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With March upon us, conference tournament play continues as the MAC resumes its conference tournament this Friday. In this semifinals matchup, the Buffalo Bulls will travel to Quicken Loans Arena to take on the Central Michigan Chippewas. Buffalo enters this game with a 29-3 record while Central Michigan enters this game with an 18-15 record. Now, both teams will be looking to improve on their records this Friday.
Central Michigan Continues To Play Well
This season, Central Michigan has improved from last season as the team is currently 22-10. However, the team was in the middle of a two-game losing streak before entering its conference tournament. Since then, the team has won each of its conference tournament games thus far including a win against Kent State in the quarterfinals. In that game, Central Michigan’s offense was extremely solid as it scored 89 points on over 42% shooting from the three-point line. Now, the Chippewas will look to continue their potential run towards an automatic bid in the NCAA tournament. Whether or not the Chippewas are fully up to the challenge, however, remains to be seen.
— CMU Men's Basketball (@CMUMensBBall) March 14, 2019
The Central Michigan Chippewas are led by senior guard Larry Austin Jr. who was just a benchwarmer on Vanderbilt last season before transferring to Central Michigan. Last season, Austin Jr. averaged just 2.5 points per game along with 1.4 rebounds in just 11.0 minutes per game. This season, he has managed to blossom with the added minutes and the change in scenery as he is currently leading the team in scoring with 17.3 points per game along with 6.3 rebounds.
Buffalo Looks To Continue MAC Title Defense
This season, Buffalo has been extremely solid as the team is currently 29-3 with a 17-2 record in conference games. In addition, the team is currently ranked 18th in the AP Poll and is already a lock to make it back to the NCAA tournament where the team could be poised to make a serious run. The Bulls are also entering this game following a dominant performance against Akron in the quarterfinals. In that game, Buffalo’s defense was amazing as it only allowed 46 on less than 24% shooting from the floor. However, with a much better offense up next, look for Buffalo’s defense to play a lot worse in this one.
— UB Men's Basketball (@UBmenshoops) March 14, 2019
The Buffalo Bulls are led by senior guard CJ Massinburg who was a huge factor on last year’s team. Last season, he was extremely solid as he averaged 17.0 points per game along with 7.3 rebounds. However, he has managed to play even better this season as he is currently leading the team in scoring with 18.5 points per game along with 6.4 rebounds. Shockingly, he only scored ten points in the team’s last game as he will look to play a lot better in the semifinals.
- Bulls are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win.
- Bulls are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
- Chippewas are 9-1-1 ATS in their last 11 games following a ATS win.
- Chippewas are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games following a straight up win.
- Chippewas are 6-1-1 ATS in their last 8 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Although Buffalo is the better team, I am a bit concerned laying this many points with the Bulls against a team that is currently on fire. Both teams played yesterday so fatigue should not be a real factor as Central Michigan’s offense continues to click on all cylinders. Although Buffalo will win this game, I think it will be decided by single digits. Give me the underdog plus the points as a result.
Prediction: Central Michigan +12.5
Full-Game Total Pick
Both teams have the ability to score a lot of points but I think that their respective defenses are highly underrated. Buffalo just held its opposition to 46 points in its last game and I can see the team playing well defensively in this one once again. Meanwhile, Central Michigan is a very solid offensive team but could be a bit flat having played a very competitive game yesterday. As a result, I think this total is a bit too high as a result so I recommend the under in this matchup.
Prediction: Under 164.5