Last Updated Dec 22, 2021, 10:38 AM

Buffalo Bulls vs. Michigan Wolverines Predictions, Odds, Picks

Nov. 10, 2021
Thom Cunningham
VI Betting Expert

The Michigan Wolverines look to begin their run at a National Championship with a home opening game against the Buffalo Bulls. Opening tip is set for 6:30 p.m. ET and will air on the Big Ten Network from the Crisler Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Score Prediction

Michigan 78, Buffalo 71

Best Bets


Buffalo +16

Buffalo Bulls vs. Michigan Wolverines Predictions

It's always difficult to handicap the opening game of large college basketball spreads, just look at what Akron did to Ohio State on Tuesday night. The MAC is a respectable conference for many teams which includes the Buffalo Bulls. A season ago, the team averaged over 80 points per game which is something to consider in this bout.

Michigan's defense is usually solid under Juwan Howard though, along with a big man down low to patrol the paint in Hunter Dickinson. The Wolverines allowed just 65.1 points per game last season, while seeing the UNDER hit 17 times in their 28 games. Expect Buffalo to score above 65 points in this game, but touching 80 might be a reach.

The total is set at 150.5 - which means the oddsmakers are seeing a possible 80-70 outcome, or something in that range. Buffalo went UNDER 13 times last season and the combined O/U between both schools last season was 22-30. The smart odds, Michigan defense and point total average suggest the UNDER is the best play on the board.

Buffalo's ability to score should also warrant a spread cover. Michigan went 19-9 on the ATS last season, while Buffalo covered 14 of 24 games - so there's a bit more traction in the point total market than the spread.

Buffalo Bulls vs. Michigan Wolverines Betting Odds

More Odds | Futures Odds

Odds Provided by DraftKings - Subject to Change

  • Buffalo +750
  • Michigan -1250
  • Buffalo +16 (-120)
  • Michigan -16 (+100)
  • Over 150.5 (-110)
  • Under 150.5 (-110)

Buffalo Bulls vs. Michigan Wolverines Betting Resources

  • Matchup: MAC vs. Big 10
  • Date: Wednesday, November 10, 2021
  • Venue: Crisler Center
  • Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • TV-Time: BTN - 6:30 p.m. ET

Buffalo Bulls Betting Analysis

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

2020-21 Season Stats

  • SU: 16-9
  • ATS: 14-9-1
  • O/U: 11-13

Jeenathan Williams returns as the leading scorer for Buffalo a season ago, averaging 17 points per game to go along with seven boards too. Josh Mballa also returns as one of the top players to watch for Buffalo, as the French-native averaged a double-double a year ago.

It will be interesting to see how the Bulls deal with Dickinson for Michigan, as Brock Bertram and David Skogman present the most size to counter. Neither are real threats on offense however, which might be the Achilles heel for Buffalo. Ronaldo Segu is the other leading scorer for Buffalo that is returning from a season ago, so the lack of offensive output from the paint might not matter if Buffalo's back court is hitting buckets.

Michigan Wolverines Betting Analysis

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

2020-21 Season Stats

  • SU: 23-5
  • ATS: 19-9
  • O/U: 11-17

Dickinson is the name to watch for this Wolverine team, but Eli Brooks is the spark and veteran leader of the team. It will be exciting to see the young players from a year ago step up into much bigger roles with the departure of Franz Wagner, Mike Smith and Isaiah Livers. Brandon Johns, Jr., Zeb Jackson and Terrance Williams are names to watch as Michigan being an elite team or just a solid team will depend on those three names and how they play this season.

Defense is the staple of this program though, allowing the 47th-fewest points per game a season ago. The offense is just so efficient (111.3 rating ranked 24th nationally in 2020) that sometimes the defense becomes an afterthought. The three names outside of Brooks and Dickinson will need to step up this season, and Buffalo presents a formidable measuring stick to see who will step up.

Inside the Stats - Buffalo Bulls

2020-21 Stats - VI Ranking reflect this season

  • Record: 16-9
  • VI Ranking: 62
  • PS/G: 81.4 (12th)
  • PA/G: 72.9 (250th)
  • Offensive Rating: 108.6 (51st)
  • Defensive Rating: 97.3 (97th)

Inside the Stats - Michigan Wolverines

2020-21 Stats - VI Ranking reflect this season

  • Record: 23-5
  • VI Ranking: 2
  • PS/G: 75.8 (68th)
  • PA/G: 65.1 (47th)
  • Offensive Rating: 111.3 (24th)
  • Defensive Rating: 95.5 (62nd)

Key Players to Watch

  • BUFF: Jeenathan Williams - F
  • BUFF: Josh Mballa - F
  • MICH: Hunter Dickinson - C
  • MICH: Eli Brooks - G

Buffalo Bulls vs. Michigan Wolverines Betting Conclusion

The combined 22-30 O/U between these schools a season ago makes the UNDER a smart play here. Expect Michigan to play well in this game, but Buffalo is experienced and able to compete for a large majority of the game. They return key players who helped the Bulls average over 80 points per game a season ago, but Michigan's defense in the Crisler Center is an elite threat. Expect Buffalo to cover the large spread but the trends and data point to the UNDER here.

Buffalo Bulls vs. Michigan Wolverines Betting Trends

  • Michigan has covered the spread in 18 of its last 27 games when playing as the favorite.
  • Michigan has covered the spread in 10 of its last 14 home games.
  • Buffalo has covered the spread in six of its last eight road games.

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