The latest spread on the Buffalo at Kent game this weekend is Kent as a one point favorite. How does this happen you may ask. Great question, let me answer that for you. Ten reasons why the spread is in favor of Kent:
If I was setting the line this is what I would take into consideration:
1. Reardon is playing.
The strength of UB's defense is the lineman and linebackers. If UMass had a QB who did not one hop every wide open receiver, the game would have been a much different outcome. UB would have still won but much closer and no TD shut out. The secondary for UB is the weak link. Reardon like Licata is short on experience but high on upside. Buffalo matches up much better with a running team or a QB who feels the pressure before the ball is already snapped.
2. Neutz is playing but will he be 100%
Free Lee and Licata are building nice chemistry. Neutz is a much more dynamic and game changing WR. Neutz not at 100% means no over the top coverage which makes it much for difficult for the TE's and the rest of the WR's. This will also allows the D to keep the box tight and harder to run.
Neutz practices, looks like he's a go
Neutz practices, looks like he's a go— Bob DiCesare (@tbndicesare) October 24, 2013
3. D is banged up for Buffalo.
Gilbo and Way have been able to make plays one on one with opposing defenses. Way has been lights out. Way is questionable with a knee injury. If the D can focus on Mack, then Reardon will have time in the pocket. That scares me. More on Buffalo injury report here: Buffalo vs Kent Injury Report
4. A tale of two schedules.
Kent schedule was difficult. Buffalo after Week 2 has had a much easier path. Buffalo is not as good as their record states and Kent is not a bad as their record indicates. This game really shines a light on what each team really is. If UB comes out and has a balanced offense and the D overmatches Kent then crown this team a legit contender for the MAC East. Kent wins this game and well I will stop there.
Kent losses are at LSU, at Penn State, at Ball State, at South Alabama, vs. Northern Illinois, and vs. Bowling Green. What do you think UB's record would have been against the above 6?
5. Buffalo has started off slow all season.
If Buffalo gets behind, how do they respond? The strength of UB on offense is Oliver. His presence sets up the pass. What happens when the D knows Licata is going to throw? If UB falls behind, can Licata make the plays necessary to beat Kent? He very well can: I want to see it and, again, if Neutz is limited, that creates more pressure on Joe.
6. Archer went down Week One versus Liberty.
As much as Bo is the driving force for UB's O, Archer is just as much or more the driving force for Kent. Look at what happened against Stony Brook when Bo did not play. Imagine what the record would be if we lost Bo like Kent did. Archer is a special player and in my opinion the best in the MAC. I have Bo the second best.
Quinn has yet to prove that when he competes against teams with same talent level and caliber that he can out coach his opponent. Hopefully this is the week.
Win streaks have to come to an end. Yes, losing streaks have teams keep losing. Kent has too much talent to not compete against UB. Call it a hunch or years of little faith in UB. I can understand bettors seeing the point spread jumping on Kent at home.
This is maybe redundant to #5 but Bulls fans have seen how quickly a game can change when the ball is turned over. Joe has done a very good job of not giving up the ball. Every QB has a game where he is not on. I also had some concerns with Joe's arm strength on a couple of throws lately. As he threw to Neutz before the big hit, Joe did have a defender barreling down on him but that throw was ten yards under thrown. I think that for UB to win Joe needs to have an A game.
10. Special Teams
UMass had a couple of times where I thought they were going to take one back for a TD. If Archer is fielding kicks, watch out. I will be watching every kick with baited breath.
Now you have been schooled. Bet accordingly.