- Buffalo (8-6, 6-4 MAC) battles Western Michigan (4-11, 3-7 MAC) on Tuesday, Feb. 9, at 2pm ET
- The Bulls and Broncos, who play at vastly different paces, are both 2-0 in February
- The odds for the game, as well as matchup analysis and a pick, can be found in the article below
Only three teams in the Mid-American Conference are on current win “streaks” of at least two games, and two of those teams — Buffalo and Western Michigan — will meet on Tuesday, Feb. 9 at 2pm.
Very little has gone right for the Broncos this year, but they appear to be playing their best basketball since the calendar flipped to February.
As for the Bulls, who’ve grown accustomed to being the class of the MAC in recent years, their middling results this season could use a boost against an inferior opponent. Oddsmakers see Buffalo as the home favorite heading into this one.
Buffalo vs Western Michigan Odds
|Buffalo||-13.5 (-118)||-1600||Over 143.5 (-115)|
|Western Michigan||+13.5 (-104)||+900||Under 143.5 (-105)|
Odds taken Feb. 8th at FanDuel.
How They’ve Fared Recently
Buffalo has the most experienced bunch in the conference (2.32 years per player, 29th in NCAA Division I), which has helped the team navigate ups and downs this season. The Bulls do not have a win streak or losing streak longer than two games.
Since the new year began, Buffalo is a modest 5-3. But those five wins have all come by 15-plus points, while the three losses have come by a combined 11 points. A home date with Western Michigan is, on paper, their easiest remaining game. It might be time for Buffalo’s first three-game win streak.
Check out all the highlights from today’s big win over Miami presented by @ECMCBuffalo #UBhornsUP pic.twitter.com/LMdsyI4jJw
— UB Men’s Basketball (@UBmenshoops) February 7, 2021
The Broncos, meanwhile, must feel like they’re heating up now that they’ve put back-to-back wins together for the first time. One of those wins came against Bowling Green (a 76-70 victory), who beat Buffalo on Jan. 15.
But all in all, Western Michigan has struggled mightily. They lost seven in a row from Dec. 22 to Jan. 30, and they rank outside KenPom’s top 200 in adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency.
Big time Performance. Big Time Shot. ?️ @Just_Greg_ #WeWillReign pic.twitter.com/Zhpql95AJY
— WMU Men’s Basketball? (@WMUMBB) February 7, 2021
One thing to certainly watch for in this game is which team will control the tempo. Buffalo loves to play fast (14 in NCAA D-I in adjusted tempo, sixth-shortest average possession length), while Western Michigan does not (318th in adjusted tempo, 312th in average possession time).
Buffalo is 7-5-1 against the spread and 3-2 ATS at home. The Bulls have covered in four of their past five, including consecutive wins by ATS margins exceeding 14 points. Buffalo has seen the over hit in nine of 13 games (69.2%).
BIG TIME PLAYERS. MAKING BIG TIME PLAYS. @Just_Greg_ with a huge jumper for the Broncos
ESPN+ | https://t.co/NZId8nkdgd pic.twitter.com/ije68exJ6K
— WMU Men’s Basketball? (@WMUMBB) February 4, 2021
Western Michigan is 6-8 ATS, including a 5-2 ATS record on the road. The Broncos have covered in three straight games — all as road underdogs — with a pair of straight up wins in that span. Western Michigan has seen the under hit in three of its past four games, and in eight of 14 overall (57.1%).
Buffalo has won the past six straight up matchups against Western Michigan dating back to 2017 — and the Bulls have covered in four of those games, too. They were the favorites each time.
ICYMI: The Bulls went on the road and beat Ball State 78-58 on Tuesday night. Hear from @jim_whitesell on the big win#UBhornsUP pic.twitter.com/E2Y1pAdRSa
— UB Men’s Basketball (@UBmenshoops) February 3, 2021
In their previous matchup this season, Buffalo covered as nine-point favorites in an 85-69 win. The Bulls won the rebound battle, had fewer turnovers, shot better from 3-point range and were simply better in every way.
One of these teams’ two-game win streaks will have to end. It absolutely shouldn’t be Buffalo’s. Even with a juicy spread, we like the Bulls to dominate.
Pick: Buffalo -13.5 (-118)