One has to really question the emotional state of Connecticut after the Huskies suffered a devastating 24-21 loss to Michigan on national television. Connecticut led the entire game before falling apart in the fourth quarter, and I don’t see how the Huskies will be motivated to play Buffalo on Saturday after such a draining loss.
Buffalo’s ground attack has been extremely disappointing this season as the Bulls are averaging 96 yards per game on 2.4 yards per rush play. Overall, Buffalo is 0.4 yards per rush play worse than average this season, but the Bulls have demonstrated an ability to throw the ball. In fact, Buffalo is 1.1 yards per pass attempt better than average (6.4 yards per pass attempt against teams that combine to allow 5.3 yards per pass attempt), while also being a modest 0.2 yards per play better than average offensively (4.3 yards per play against teams that combine to allow 4.1 yards per play).
I am not as concerned about Bulls’ defense in light of the opponents they have faced in Ohio State and Baylor. Overall, Buffalo is 0.5 yards per rush play better than average and 0.9 yards per pass attempt worse than average defensively. Interestingly, Buffalo is average from the line of scrimmage (7.0 yards per play to teams that combine to average 7.0 yards per play), which is certainly good enough to limit a Connecticut offense that is pedestrian at best (4.6 yards per play against teams that combine to allow 4.6 yards per play).
My biggest concern with Connecticut is head coach Paul Pasqualoni, who has been burning money for sports bettors. Specifically, Pasqualoni is:
- 1-4 ATS in competitively-priced games (+3 to -3)
- 8-16 ATS overall
- 3-7 ATS as a favorite
- 2-8 ATS versus non-conference opponents
- 1-6 ATS after covering the point spread
- 4-11 ATS in the first half of the season
Buffalo applies to a very good 75-34 ATS situation of mine and my math models actually favor Buffalo in this matchup. If you decide to bet this game, I strongly recommend considering the home underdog against an emotionally deflated Connecticut squad.