Marshall Thundering Herd vs. Buffalo Bulls Betting Picks

December 24, 2020

Date:Friday, December 25th
Time:2:30 PM ET
Network:ESPN
Venue:Cramton Bowl
Spread:Buffalo -4.5
O/U:54.5

The 7-2 Marshall Thundering Herd will meet up with the 5-1 Buffalo Bulls in the Cramton Bowl on Christmas Day at 2:30 PM ET in the Cramton Bowl. The Bulls come in as 4.5-point home favorites and we’re looking at plenty of points with a 54.5 over/under. Let’s dive into how this game will go down and who will end up covering the spread. Make sure to check out the rest of our CFB Picks and Predictions as we will have every single bowl game covered.

Trends

  • Thundering Herd are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 bowl games.
  • Bulls are 1-7 ATS in their last 8 neutral site games.
  • Over is 5-1 in Thundering Herd last 6 games after allowing more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game.
  • Over is 4-0 in Bulls last 4 games after accumulating more than 280 yards passing in their previous game.

When The Marshall Thundering Herd Have The Ball

After winning their first seven games of the season, Marshall has dropped back to back games to Rice and UAB. They’ve put up a combined 13 points and have had serious troubles moving the football with any level of consistency. QB Grant Wells has completed 61% of his passes for 1,977 yards and 18 touchdowns with nine interceptions. That’s on top of the 175 rushing yards and two scores. He must take better care of the ball than he has in the last two games.

The best hope for Marshall is to run the ball with HB Brenden Knox. He’s up to 887 yards and nine touchdowns with seven receptions for another 86 yards and a score. When Wells drops back, he’s typically looking for TE Xavier Gaines (398 yards, 4 TD) and WR Corey Gammage (321 yards, 4 TD). The pair aren’t necessarily explosive, but they are reliable and rarely drop a ball. Marshall has to get out to an early lead if they want to win this ballgame.

When The Buffalo Bulls Have The Ball

The Bulls will have HB Jaret Patterson for this game, who was questionable going in. He’s one of the best backs in the entire country and he’s up to 1,072 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns on the year. Kevin Marks is a stellar backup and he’s up to 600+ yards and six scores on the year. QB Kyle Vantrease is decent, but he’s not a guy that can dig an offense out of a hole. Similarly to Marshall, Buffalo must establish the run and pick up an early lead.

Antonio Nunn is the clear number one option on the outside, and he’s hauled in 33 receptions for 535 yards and two touchdowns. Trevor Wilson leads the team in receiving touchdowns with three on top of 14 catches for 309 yards. While Vantrease is no game-changer, the weapons on the outside are elite and they’ve been better every game. Buffalo is strong defensively, but not when they play from behind.

Spread Prediction

The Pick: Marshall +5.5

This game will likely come down to which team can establish the run first. Both squads want to run the ball to open things up and the one who grabs an early lead will have a massive advantage. I expect it to be Marshall, who’s been miserable in each of their last two games. They have a solid offense when the offensive line is working and they return all five starters for this game. Give me the points with Marshall as I think they win this game outright.

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Total Prediction

The Pick: Over 54.5
Final Score Prediction: Marshall 31, Buffalo 28

This number just isn’t high enough. While both offenses want to run the ball, they don’t play slow and neither defense is any good. They play bend-don’t break defensively and both teams will put up close to 30 points. I expect the winner to be around 30-35 and for the over to soar. The public seems to be on the under while sharp money is on the over, giving us even more confidence on this bet.

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