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How and what to watch for Ball State vs. Buffalo in MAC Championship Game

The Buffalo Bulls are looking to put the finishing touches on their impressive undefeated season with a MAC championship.

Jaret Patterson of the Buffalo Bulls runs the ball during the first half against the Akron Zips at UB Stadium on December 12, 2020 in Buffalo, New York. Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

The undefeated Buffalo Bulls will try to add a MAC championship to their 2020 season resume when they play the Ball State Cardinals on Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET in Detroit.

The Bulls (5-0) wrapped up the regular season with a dominating 56-7 victory over the Akron Zips last week. Buffalo got it done once again on the ground with 428 rushing yards and six touchdowns. Standout running back Jaret Patterson had 105 yards on 16 carries and two touchdowns. Patterson now has 1,025 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns in just five games this season.

However Kevin Marks Jr. was the game’s leading rusher with 182 yards on 15 carries and two touchdowns. As a team, the Bulls are rushing for 344.2 rushing yards per game this season to lead the NCAA.

As for the Cardinals (5-1) they won their fifth-straight game, barely defeating the Western Michigan Broncos 30-27 last Saturday. Ball State quarterback Drew Plitt had a solid performance under with 249 passing yards and three touchdowns. Two of his three touchdown passes went to wide receiver Justin Hall, which were a part of his 10 receptions for 175 yards.

Defensively the Cardinals struggled on the ground, which doesn’t bode well heading into their matchup against the Bulls. They allowed Western Michigan to run for 218 yards, which included 159 yards and a touchdown from running back La’Darius Jefferson. This season, Ball State only is giving up 3.9 rushing yards per carry to opposing running backs.

Game Time/TV Channel/Streaming

You can watch Buffalo vs. Ball State on Friday, December 18th at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN, or you can stream it via the ESPN app with a cable or streaming service login.

Point Spread, Totals, Odds, Trends

Point spread: Ball State vs. Buffalo -13
Point Total: 67.5
Money line: Ball State +340 vs. Buffalo -500

  • The Cardinals are shockingly undefeated against the spread with a record of 6-0 in their last six games as the underdog.
  • Additionally the point total went over in seven of Ball State’s last 10 games, which go back to last season.
  • Just like Ball State, Buffalo is a great pick against the spread with a record of 7-1 in their last eight games.
  • Dating back to last season, the point has went over in nine of Buffalo’s last 11 games.

Betting splits

Ball State: (24% of handle, 22% percent of bets)
Buffalo: (76% of handle, 78% percent of bets)

The Best Bet

Friday night’s MAC championship should be fun between two offenses that can put up yards and points. Ball State will try to beat the Bulls through the air, while Buffalo will lean on Jaret Patterson to carry them to a conference title. The Cardinals struggled last week to stop Jefferson, who is one of the best running backs in the conference, next to Patterson. No team has been able to bottle up the dynamo and once he gets rolling, this Buffalo team becomes unstoppable.

Pick: Buffalo (-13)

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