BAHAMAS BOWL KICKS OFF 2019-20 BOWL SEASON ON FRIDAY AFTERNOON – BUFFALO vs. CHARLOTTE!
LAS VEGAS BETTING ODDS: BUFFALO (-6 1/2) vs. CHARLOTTE ~ TOTAL: (51)
BUFFALO OFFENSE (#74) ~ (254 RUSH, 143 PASS) vs. CHARLOTTE DEFENSE (#66) ~ (191 RUSH, 198 PASS allowed)
CHARLOTTE OFFENSE (#52) ~ (210 RUSH, 213 PASS) vs. BUFFALO DEFENSE (#6) ~ (95 RUSH, 198 PASS allowed)
Well folks it’s Bowl Season once again and time to kick off the 2019-20 Bowl Season with a game in beautiful Bahamas. This will be the 6th Bowl game played there and 3 have been decided by 4 points or less and a few were as exciting a game as we say in that given Bowl season. We get two (7-5) teams facing off and for Charlotte, it will be the teams first ever Bowl Game in it’s young 5 year history. For Buffalo it’s the 4th Bowl appearance, but they will be looking for their first Bowl win ever. They are (0-3) straight up and (0-3) ATS in their 3 Bowl appearances.
These are two teams that mostly like to run the ball and can run the ball, and possible windy conditions won’t hurt either if the winds get bad during this game. I always feel you must be careful to just look at a teams Ranking on Offense if it’s a bit lower if it’s a big time running team. Rushing yards aren’t as easy to get as passing yards. Both play in relatively weaker Conferences so they can post up some good numbers but that doesn’t mean they are same (7-5) type team as the better Conferences.
First looking at Charlotte: Gotta love it’s new HC Healy as after taking over a team (12-36) the past 3 years, he immediately turns the team around and goes (7-5), earning first ever Bowl Invite. They cranked it up in final 5 games, winning all 5, albeit vs. all losing teams. They did face 3 very solid teams, all losses, but kept competitive in 2 of those 3 (lost to App State 56-41, lost to Fla Atlantic 45-27) besides losing badly 52-10 to powerhouse Clemson. They finished (2-5) ATS vs. Winning teams. They have a pretty good QB, but when they don’t rush for at least 230 rushing yards they are (1-5) this season. Charlotte’s Defense allowed 423 yards per game, but only 327 yards per game the final 4 games this season. The Defense is very strong rushing passer with 36 sacks and DE Highsmith has 14 sacks and will be a hard one for Buffalo to stop. Their Offensive Line is very good and allowed only 16 sacks all season and they helped open up the Run game to a nice tune of 213 rushing per game and a solid (5.1) yards per carry. Their top rusher, RB Leary, ran for 1068 total yards and (5.8) yards per carry.
Now to Buffalo: They started season 1-4 facing all Bowl caliber teams. Then finished 5-1 their last 6 games and going 3-1 vs. more Bowl caliber teams. They only returned 8 starters and lost some solid Offensive talent, incl the QB, so they changed their Offense to more rushing the ball and it paid off in a big way. They have two 1000 yard rushers and one of the Best Offensive Lines in the country (allowed only 8 sacks all season). Note too that QB Van Trease, who came in later in season due to injury, was sacked only once his entire season, with just one interception as well. Buffalo will not give this game away due to turnovers. Buffalo runs ball 70% of the time and passes only 30%. They attempted less than 30 passes in 10 of their 12 games. Strangely the Bulls average only (18.7) points per game in it’s wins, but averages 26 points per game in it’s losses. The reason this is big is because they are basically a TD favorite and if your wins avg. only 18 points, usually tough to get a cover scoring that low and laying 7 points. Three OL for Buffalo were first team All Mac. RB’s Patterson (5.8) yards per carry, (1626 total yards) and 17 TD’s and RB Marks (4.7 ypc) and (1008 total) and 8 TD’s are the workhorses and you’d fully expect them to carry the load in this game.
Buffalo Offense averages 31 points per game and the Defense allows 26 points per game. The Defense ranked (#6 in nation) allowed only 95 rushing yards per game and 198 Passing yards per game. The Offense scored 37 TD’s in the 50 Red Zone trips and 8 FG’s, so they failed to score just 5x all season once inside the Red Zone. The Defense allowed only 20 TD’s in 39 Red Zone trips and 7 FG’s, for a very solid (59%) overall. The Bulls had a net yards average per game of (+79).
Charlotte Offense scored 31 TD’s and 6 FG’s in 47 Red Zone trips. The Defense allowed 32 TD’s and 5 FG’s in 41 Red Zone trips. The team overall was (-19) yards per game average vs. it’s opponents.
KEYS TO GAME:
Charlotte was just (1-5) this season when they rushed for under 230 total rushing yards. Now they face Buffalo Defense allowing only 95 rushing yards per game and the Bulls Defense allowed over 160 yards only once all season and never 200. They allow an incredible (2.9) yards per carry and will likely force Charlotte to pass the ball more than they may really want to. Both Offensive Lines are really good and both possess solid Pass rush. The Bulls actually had a 6 game streak of at least 4 sacks in all 6 games. Charlotte has another bad number, (0-4) when allowing 230 rush yards or more and Buffalo averages over 250. Charlotte Defense allowed under 30 points it’s last 5 games after allowing 30 or more in 6 of it’s first 7. That’s a good sign and just shows a new Head Coach often makes big changes, and this team was able to adjust nicely as the season wore on.
EDGES IN GAME:
Slight edge to Charlotte and QB and WR’s and rest of the Edges go to Buffalo, especially at RB spot.
TRENDS FOR THIS GAME:
CHARLOTTE: (5-13) ATS last 18 games in Non-Conference play.
CHARLOTTE: (2-5) ATS vs. Winning teams this season.
BUFFALO: 5 of it’s last 6 games have gone “OVER” the posted total.
Please watch closely what the weather is for this one. Normally it’s a gorgeous day and great for Football, but they are expecting some very high winds which can drastically change outcome here and with higher winds favor Buffalo side more as they pass (rely) much less. Buffalo kids surely fired up to get a Bowl win, after 3 tries and none so far. Charlotte kids surely thrilled to be part of the first ever Bowl game for their school, and can really go out and just have fun and let it fly. Lines makers did solid job here on both side and total.
I hope you all have a WINNING “BOWL SEASON” ahead and a Happy Holidays. I have not updated my Weekly “Gameday Picks” record in a few weeks (I will soon) as I have been crushed by Flu bad as I’ve ever been. We had a tiny win week of less then half unit a few weeks ago and a great week 2 weeks ago….this past week we won with Navy and went 3-2 in NFL Sunday, winning our only Best Bet on the Bills-Steelers “UNDER” on Sunday night. I am way behind the 8 ball for these Bowl games but I will get going one day at a time here as I am feeling better enough to sit longer at the computer.
Wishing you all a very Happy Holiday’s season and please don’t drink and drive, and when you do drive, please watch extra as you do drive. I lost my best friend to a Drunk Driver at the Holidays, don’t let that be you.