Thursday night features two games on the college football slate with divisional battles in the ACC and MAC.
Here’s a closer look at those matchups:
Buffalo Bulls (-5) @ Kent State Golden Flashes, 7:00 PM:
The Buffalo Bulls head south and take on MAC East rivals Kent State with both teams trending in opposite directions.
Buffalo (5-4) went on the road and rolled past Eastern Michigan for a third consecutive win, defeating the Eagles 43-14.
Sophomore quarterback Kyle Vantrease made plays with both his arm and legs, completing 15-of-23 for 208 yards and one touchdown, adding five carries for six yards and two rushing touchdowns.
Sophomore running backs Jaret Patterson and Kevin Marks both nearly finished with over 100 yards rushing. Patterson led the way rushing for 160 yards and two touchdowns on 33 carries, while Marks added 21 carries for 90 yards and a touchdown.
Kent State (3-6) battled back from an 11-point half-time deficit, but fell just short of a road upset and lost a third consecutive game to the Toledo Rockets 35-33.
Junior quarterback Dustin Crum totaled four touchdowns and was sharp in the pocket completing 14-of-18 for 257 yards and three touchdowns, adding 14 carries for 40 yards and another score.
Crum has put together a strong junior campaign totaling 1,602 yards for 13 touchdowns and one interception, adding 414 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
Buffalo is my play to cover the spread (-5) @ -110
Buffalo (3-2 CONF) and Kent State (2-3) are sitting in the middle of the pack for the MAC East, and are both looking up at Miami OH (5-4, 4-1 CONF) which makes this a must win.
The Bulls’ biggest strength is on the defensive side of the ball, allowing the fewest points in the conference (22.3 ppg). Meanwhile, Kent State has struggled to stop anyone, allowing (31.3 ppg) and 468.2 yards per game.
Alongside a stout defense, Buffalo’s offense has been solid, averaging (28.1 ppg). My expectation is the Bulls will do enough offensively to edge out the Golden Flashes.
North Carolina Tarheels (+5) at Pittsburgh Panthers, 8:00 PM:
The Pittsburgh Panthers host North Carolina looking to gain ground in the ACC Coastal standings.
Pittsburgh (6-3, 3-2 CONF) got back on track and avoided a near road upset by defeating the Georgia Tech 20-10.
The Panthers overcame three first-half turnovers and held off the Yellow Jackets behind a solid running attack. Freshman running back Vincent Davis broke off a 61-yard touchdown run in the first quarter - finishing with six carries for 67 yards. Junior A.J. Davis led the team with 16 carries for 75 yards.
Junior quarterback Kenny Pickett completed 25-of-34 for 204 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.
The North Carolina Tarheels (4-5, 3-3 CONF) continued their roller-coaster season as they fell 38-31 to the Virginia Cavaliers.
Sophomore wide receiver Dyami Brown was dynamic, catching six receptions for 202 yards and three touchdowns.
Freshman quarterback Sam Howell played well and completed 15-of-29 passes for 353 yards and four touchdowns.
Take the Tarheels with the points (+5) @ -110
Pittsburgh have been on a bit of a roll, winning five of the last six games, yet each of those matches has been decided by 10 points or fewer, including four of them by four points or fewer.
Meanwhile, eight of North Carolina’s nine games this season have been decided by seven points or less.
The Panthers haven’t won a game by more than 10 points all season, and I’m anticipating this matchup being decided by a field goal. North Carolina should easily cover this spread.