Eastern Michigan vs. Buffalo Week 13 college football prediction and preview

By Adam Burke  ( Managing Editor) 

November 20, 2023 07:10 PM

Week 13 Tuesday games feature Eastern Michigan/Buffalo, Bowling Green/Western Michigan

MACtion has reached the end of the line for 2023, as the college football regular season wraps up. We still have two games on Tuesday that have no bearing on what happens with the conference standings, as Toledo and Miami of Ohio will square off in Detroit on Dec. 2 for the conference crown. We do, however, have some bowl game implications.

Eastern Michigan will look to become eligible for one against Buffalo and Bowling Green might have a chance at getting a better bowl with a win over Western Michigan. A 7-5 record looks a lot better than 6-6, especially this season, so those are the storylines heading into these matchups.

College Football Odds | College Football Betting Splits | Week 13 Hub | Week 13 Picks

Odds as of 11/20, 5:15 p.m. PT

Eastern Michigan Eagles at Buffalo Bulls (-6.5, 35.5)

Weather will be a huge factor in Western New York on Tuesday. Stop me if you’ve heard that before regarding what Mother Nature and Old Man Winter conspire to do in the fall in the Buffalo area. Wind gusts in the 35 mph range are expected, to go along with sustained winds in the 15-20 range and rain. It could be a pretty wet field with the heavier stuff expected to come down in the early afternoon.

Neither team needs an increased degree of difficulty when it comes to moving the football. Eastern Michigan is 129th in the nation with 4.45 yards per play and Buffalo is 128th with 4.53. EMU has 4.45 YPP in conference play compared to 4.32 YPP for Buffalo, so there’s that.

Neither team is great defensively, as EMU checks in 67th with 5.54 YPP allowed and Buffalo is 90th with 5.88, though the Bulls have only allowed 4.91 YPP in MAC games. Eastern Michigan is much worse, but the weather should provide a helping hand to both units in this one. Buffalo played a tougher non-conference schedule and paid the price with over seven yards per play allowed, so that definitely skews the numbers.

In this game, the spread of 6.5 feels like a lot given the low total and the bad weather. Throwing the football will be challenging, which is problematic for both teams since neither of them can run the football. Eastern Michigan has picked up 3.3 yards per carry and Buffalo has averaged 3.6.

At least the Eagles have something to play for and may embrace the conditions a little more with that in mind. I also just think this is a complete slog and a 6.5-point head start seems like a good thing.

Pick: Eastern Michigan +6.5

Bowling Green Falcons (-2, 53) at Western Michigan Broncos

The weather will be a little more palatable in Kalamazoo on Tuesday night for the first of two kickoffs, as the Falcons and Broncos start at 7 p.m. ET. Bowling Green had already secured bowl eligibility going into last week’s game against Toledo, but they were also on the verge of a huge upset win against their chief rival.

Instead, BG lost 32-31 and blew a 28-10 halftime lead. The Rockets scored with 1:45 left on the clock to steal one at Doyt Perry Stadium. So, you wonder about the mindset for the Falcons heading into a roadie that doesn’t really matter here. By virtue of their win over Georgia Tech, BG may be viewed more favorably than the other MAC teams looking at bowl berths. On the other hand, getting to seven wins looks better than finishing with a .500 record in the regular season.

Western Michigan was in a bad spot and got shut out by Northern Illinois last week to eliminate their bowl hopes. The loss came on the heels of beating Eastern and Central to claim the Michigan MAC Trophy, which is a great consolation prize for not making a bowl game. 

The Broncos have some interesting pieces. Old Dominion transfer Hayden Wolff has played well with an 8/3 TD/INT ratio and a 66% completion rate. Jalen Buckley has averaged 5.4 yards per carry. Kenneth Womack only has one touchdown catch, but he’s caught 68 balls this season.

Bowling Green’s passing game is way less interesting, as Connor Bazelak and Camden Orth have been in something of a timeshare recently. Bazelak was hurt, but the Missouri transfer hasn’t been what the Falcons had hoped. Their offense had been running through Terion Stewart, who has averaged over six yards per carry, but he has missed the last two games due to injury. He is a game-time decision this week.

I don’t have a bet in this one, which is why I led with the other game, but keep an eye on Stewart’s status before making any decisions, since he is such a huge part of BG’s offense.

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