Vegas College Football Betting Preview: Buffalo vs Toledo

Part of the midweek MACtion schedule is a cross-division game between the Buffalo Bulls and the Toledo Rockets. Game time is at 7:30 EST on Wednesday, November 20 at UB Stadium in Buffalo, New York. Fans can catch all of the MACtion on ESPN2.

Current betting odds list the Bulls as 7.5-point favorites at home. The game also has an over/under of 54.5 points. Click here if you want to check out a full list of the college football betting odds for this week’s games.

Buffalo vs Toledo Vegas Game Odds & Betting Predictions

Buffalo is searching for one more win order to become bowl eligible. If they play in a bowl this year, it would be the first time in program history the Bulls have a postseason game in consecutive seasons. They appeared to have bowl eligibility wrapped up last week, leading Kent State by 21 points midway through the fourth quarter. However, Buffalo suffered an epic collapse, giving up 24 unanswered points in less than eight minutes. 

The loss snapped a three-game winning streak and stopped a whole lot of momentum after Buffalo won all three games by at least 20 points. The Bulls will now have to find a way to bounce back with a win this week against Toledo or next week against Bowling Green in order to become bowl eligible.

Toledo will also try to bounce back quickly from a disappointing loss last week. In their case, the Rockets trailed by 21 points heading into the fourth quarter, came back to tie the game, only to lose on to Northern Illinois on a late field goal. The silver lining for the Rockets is that they have already secured bowl eligibility.

That being said, the Rockets still have an outside chance of playing in the MAC title game. Needless to say, last week’s loss was a huge hit to their chances. But if the Rockets can win their final two games and get a little bit of help, they could end up overtaking Western Michigan and Central Michigan via tiebreakers at the top of the MAC West division. Of course, none of those tiebreaker scenarios mean anything if the Rockets don’t beat Buffalo on Wednesday.

Since they play in different divisions, Toledo and Buffalo have met just six times since 2003. The Rockets have won four of those six head-to-head meetings between two schools at opposite ends of Lake Erie. However, the Bulls were triumphant 31-17 when the teams met in Toledo last season.

Free College Football Betting Prediction: Toledo +7.5

Granted, Toledo has been terrible on the road this season and is relying on a backup quarterback, but I’m still not sure that Buffalo is more than a touchdown better than the Rockets. Both teams have a lot on the line in this game, which is why I think the Rockets will be able to keep this game close. The 7.5-point spread is just begging me to take the underdog, so I’ll play along and take the Rockets to at least beat the spread.

As mentioned, the Rockets are playing backup Eli Peters at quarterback with Mitchell Guardagni still sidelined. But Peters has handled himself well as the starter. He has plenty of game experience, which is part of the reason he was able to lead the Rockets in a near-comeback last week against Northern Illinois. Over his last three games, Peters has thrown six touchdowns to just one interception. He also threw for 300 yards last week, indicating that he’s settling in as the starter.

I’m also a fan of the Toledo rushing attack, which is averaging 245 yards per game. With leading rusher Bryant Koback limited to two carries last week due to injury, Shakif Seymour stepped up and had another big game. Seymour has 402 rushing yards over his last three games and is averaging better than five yards per carry on the season. The Rockets are in good shape with him carrying the ball, which means they won’t have to lean too much on Peters.

Meanwhile, Buffalo quarterback Kyle Vantrease got a harsh dose of reality during last week’s loss to Kent State. It had been smooth sailing for Vantrease since taking over the starting job last month. However, he completed just nine of his 22 passes for a mere 134 yards against Kent State. To his credit, Vantrease has been able to avoid turners. But his efficiency as a passer has been inconsistent, making it hard to trust him to bounce back and have a good game.

In fairness, the Toledo defense has been nothing special this season. The Bulls also have a formidable rushing attack behind 1,100-yard rusher Jaret Patterson. However, the Rockets have defended the pass well for most of the season, which could force the Buffalo offense to rely almost entirely on Patterson and the running game. That could make the Bulls too one-dimensional to maintain a comfortable lead.

In the end, it’s to envision this being anything other than a close game in the fourth quarter. Buffalo is probably the better team, but not by much. Keep in mind that the Rockets have the pedigree of a program that’s accustomed to playing in and winning big games this time of year. Plus, Buffalo is trying to respond from an epic collapse last week, so their confidence could be down. I struggle to buy the Bulls winning this game by more than a touchdown, so I’ll take the underdog and the points.

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