When the Buffalo Bulls came to Waco last season, they had Khalil Mack, Branden Oliver, and Alex Neutz. Their three best players are gone as the Baylor Bears fulfill their road portion of the home-and-home agreement and pack up their explosive offense for a game in western New York. It looks like a possible blowout as Baylor is favored by as many as 35 points at some offshores.
Baylor v. Buffalo College Football Preview
Date/Time: Friday September 12, 8:00 p.m. ET
College Football Betting Odds from WagerWeb
College Football Betting Favorite: Baylor -34.5
Not surprisingly, the Baylor Bears are 2-0 with two covers on the season. Art Briles’s team has covered each of its last 11 games as a home favorite, but they were just 1-3 as road chalk last season. Briles is 28-12 against the number since the start of the 2011 season. The Bulls are 0-2 against the number this season and just 21-30 ATS under head coach Jeff Quinn. The Bulls are 5-7 ATS as a home underdog.
The Baylor offense didn’t miss a beat last game without the services of Bryce Petty. Petty, suffering from a couple of spinal cord fractures, sat out the bloodbath against Northwestern State and replacement Seth Russell threw for well over 400 yards in his absence. Injuries are a problem for Baylor right now without the services of Antwan Goodley and Levi Norwood. True freshman KD Cannon caught three touchdown passes in the first quarter against Northwestern State. The Baylor defense has yet to be tested and the secondary should get a workout against Joe Licata, who has thrown for 699 yards and has completed just under 70 percent of his passes. Baylor lost a lot of its top defensive players, so these three games before conference play have been helpful.
Buffalo looks a lot different this season. Joe Licata has thrown a lot in the absence of Branden Oliver and the defense doesn’t have either of its two stars, Khalil Mack and Colby Way. Even with their star players last season, Baylor hung 70 points and 781 yards on the unsuspecting Bulls, who scored seven points and amassed just 295 yards. They brought a Nerf gun to a heavy artillery fight and the outcome was pretty clear. Licata has thrown well over the first two games against Duquesne and Army, but those are clearly subpar defenses. The Bulls are really just hoping not to be embarrassed too badly with ESPN in town and a home crowd eager to see an elite opponent. The line suggests that not being embarrassed would constitute a loss by less than 35 points.
Free Pick: Buffalo Bulls +34.5
Why not? Right? The Baylor Bears can’t be too excited about going to Buffalo to play a Friday night game. With a bye week before conference play starts, the Bears may be engaged in this game longer than normal, but the Bulls will do anything they can to make the game look respectable, even if it takes a couple of cosmetic touchdowns late. With the back injury, Petty’s Heisman hopes are likely gone, if he even plays in this game, so there’s not a ton of incentive for Baylor to run up the score.