Game time: 6 p.m. ET, Sept. 25, 2021
Venue: S.B. Ballard Stadium, Norfolk, VA
Where to watch: ESPN+
Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks
DraftKings: Buffalo -13.5; O/U 51.5; Buffalo -525, Old Dominion +385
BetMGM: Buffalo -13.5; O/U 51.5; Buffalo -556, Old Dominion +425
Caesars: Buffalo -13.5; O/U 51.5; Buffalo -550, Old Dominion +400
Old Dominion: 1-2
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Buffalo - Old Dominion preview and analysis
Buffalo: lost 28-25 vs. No. 17 Coastal Carolina on Sept. 18
Old Dominion: lost 45-17 at Liberty on Sept. 18
It’s not often a loss could be used as a momentum springboard, but that’s the case for the Buffalo Bulls as we like them against the Old Dominion Monarchs in Virginia on Saturday.
The Bulls are coming off a near upset of the No. 17-ranked Coastal Carolina Chanticleers on Saturday, but lost by three points at home. Buffalo had a strong outing on both sides of the ball; not only did they hold the Chanticleers to 28 points, but had 408 yards of total offense despite allowing 460.
Buffalo led 14-7 at the end of the first quarter and kept it tied at 14 through halftime. But the talent gap proved too big as Coastal Carolina pulled away late in the fourth quarter. The Bulls combined for 262 yards on 47 attempts and three touchdowns, led by a team-high 92 yards from Dylan McDuffie.
Quarterback Kyle Vantrease played a clean game by not throwing an interception, and Dominic Johnson had six catches for 66 yards in the loss.
More importantly, the Bulls covered as 14-point underdogs and look like a strong 1-2 team despite consecutive losses against the Chanticleers and Nebraska Cornhuskers.
Old Dominion, meanwhile, has not looked like a formidable option in the Conference-USA this season. The Monarchs are coming off a four-touchdown loss to the undefeated Liberty Flames and have been outscored 87-27 in their two losses this season.
It wasn’t all that bad for ODU. The Monarchs trailed only by 11 before they were held to just 47 total yards in the second half and narrowly missing their 27-point cover. College football: the land of bad beats and betting despair.
Old Dominion just doesn’t have the kind of talent you’d want to trust offensively. Lala Davis might be the lone star that can be relied upon; the running back had 11 carries for 57 yards and a touchdown. On the other side of the ball, the Monarchs’ defense ranks in the bottom third in the country despite Tre Hawkins III and Jordan Young racking up the tackles.
It’s already going to be a tough test trying to slow down the likes of Quian Williams, Jovany Ruiz, Stone Smartt and Ali Jennings at receiver; not to mention Kevin Marks’ team-high 221 yards and three touchdowns on the ground.
Despite being on the road, coming off a strong showing against a top-25 team should bode well for the Bulls. Also worth noting that Buffalo has not allowed a sack in three games. If Vantrease can stay clean and the running game has another strong showing, it’ll be a long day for Old Dominion. Buffalo by 21
Old Dominion has lost 14 consecutive games against FBS opponents straight up and is 4-10 against the spread.
Buffalo is 22-8 ATS after a three-game stretch where it forced at least one turnover.
Players to watch
Buffalo: Watch to see if the Bulls get more active in the passing game this week. Quian Williams had only two receptions for 23 yards against Coastal Carolina.
Old Dominion: The Monarchs will hope to get another big game from Zack Kuntz this week. The tight end was one of the lone bright spots on offense, catching four passes for 60 yards and a touchdown.
Passing: Kyle Vantrease -- 601 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Kevin Marks Jr. -- 221 yards, 3 TD
Receiving: Quian Williams -- 212 yards
Defense: Taylor Riggins -- 4 sacks
Passing: D.J. Mack Jr. -- 335 yards, 2 TD, 3 INT
Rushing: Elijah Davis -- 235 yards, 2 TD
Receiving: Zack Kuntz -- 140 yards, 1 TD
Defense: Amorie Morrison -- 3 sacks
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