Eastern Michigan is coming off a big win and they host a winless Buffalo team in the first MAC game for both teams.
Buffalo has not gotten off to a good start, as they are 0-3 and have lost two of three games by double figures. The team’s offense has been pretty good in the last two games but the defense has struggled all season giving up an average of 35.3 ppg.
Eastern Michigan is 2-1 and they are coming off an upset road win over Arizona State in their last game. Like the Bulls, the Eagles have a legit offense but the defense has had issues. Still, the team is 2-1 and they gave up 83 points in their first two games while only giving up 21 points in their last game.
The Bad ListThe Bulls are on a list they do not want to be on in ESPN’s Bottom 10, which is their take on the 10 worst teams in the nation. In their last game, they were on the road losing to Coastal Carolina where they were up 19-17 in the third quarter but were outscored 21-7 in the fourth quarter. In a sloppy game both teams turned the ball over four times, the Bulls were outgained 504 yards to 337 yards, and they only rushed for 59 yards while giving up 221 rushing yards. Buffalo has not faced Eastern Michigan since the 2019 season.
QB Cole Snyder leads the Buffalo offense that ranks 67th in the nation in passing yards per game and 109th in rushing yards per game. In the loss to Coastal Carolina, he passed for 264 yards with two TD but was picked off twice and sacked four times. In two of three games this season, Snyder has been sacked at least four times. Justin Marshall and Quian Williams have combined for 451 receiving yards and five TD. Mike Washington leads the Bulls with 147 rushing yards and he led the way in the last game with 59 yards. Ron Cook Jr. has rushed for 108 yards and is only averaging 3.2 yards per carry.
Big Time UpsetIn their last game, Eastern Michigan was on the road and beat Arizona State 30-21 where they covered the spread as a huge 20.5-point favorite. The Eagles outgained the Sun Devils 458 yards to 352 yards and they killed it on the ground rushing for 305 yards.
The Eagles have a balanced offense that ranks tied for 64th in the nation in passing yards per game and 75th in rushing yards per game.
Senior Taylor Powell (681 yards 4 TD 5 INT) leads EMU and with the run game killing it in the last game he did not light it up passing for 93 yards with no TD and one INT. WR Tanner Knue (185 yards 3 TD) leads a balanced WR corps that has four players with at least 96 yards. The one player the Bulls really have to worry about is RB Samson Evans (366 yards 3 TD), who killed it on the ground in the win over Arizona State rushing for 258 yards with a TD averaging a more than legit 7.2 yards per carry. Look for EMU to exploit a Buffalo run defense that ranks tied for 114th in the nation giving up an average of 196.3 yards per game.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
Eastern Michigan had failed to cover the spread in four straight games before doing so in their last game. The favorite and the home team is 4-1 ATS in the last five games between these teams and look for those trends to continue. The main reason the Eagles upset Arizona State last week is that they ran the rock well with over 300 rushing yards. Look for them to be successful again on the ground facing a Buffalo run D that ranks tied for 114th in the nation in run defense. EMU has had issues on defense and they will not shut down the Buffalo offense but they will outscore them by at least a TD, which is why they are the pick to cover the spread in this conference opener.
Take EMU at home giving 6.5 points.
Full-Game Total Pick
In the last four games between these teams, the total has gone Over and that is the pick I am leaning towards in this game. Both teams are giving up an average of over 34 ppg and look for a high-scoring game in this one. Even though the Eagles will dominate on the ground they will score a lot of points. Buffalo is 0-3 but they have averaged 22.3 ppg and they will have a good scoring game in this one. This game will see a lot of offense by both teams and with defense at a premium. The scoreboard will be busy in this MAC affair, which is why the Over is the pick.
Take the Over 60.5 points in this MAC opener.