Buffalo @

UL Lafayette

Sat, Sep 23
4:30 PM Pacific
Rotation: 405
Odds: UL Lafayette -8.5, Total: 58.5

Game Analysis

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2-Star Best Bet – **LOUSIANA-LAFAYETTE (-8/-9)  40   Buffalo  22

Buffalo has been even worse than I had projected and our Best Bet Under 6.5 wins is looking really good with the Bulls off to an 0-3 start that includes a loss as a double-digit favorite to FCS team Fordham.

Buffalo’s offense has averaged a misleading 27 points, as they’ve managed just 4.9 yards per play. That’s not good considering that the 3 teams they’ve faced would allow 6.4 yppl to an average FBS offense. Louisiana’s defense is 0.4 yppl worse than average through 3 games, which is what I projected the Ragin’ Cajuns’ defense to be before the season started, and based on this season’s metrics only the Bulls would be projected to score just 19 points. It’s a bit higher when blending in my prior because I didn’t have their offense as bad as it’s been.

Louisiana-Lafayette should move the ball consistently well against a Buffalo defense that’s allowed 44.3 points per game, including 95 points the last two weeks to Fordham and Liberty, whose offenses aren’t as good as the ULL attack. Overall, Buffalo has surrendered over 500 yards per game at 7.3 yppl (after kneel downs are taken out) against teams that would combine to average only 5.3 yppl against an average defensive team. Louisiana’s offense has averaged 6.9 yppl against teams that would allow 6.6 yppl to an average attack and I think they could get better with starting quarterback Ben Wooldridge out for the season. Wooldridge split time with Chandler Fields last season and was 0.9 yards per pass play below average (6.2 yppp play against teams that would allow 7.1 yppp to an average quarterback). He was a bit better this season (-0.6 yppp) before getting injured early last week (6.9 yppp against teams that would allow 7.5 yppp) and the coaching staff passed over veteran Fields to unleash dual-threat quarterback Zeon Chriss. It’s too early to tell how good of a passer Chriss will be but it doesn’t appear that he’s going to be any worse than Wooldridge and Fields. Chriss completed 14 of his 20 passes last week while averaging 8.1 yppp and he averaged 8.1 yppp on 13 pass plays last season. His recruiting rating was better than Wooldridge, so I’ll assume he’ll be the same in the passing game for now. Chriss certainly is a better runner, as he’s run for 165 yards on 10 runs in his short career and would be averaging 9.4 yards per run even if you took out last week’s 80-yard scramble touchdown run (he scored twice on runs).

ULL could win this game by simply having Chriss hand the ball off on every play if they wanted to. The Cajuns’ top two running backs, Kibodi and Washington have combined for 299 yards at 8.8 ypr this season with Kibodi averaging 6.1 ypr on his 108 career runs and Washington averaging 6.0 ypr on his 72 career runs. Washington missed two games after running for 88 yards on 11 carries in the opener, but he’s expected back this week. Louisiana has averaged 243 ground yards per game at 6.8 yards per rushing play. Those numbers are inflated due to Chriss’ 80-yard run, but ULL certainly has a better than average rushing attack (especially with Chriss at QB) and Buffalo has allowed an average of 241 rushing yards at 6.7 yards per rushing play despite facing 3 teams that would combine to average only 4.7 yprp against an average defensive team. Louisiana-Lafayette should run for about 300 yards in this game and Chriss should have good success throwing the ball when he needs to given how bad Buffalo’s pass defense is (273 pass yards at 8.2 yppp allowed to QBs that would average only 5.8 yppp against an average defense).

In addition to significant line value, Buffalo applies to a 70-164-6 ATS situation that is based on how bad their defense has been. I’ll take Louisiana-Lafayette in a 2-Star Best Bet at -10 points or less and for 1-Star up to -11 points.

  • Team Stats
  • Game Log
  • Buffalo
  • UL Lafayette


  • Run Plays 28.7 36.0
  • Run Yards 110.7 241.0
  • YPRP 3.9 6.7


  • Pass Comp 26.3 21.0
  • Pass Att 40.7 32.0
  • Comp % 64.7% 65.6%
  • Pass Yards 246.7 280.7
  • Sacks 1.3 1.3
  • Sack Yards 8.7 7.7
  • Sack % 3.2% 4.0%
  • Pass Plays 42.0 33.3
  • Net Pass Yards 238.0 273.0
  • YPPP 5.7 8.2


  • Total Plays 70.7 69.3
  • Total Yards 348.7 514.0
  • YPPL 4.9 7.4


  • Int 0.7 0.7
  • Int % 1.6% 2.1%
  • Fumbles 0.3 0.0
  • Turnovers 1.0 0.7
  • Points 27.0 44.3
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