Buffalo Bulls (10-3) vs Troy Trojans (9-3)Date : 12/22/2018
Time : 7:00 PM
Location : Ladd-Peebles Stadium
Pick, Prediction, & Preview:
Buffalo Bulls vs Troy Trojans
The Buffalo Bulls and Troy Trojans will meet in the Dollar General Bowl at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama, the opening kickoff is slated for 7:00 PM. The Trojans had a successful year as they went 7-1 in Sun Belt play but they were still unable to make the conference championship game. Buffalo won the East division in the MACTrojansbut they eventually fell in the championship.
Buffalo Bulls's Latest Performance :
The Buffalo Bulls have turned around their program under Lance Leipold as they went from a 2-win squad back in 2016 to a 10-win East division champion in the MAC. The Bulls were unable to get their 1st conference title since 2008 as they lost to the NIU Huskies in a hard fought game 30-29. QB Tyree Jackson is on the radar for the NFL and reasonably so as he enters the bowl game with 2857 passing yards, 27 TDs, and 11 interceptions while also adding in 7 rushing TDs. Jackson was able to have a solid game against one of the better defenses in the nation as the junior threw for 252 yards and 2 TDs while committing no mistakes. The ground game is induced with two 800-yard rushers but the NIU defense made that a priority in the conference championship as it was held in check. RBs Jaret Patterson and Kevin Marks had almost identical stats as they both ran for 72 yards and contributed a TD apiece. Patterson has been the top back all season as he enters the bowl game just shy of 1000-yards with 911 yards and 13 TDs but Marks is just behind him with 805 yards and 12 TDs. Another NFL prospect in WR Anthony Johnson was able to add to his stock by catching 7 passes for a total of 124 yards and 2 TDs which gives the senior 944 yards and 11 TDs on the season. The defense has been solid for the Bulls but they were unable to stop a weak NIU offense. LB Khalil Hodge had a big game for the Bulls as he racked up 9 tackles which gives him a team-high 138 tackles while Tatum Slack came away with the lone interception of the game.
Troy Trojans 's Latest Performance :
The Troy Trojans are 1 win away from hitting the 10-win mark for a 3rd consecutive year but they were unable to reach the conference championship despite a 7-1 conference record as they lost the final regular season game to Appalachian State. Redshirt sophomore Sawyer Smith took over as the full-time starting QB after Kaleb Barker went out with a season-ending injury earlier in the season. Smith has been solid all season long but his outing against Appalachian State was one of his worst of the season. Smith attempted 33 passes where he completed 17 for a total of 160 yards, 1 TD, and 2 interceptions. Despite the Appalachian State outing, Smith has not looked like a backup as he enters the postseason with 1349 passing yards, 10 TDs, and 6 interceptions. The ground attack has been strong for the Trojans as it is led by junior RB B.J. Smith who eclipsed the 1000-yard mark on the season. Smith was bottled up against Appalachian State as he racked up 53 yards on 15 carries which extends his season total to 1090 yards and 12 TDs. WR Deondre Douglas was on the receiving end of the lone TD pass of the game as he put together a nice performance with 6 catches for 69 yards and a TD. The defense for Troy has been strong all season long and after giving up 21 1st half points to the Mountaineers they held them scoreless in the 2nd half. Tron Folsom had a big outing from the secondary as he racked up a team-high 11 tackles while the only sack came from Hunter Reese.
How Buffalo Bulls & Troy Trojans Matchup.
Vegas Odds, Offshore Odds, & Odds ATS:
Buffalo is 9-4 ATS
Troy is 8-3-1 ATS
In-Depth Analysis of each team:
Buffalo ranks 28th in the nation in team scoring as they score an average of 34.8 PPG while Troy ranks 58th as they score an average of 29.8 PPG.
Troy ranks 23rd in the nation in team defense as they hold opponents to an average of 21.2 PPG while Buffalo ranks 48th as they hold opponents to an average 24.7 PPG.
Against The Spread Selection: Troy Trojans +2
My reason for the pick :
This is a pretty even match on paper as we have a strong offense (Buffalo) going against a strong defense (Troy) but I like the Trojans to get the win in their home state. Troy has a strong ground game with B.J. Smith but they have the ability to air it out with Sawyer Smith which could be problematic as Buffalo has not looked good in the secondary. Troy has a slightly better defense than Northern Illinois and they laid the foundation last outing to keep the ground game under control. This game is being played in Alabama so Troy will bring a solid home crowd and make it feel as a home game. They should cover the 2 points at the minimum as they should win.
Betting trends for Buffalo Bulls:
- Buffalo is 7-3 ATS as a favorite this season.
Betting trends for Troy Trojans :
- Troy is 2-0 ATS after a loss this season.