Kent State Golden Flashes vs Buffalo Bulls Betting Odds Preview and Prediction ColumnistSeptember 18, 2012

Sept 8, 2012; Lexington, KY, USA; Kent State Golden Flashes running back Trayion Durham (34) runs the ball against the Kentucky Wildcats at Commonwealth Stadium. Credit: Mark Zerof-US PRESSWIRE

Week 4 of this college football season kicks off Wednesday night in the MAC as the 1-1 Buffalo Bulls and 1-1 Kent State Golden Flashes begin their conference campaigns with a bout in Buffalo (7 pm ET, ESPNU). 

And with the visitors struggling on the road and the home favorite struggling as chalk, this game shapes up as an intriguing handicapping matchup.

"It's not often that KSU and Buffalo command all the attention for college football bettors, but a Wednesday night game will do that," handicapping analyst Jack Randall said in an interview late Monday.

"The Flashes have lost seven of eight on the road, while the Bulls are just 3-8-1 ATS in their past dozen games as a favorite."

Kent State is off to a 1-1 start, after beating Towson in its season-opener 41-21 then losing two Saturdays ago to Kentucky 47-14. They have had two weeks to prepare for the Bulls.

The Flashes actually scored the first touchdown of the game at Lexington, and only trailed 17-14 early in the third quarter. But KSU allowed the Wildcats to score the last 30 points of the game.

That final score might have been a little closer, but Kent State came up empty on two fourth-quarter drives inside the Kentucky 10-yard-line, doing little to help those who back them financially as seven-point underdogs.

The Flashes also suffered a blow in that game when senior CB Norman Wolfe, who has eight career interceptions, suffered a broken arm. He's out for the foreseeable future. 

Buffalo, meanwhile, is also 1-1 after losing 45-23 at Georgia before beating Morgan State 56-34 last Saturday. The Bulls covered as 38-point dogs vs. the 'Dawgs, but couldn't cover as 32-point chalk over MSU.

Buffalo only trailed Georgia 24-16 at halftime down in Athens, and one of the Bulldogs' scores came on a kickoff return. But the game got away from the Bulls after that.

Kent State has 16 starters back this season, eight on both sides of the ball, from a team that went 4-4 in the MAC last year. Buffalo, on the other hand, has seven starters back on offense and eight on defense from a 2-6 MAC team of a season ago.

These two teams may both play in the MAC's East Division, but they haven't met since 2009, when Buffalo won a battle of field goals 9-6.

Most online sportsbooks opened this game with the Bulls favored by a field goal, while those books who were offering an early total had it pegged at 51. As of Monday evening many NCAA football betting outlets had bumped Buffalo to -3.5, and the total to 52.

NCAA Free Pick: In a game we see as basically a pick 'em, we'll take the points with Kent State, despite the recent head-to-head trend favoring Buffalo (5-2-1 ATS in eight meetings). Courtesy of