2018 Dollar General Bowl Free Pick - Buffalo (-1.5) vs. Troy

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D.S. Williamson

December 19th, 2018

MAC runner-up Buffalo tries to end their impressive season on a winning note when they travel to Mobile, Alabama to take on the Troy Trojans in the 2018 Dollar General Bowl.

Buffalo beat 10 of their 13 opponents this season thanks to an old fashioned brand of two-way football. The Bulls only allowed 24.7 points per while holding opponents to less than 350 yards. When they had the pigskin, Buffalo took advantage, averaging close to 35 points from 417.6 total yards. The Bulls opponent on Saturday won’t be intimidated though.

For the second straight season, the Troy Trojans provided their fans a signature victory over a Power 5 Conference school. Last season, Troy upset LSU 24-21 in Baton Rouge as a massive +20.5 dog. This season, the Trojans marched into Lincoln, Nebraska and upset the -13 home team Cornhuskers 24-19. Troy’s not afraid of anybody. The Trojans will relish the chance to show Buffalo that they’re one of the top non-Power 5 Conference teams in the nation.

In other words, both Troy and Buffalo have a shot at proving themselves in the 2018 Dollar General Bowl. Which side to back is a genuinely tough decision.

2018 DOLLAR GENERAL BOWL FOOTBALL BETTING Buffalo Bulls vs Troy Trojans Saturday, December 22nd – Ladd-Peebles Stadium – 7:00pm ET Odds: Buffalo -2 (51.5)

Bulls Can Put Stamp on Fantastic Season

Most expected Buffalo to have a good season. None expected Buffalo to make it to the MAC Championship. Many had the Bulls finishing in the Top 3 in the MAC East, behind Ohio and Miami-Ohio.

The Bulls proved everyone wrong. They sprinted out of the blocks, winning their first 4 games. Two of the wins were downright impressive:  36-29 at Temple and 42-13 at Rutgers. Buffalo looked so good that bettors made them a -7.5 favorite over Army.

The Black Knights beat Buffalo 42-13, but that didn’t stop the Bulls from running off 5 straight SU and ATS versus MAC rivals Central Michigan, Akron, Toledo, Miami-Ohio, and Kent.

Although they lost to Northern Illinois in the MAC Championship, Buffalo has a great shot of making amends this Saturday by beating a quality team like the Troy Trojans. Beating Troy in the 2018 Dollar General Bowl, will allow the Bulls to stamp their season as a success.

Trojans Seeking Third Straight Bowl Win

For the past couple of seasons, the Troy Trojans have been one of the top non-Power 5 college football programs in the country. In 2016-2017, the Trojans went 9-3. One of the losses was actually a victory as the Trojans hung with eventual National Champion Clemson 24-30 as a +34.5 dog. Troy beat MAC squad Ohio 28-23 in the Dollar General Bowl that year.

Last season, the Trojans went 10 -2 and got a bid to the New Orleans Bowl. They beat North Texas 50-30 to finish the season 11-2. On Saturday, Troy searches for their third straight bowl win.

Any team, no matter the conference, winning 3 straight bowl games constitutes a major accomplishment. Troy’s got a lot to play for when they meet the Buffalo Bulls on the Ladd-Peebles Stadium field this Saturday. This further legitimizes them as a go-to destination for recruits who are overlooked by the elite programs across the country.

2018 Dollar General Bowl Betting Trends & Analysis

Surprisingly, even though these two appear evenly matched on paper, college football handicappers are one-sided. Most back the Bulls to cover as the -2 favorite.

The trends give some credence to that:  Buffalo is 5-0 ATS in their last 5 following an ATS loss, and 7-2 ATS in their last 9 following an SU loss. But, more trends point to Troy covering. The Trojans are 8-1-1 ATS in their last 10 following after an ATS win, 4-1 ATS in their last 5 after scoring less than 20 in their previous, and 12-3-1 ATS in their last 16 overall.

Do we follow the money, or do we follow the trends? I’m following the trends. Troy fought hard against Appalachian State in their last regular season game. Although the MAC gets more respect, teams like Troy and App State are much more talented than you'd think.

Troy’s a bowl game winning team. Simple as that. They'll prove so once again on Saturday.

2018 Dollar General Bowl Betting Free Pick: Troy +105 ML