Last Updated on December 18, 2020
- Buffalo is a 13.5-point favorite over Ball State in the MAC Championship Game. The total is set to 66.5 points.
- Ball State has won five games in a row after dropping their season opener.
- Buffalo boasts the top-ranked scoring offense in college football (51.8 PPG).
- The Bulls are 4-1 against the spread this season.
While all eyes will be on the power five conference championships on Saturday, college football fans are getting an appetizer on Friday night when Buffalo and Ball State meet in the MAC Championship. Weekday MACtion is a college football tradition and it’s fitting that the conference will be center stage this week.
Buffalo (5-0) is dominating their opponents so far this year. They are beating their opponents by an average of 30.8 points and they have yet to win a game by fewer than 19 points. Ball State (5-1) lost in their season opener to Miami (Ohio) before rattling off five consecutive wins. Most of those wins were one-score games.
Let’s dive into the best odds, interesting props, analysis, and everything else you need to know about the 2020 MAC Championship Game.
Buffalo vs. Ball State MAC Championship Odds
Buffalo is a 13.5-point favorite over Ball State in the MAC Championship Game. The moneyline odds have Buffalo at -500 and Ball State as the significant underdog at +390. The total is set to 66.5 points.
Buffalo covered the spread in four of their five games this year, according to DraftKings Sportsbook. They have also gone 4-1 on overs this year. Ball State is an even 3-3 against the spread and on over-unders this year.
Who is the Public Betting On?
MAC Conference Championship
|Friday, December 18, 2020|
|Teams||Point Spread||% Handle||% Bets||Total Points||% Handle||% Bets||Moneyline||% Handle||% Bets|
|Ball State||+13.5||12%||9%||Over 66.5||99%||99%||+350||7%||4%|
Game Preview and Betting Angles
At first glance, Buffalo looks like they are going to run away with this game. No team has come within 13.5 points of them all season long and Ball State has squeaked out a few close wins. Miami was the only team to beat Ball State this year, but Buffalo pummeled the RedHawks by 32 points.
With that said, if Ball State can manage to hang around, they have a legitimate chance at winning the MAC Championship Game. We saw something similar happen earlier this year when a battle-tested Coastal Carolina edged out a BYU team that had not played a close game all season. That close-game experience could come in handy for Ball State.
Buffalo Game Notes
Buffalo’s offense is really a one-man show. They are the highest-scoring team in college football (51.8 PPG), but they do almost all of their damage on the ground. They are outrushing their opponents by 183.8 yards per game this season and that’s likely to continue against Ball State.
Jarret Patterson has 1,025 rushing yards, 18 touchdowns, and is rushing for a ridiculous 8.3 yards per carry this year. Those numbers would be impressive across a full season. He’s packed all that production into five games.
Calling a quarterback a “game manager” is usually an insult, but when you have a running back like Patterson, that’s all a quarterback needs to do. Although Kyle Vantrease has only thrown for 821 yards this season, he only has one interception. Taking care of the ball is going to be key for the Bulls. They can’t afford to give Ball State extra chances to hang around in this game.
Ball State Game Notes
Ball State will be shorthanded for this game after learning that the team’s top running back, Caleb Huntley, is opting out to focus not the upcoming NFL Draft. Huntley began the season hot, racking up 437 yards and six touchdowns in three games, but he has missed the last three games with an injury. Ball State is certainly used to playing without Huntley, but the loss is a significant blow nonetheless.
As a result, we expect Ball State to continue to rely heavily on quarterback Drew Plitt. The senior has taken on more of the offensive load since Huntley went down and he’s playing well. Plitt has thrown for 919 yards, nine touchdowns, and just three interceptions in his last nine games. It’s also worth noting that he has rushed for two touchdowns as well.
Plitt has three receivers that he relies on — Justin Hall, Yo’Heinz Tyler, and Antwan Davis. Hall leads the team with 44 receptions and 620 yards, but Tyler is Plitt’s go-to guy in the red zone. Tyler has six touchdowns on just 32 receptions this year.
Ball State’s defense will have a tough time trying to corral the Buffalo offense, but if they can force a couple of turnovers, they might be able to flip this game on its head.
Buffalo vs. Ball State History
Ball State holds the overall advantage in this series (9-2), but these two schools have only played twice since 2016. Buffalo won their last meeting 40-24 when they met in 2017. Obviously, the historical matchup between these two teams doesn’t hold much weight heading into this game. Most of the players who played in that 2017 game are graduated.
This will be the third time that Buffalo plays in the MAC Championship Game. They won in 2008 but lost in 2018. This will be Ball State’s second appearance. They lost to Buffalo in that 2008 Championship Game.
How to Watch Buffalo – Ball State
- Date: Friday, December, 18th
- Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
- Location: Ford Field (Detroit, Michigan)
- TV: ESPN
Buffalo Continues To Roll
Ball State is a good team this year, but Buffalo is on a different planet. It’s tough to see Ball State being able to slow down Jarret Patterson and the Buffalo offense. Additionally, we’re not sure that Ball State has enough offensive firepower to hang around in this one. Take Buffalo laying the points.