The Ball State Cardinals will try to pull off a huge upset when they face the Buffalo Bulls in the Mid-American Conference championship game on Friday night in Detroit. The Cardinals (5-1) have reeled off five straight wins despite being without top running back Caleb Huntley for three of them, and he has opted out of the game to work toward the NFL draft. Quarterback Drew Plitt runs an offense that averages well over 450 yards per game, but the Bulls (5-0) average almost 52 points and more than 344 yards per game on the ground, leading the nation in both categories.
Kickoff from Ford Field is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET. William Hill Sportsbook lists the Bulls as a 13-point favorite in its latest Ball State vs. Buffalo odds, and the over-under for total points scored is 69.5. Before making any Buffalo vs. Ball State picks, check out the college football predictions and betting advice from the SportsLine Projection Model.
The model simulates every FBS college football game 10,000 times. Over the past four-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated a stunning profit of over $3,500 for $100 players on its top-rated college football picks against the spread. It is also a sizzling 54-34 on all top-rated picks through 15 weeks of the 2020 college football season, returning over $600. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns.
Now, the model has set its sights on Buffalo vs. Ball State in the MAC Championship Game 2020. You can visit SportsLine now to see the picks. Here are the college football odds and trends for Ball State vs. Buffalo:
- Ball State vs. Buffalo: Bulls -13
- Ball State vs. Buffalo over-under: 69.5
- Ball State vs. Buffalo money line: Cardinals +425, Bulls -600
- Ball State: WR Justin Hall has at least seven receptions in five straight games.
- Buffalo: RB Kevin Marks has at least 90 yards in the past four games, leading the team in rushing twice.
Why Buffalo can cover
Buffalo is 4-1 against the spread overall this season, and the Bulls are outscoring opponents by more than 30 points per game. Patterson leads the nation in putting up 205 rushing yards per contest, and he is fourth in FBS with an 8.3 per carry average. He has scored 18 times on the ground to rank third, with both players ahead of him playing at least 10 games. Backup Kevin Marks averages 7.5 yards per carry, and he rushed for 182 in a 56-7 win vs. Akron last week.
The Bulls are 7-1 ATS in their last eight as a favorite, and the passing game has some options to exploit defenses that sell out to stop the run. Quarterback Kyle Vantrease has completed only 51 passes, but he averages 9.7 yards per attempt and Antonio Nunn (17.6 yards per catch) is his top option. The Bulls defense allows 21 points per game and has nine takeaways, and end Malcolm Koonce is an NFL prospect who has four of the team's 12 sacks.
Why Ball State can cover
Ball State is 6-0 against the spread in its last six games as an underdog, and Plitt gets a lot of help from versatile receiver Justin Hall. The 5-foot-9 senior has a team-high 44 catches, averaging 14.1 yards per reception, and he had 10 for 175 yards and two scores in a 30-27 win against Western Michigan last week. He also has 176 rushing yards and averages 25.4 yards on kickoff returns. Fellow wideouts Yo'Heinz Tyler and Antwan Davis have combined for 63 catches.
Plitt has thrown for 1,674 yards and 13 touchdowns for the Cardinals, who are 4-0 ATS against a team with a winning record. Tye Evans, who has rushed for at least 60 yards in three of the past four games and averages 4.5 per carry, will continue to carry the load in the backfield. The defense has forced 11 turnovers, with safety Bryce Cosby getting an interception, a fumble recovery and one of the team's 14 sacks. Linebacker Anthony Ekpe is the sack leader with five.
How to make Buffalo vs. Ball State picks
SportsLine's model is leaning under on the total, suggesting both teams will struggle in the running game more than usual. It also says one side of the spread is hitting in well over 50 percent of the simulations. You can only get the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Ball State vs. Buffalo? And which side of the spread is hitting well over 50 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine right now to see which side of the Buffalo vs. Ball State spread to back Friday, all from the advanced model on a 54-34 run on its top-rated college football picks this season.