Buffalo vs. Minnesota Pick
According to oddsmakers at Bovada.lv, Minnesota is the clear favorite for this game, as the Gophers are getting odds of -24 points against the Bulls. The over/under total for the contest has been set at 50 points. These two haven’t met since the 2002 season, a 41-17 win for Minnesota. These two meet from TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The game will air live on the Big Ten Network.
Minnesota begins the P.J. Fleck era tonight. The Gophers were 9-4 last season overall with a 5-5-3 mark against the spread. Minnesota was just 2-5 ATS at home. The Gophers put up 29.3 points per game last season while allowing 22.1 per contest. Minnesota is set to utilize two quarterbacks tonight as Demry Croft and Conor Rhoda are each going to see action. Croft is a redshirt sophomore while Rhoda is a redshirt senior. Rhoda saw limited action last season, throwing for 88 yards and a touchdown. Minnesota will probably rely heavily on its run game, as the Gophers return their two leading rushers from 2016 in Rodney Smith and Shannon Brooks. The two combined for 1,808 yards and 21 touchdowns in 2016.
Buffalo is coming off a 2-10 record in 2016 with a 4-8 record against the spread. The Bulls were also just 1-5 ATS on the road. Buffalo struggled offensively last year, averaging 16.5 points per game. Defensively, Buffalo gave up 32.3 points per game. Buffalo used a freshman at QB last season in Tyree Jackson, as he threw for 1,772 yards with nine touchdowns and nine interceptions. He also rushed for 399 yards and five scores. Jackson is the only cornerstone back from the offense, as the Bulls have lost their leading rushers and many of their top receivers from 2016.
This is a big stage for Fleck, as he debuts with the Gophers after a lot of hype and buzz in the offseason. Minnesota shouldn’t have much difficulty stopping this Buffalo offense. It was a horrible unit last year and is working in a lot of new skill-position players. Minnesota brings back some talent in the backfield, but it’s hard to know what to expect from the two quarterbacks. I think the Gophers will find ways to score, possibly even on defense and special teams. They should be able to keep Buffalo from putting up many points, so I like Minnesota to cover tonight.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL PREDICTION: MINNESOTA -24