Penn State vs. Buffalo Betting Preview: Odds, Predictions, and Picks

Penn State vs. Buffalo Betting Preview
PHOTO CREDIT: MATTHEW O'HAREN-USA TODAY SPORTS

What’s better than one blowout in front of a raucous home crowd to start the season? Two blowouts in front of a raucous home crowd to start the season, of course. Let’s take a look at the odds of that happening in our Penn State-Buffalo betting preview.

After their team’s 79-7 rout of Idaho last Saturday, Penn State fans are hoping to experience a little déjà vu tonight as the Nittany Lions for the second straight week play host at Beaver Stadium as a huge favorite. With PA online sports betting and NJ online sports betting humming, bettors backing Penn State this week will be hoping for some déjà vu, too.

Buffalo, an FBS school out of the oft-frisky MAC, is undoubtedly a step up from the FCS Idaho team that Penn State dismantled a week ago, but with oddsmakers having set the spread in the 30-point neighborhood, it seems likely that another stress-free party from the tailgate to the final whistle is in store tonight.

Will Penn State cover a huge number once again this week? Let’s find out.

How to Bet on Penn State-Buffalo

It seems like every week there’s a new online sportsbook popping up, which is great for bettors because they can shop around for the best lines. Simply put, every half-point matters, so find the best price.

It’s also great because these sportsbooks are bringing the heat with terrific promos, sign-up bonuses, and risk-free bets. Here’s a look at some of the top options this week.

Pennsylvania

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Let’s start with the newly launched FOX Bet. Given it’s brand power, there’s no doubt that FOX Bet will quickly emerge as one of the top online sportsbooks. It also possesses an unprecedented level of in-game engagement that others sportsbooks don’t currently have, but let’s get to the most important part– the signup bonus. New users can get a $20 free bet and a $100 deposit match when they sign up right here .

FanDuel Sportsbook PA continues to be a top option for bettors and with good reason. FanDuel offers a $500 risk-free bet when they sign up.

 

New Jersey

There are also plenty of great betting options for those of you in New Jersey. Hit our NJ online sports betting page for a full rundown of all the top promos and bonuses. Among them:

William Hill NJ recently rolled out its new online sports betting platform, and it’s sharp. William Hill is offering a free $50 when you place a $50 bet .

PointsBet is another great and option and is offering a new promo– deposit $50, get $100 .

 

How to Watch

Penn State vs. Buffalo may not scream “nationally televised network game,” but that’s exactly what it is. Tim Brando and Spencer Tillman will have the call on FOX. It’s worth noting that this will be FOX’s first football broadcast since its betting app went live in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, so expect to see tons of promotional content for it tonight.

  • Date: Saturday, September 7
  • Time: 7:30 p.m.
  • Location: Beaver Stadium
  • Network: FOX

 

Penn State-Buffalo Odds

Here are the current Buffalo-Penn State odds at the top legal online sportsbooks:

FanDuel Sportsbook

    Spread     Money        Total
Buffalo     +30.5 (-110)  OFF  56 (-110)
Penn State     -30.5  (-110)  OFF  56 (-110)

 

FOX Bet

    Spread     Money        Total
Buffalo     +30.5 (-110)   +1800   O 56 (-110)
Penn State     -30.5 (-110)   -10000   U 56 (-118)

As you can see, the point spread market is pretty consistent, but the moneyline market is absolutely all over the place.

 

Win Probability

ESPN’s FPI index gives Penn State a 98.9% win probability. It’s always worth a look at how FPI win probability stacks up against the implied moneyline odds because sometimes there’s such a notable disparity between the two numbers that it creates an opportunity for bettors to find value.

I’m not sure how eager anyone out there will be to grab the moneyline in this game, but here are the implied probability odds for Penn State at the above sportsbooks: FOX BET (99%), DraftKings (98%), SugarHouse (97.1%).

Those prices are closely in line with the FPI index number, but DraftKings does provide bettors with some value — at least as much value as you can get when laying $3,335 to win $100, a strategy I don’t recommend.

Conversely, the moneyline markets offered for Buffalo present absolutely no value. Those implied win probabilities are each well above 5%, far exceeding the roughly 1% FPI index number.

Either way, just know that this would be an upset of monumental proportions if Buffalo rolled into Beaver Stadium and pulled off a win.

 

Betting Preview

Penn State wasted little time last week getting started against Idaho. It was 20-0 after the first quarter and 44-0 at the half.

New starting quarterback Sean Clifford was solid in his first career start as he completed 14 of 23 passes for 280 yards and two scores, while Penn State used its deep rotation of running backs to gash the Vandals for 331 yards on the ground.

True freshman Devyn Ford led the way with 107 yards on only six carries:

Penn State did all of that damage on the ground with only nine yards on five carries from top-playmaker Ricky Slade.

Defensively, Penn State held Idaho to only five first downs and four total yards rushing (0.1 yards per rush). The Vandals were only 1 for 15 on third down conversions and 0 for 2 on fourth down.

Still, the Nittany Lions weren’t the only team to open its season with a bang last week. Buffalo rolled FCS school Robert Morris, 38-10, after racking up 285 yards on the ground.

Quarterback Matt Myers was only 5 of 10 passing for 69 yards in his first collegiate start, but two of his completions went for touchdowns. The highlights:

I suspect the Bulls won’t be able to rip off 6.1 yards per carry this week, so the redshirt freshman quarterback will have his work cut out for himself in a rather hostile environment.

 

Betting Trends

Why Backing Buffalo Makes Sense

A Letdown Spot for Penn State?

Contextually, it makes some sense that Penn State might not be as revved up for a second-straight week against an inferior opponent. They could come out, cruise to a win, and still fail to cover 30.5 points.

Buffalo a Decent Dog

Since 2005, the Bulls are 16-13 ATS as a road underdog in non-conference games, and they are 7-4 ATS when an underdog of 25 or more points in such games. Buffalo is also 16-12 ATS as an underdog under head coach Lance Leipold.

 

Why Backing Penn State Makes Sense

Penn State Covers Big Numbers

Penn State teams under James Franklin are 7-4 ATS when favored by 25 or more points and 4-2 ATS when favored by 28 or more points.

Points aren’t a Problem for Penn State

I really wanted to know how teams do after dropping big point totals in their previous game. I expected to find a trend that supported the idea of a letdown, but that’s not what I found. At all.

When Penn State teams under James Franklin score at least 40 points, they are 12-2-1 ATS in the following game. They are 3-1 ATS in such games at home. When they score at least 50 points, they are 6-1-1 ATS.

There’s more.

Franklin’s Penn State teams are also 3-0 ATS as a 25 or more point favorite when coming off a game in which they scored at least 40 points.

The trend goes beyond just Penn State, too. FBS teams that score at least 40 points in their previous game and are then favored between 28-31 points have gone 70-55-3 ATS since ’05.

Meanwhile, Big Ten teams are 14-9 ATS when scoring 40 or more points in their previous game and are favored between 24-30 points. They’re 5-2 ATS in that situation when scoring at least 50 points.

Finally, FBS teams that score at least 75 points in their previous game and then play at home are only 7-9-1 ATS, but when they do it and are favored by 20 or more points, they’re 5-1 ATS.

So while a Penn State hangover is entirely possible, the trends just don’t support it happening.

 

Betting Splits

As of 10:30 a.m. Saturday morning, 78% of the spread bets and 67% of the spread money is on Penn State across all reporting legal markets.

Unsurprisingly, we are seeing local bettors load up on Penn State at FanDuel Sportsbook. Here’s their Saturday morning breakdown:

  • Percentage of Bets on Spread: Buffalo 12%, Penn State 88%
  • Percentage of Handle on Spread:  Buffalo 7%, Penn State 93%
  • Percentage of Total Bets on Total Points (56):   Over 84%, Under 16%
  • Percentage of Handle on Total Points (56): Over 67%, Under 33%

 

Penn State-Buffalo Prediction

Buffalo’s defense will have to play lights-out football and its offense will have to run the ball effectively to hang around in this one. I don’t see any scenario in which redshirt freshman quarterback Matt Myers is successful in this game, but at the same time, is Sean Clifford ready for a breakout performance?

The betting trends overwhelmingly point to a Penn State cover, but 30.5 is a ton of points. I’ll reluctantly go with the Nittany Lions, but I’m not in love with them in this spot.

Prediction: Penn State 42, Buffalo 10

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