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Pick on the total for Buffalo-Kent State on January 27

VSiN’s Greg Peterson goes over the best betting options for Friday’s college basketball matchup between the Buffalo Bulls and the Kent State Golden Flashes.

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Syndication: Akron Beacon Journal Nicholas McLaughlin / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Kent State Golden Flashes enter Friday’s home tilt against the Buffalo Bulls tied for first place in the Mid-American Conference (MAC) standings, looking to reclaim the conference’s top spot.

Buffalo Bulls vs. Kent State Golden Flashes (-11, 152)

The Golden Flashes are coming off an 86-76 loss on Tuesday against the Northern Illinois Huskies, which is the most points they have allowed all season. Before Tuesday, they had not surrendered more than 74 points in a game all season.

Even after the Tuesday outlier where Northern Illinois shot 13-of-28 from 3-point range, Kent State still ranks 22nd in the nation in points allowed on a per-possession basis and 12th in turnovers forced on a per-possession basis at home.

Kent State has been able to maintain a moderate tempo, ranking 149th nationally in possessions per game, thanks to its ability to generate takeaways. Guard Malique Jacobs ranks second among qualifying Division I players in steals per game (2.9).

The Bulls play at one of the fastest paces in the nation, ranking third in total possessions per game but have struggled to maximize opportunities, ranking 265th in the percentage of possessions that end in a turnover.

Buffalo has faced three other defenses that rank in the top 80 in points allowed on a per-possession basis: James Madison, Connecticut, and Drake. In those games, Buffalo scored 62, 64, and 72 points respectively.

Despite 11 of the 12 teams in the MAC averaging over 70.4 points per game, Kent State has allowed 66 points or fewer in five of its last six conference games and 10 of its last 12. It will be a change in tempo for the Bulls and will tie them down on Friday.

The Play: Buffalo vs. Kent State Under 152

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