushing at just 57.5 yards per contest. On defense, they’ve given up 36.0 points and 439.3 yards of total offense, including 200 yards per game on the ground.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

Insiders Status:


The home team has covered the spread in each of their last seven meetings, but this Akron team is a different beast. The Zips are 0-6 for the season and 0-6 against the spread. Their offense has been inconsistent at best and they’ve yet to top the 30-point mark this season. Meanwhile, Buffalo has been fairly stingy against the pass, allowing only 204.8 passing yards per game this season. That is going to be a problem for Akron, which ranks last in the country in rushing offense. Look for Buffalo to cover the spread on the road in this MAC football matchup in Ohio on Saturday. 

Prediction: Buffalo -17.5

Full-Game Total Pick

Insiders Status:


The total opened at 57 in this game, but it’s been bet all the way down to 48 heading into the weekend. If you got in late to the party, that’s ok. Buffalo allowed only 14 points in regulation last week and they should have a fairly easy time stopping this one-dimensional Akron offense. Meanwhile, the Bulls have scored exactly 20 points in each of their first two MAC games, so this should end up being a low-scoring affair. This game will stay under the projected 48 points on Saturday afternoon. 

Prediction: Under 48

Written By Nick Raffoul

Shortly after graduating with an Honors in Business Administration, Nick turned his attention from traditional stocks and bonds to investing in the performance of sports teams. And has now joined our team here at Winners & Whiners. Nick uses a combination of advanced stats and historical data to create sports investment models to identify value and generate consistent profits. Let Nick win for you.