Buffalo vs. Wisconsin Prediction, Odds, Trends and Key Players for College Football Week 1

Tanner Mordecai is leading a new-look Wisconsin offense, but they may still need to lean on Braelon Allen and the running game early on in 2023.
Wisconsin Badgers running back Braelon Allen (0)
Wisconsin Badgers running back Braelon Allen (0) / Alex Gould/The Republic / USA TODAY

The Luke Fickell era is here in Madison and the Wisconsin Badgers are going to be a lot better for it. It was time for a change and this might be a big one, bringing in the former CIncinnati Head Coach with a potentially pass happy offense and a gun-slinging new quarterback, Tanner Mordecai from SMU. Wisconsin went 7-6 last season, but enters this year as the favorite in the Big 10 West and the No. 19 team in the country. 

It should be a smooth transition for Fickell, at least in Week 1 of the season because the Badgers are heavy favorites against the Buffalo Bulls of the MAC. Buffalo went 5-3 in the MAC last year and 7-6 overall. They are returning their quarterback, Cole Snyder and running back, Ron Cook. 

We’ll get into all of the odds, trends and my pick for this game, but no matter what side you want to bet, bet it in the FanDuel Sportsbook using this promo. Simply sign up with the link below, deposit $5, place a bet on this Buffalo-Wisconsin matchup, then collect $200 in bonus bets with $100 off NFL Sunday Ticket. That way your football watching doesn’t have to end after College Football Saturdays. 

Buffalo vs. Wisconsin odds, spread and total

Wisconsin and Buffalo Betting Trends

  • Wisconsin went 6-7 ATS last season
  • The over was 7-6 in Wisconsin’s games in 2022
  • Buffalo went 7-5-1 ATS last season
  • The over was 7-6 in Buffalo’s games in 2022

Buffalo vs. Wisconsin How to Watch

  • Date: Saturday, September 2
  • Game Time: 3:30 PM EST
  • Venue: Camp Randall Stadium
  • How to Watch (TV): FS1
  • Boise State Record: 0-0
  • Washington Record: 0-0

Buffalo vs. Wisconsin Key Players to Watch


Cole Snyder, QB: Buffalo finished 64th in passing offense last season, averaging 229.5 passing yards per game. Cole Snyder threw for 3,030 yards with 18 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He completed just under 60% of his passes for 6.6 yards per attempt. He lost his top two receivers from last year, Justin Marshall and Quian Williams, so he’ll need to be more accurate to prop up the passing attack this season. 


Braelon Allen: Last season was not exactly one to remember for the Wisconsin program, but Braelon Allen was one of the few bright spots. Now, with offensive coordinator Phil Longo coming over from North Carolina, all eyes are on Tanner Mordecai and the passing game, but I’m not so certain that Longo will want to throw the ball quite as much as he did with Drake Maye last season. Allen ran for 1,242 yards and 11 touchdowns last year and I think he’ll be the focal point this season too. 

Buffalo vs. Wisconsin prediction and pick

Last year, with Graham Mertz as quarterback, the Badgers were 115th in passing yards per game and 45th in rushing yards per game. In terms of yards per play they were 66th. I’m not sure how much better their offense is truly going to be this season. It takes a while to overhaul a team from a run-first roster to a pass-happy team that can spread an opponent out. 

Sure, Mordecai is an upgrade over Mertz, but without stud receiver Rashee Rice, I’m not quite sure how effective he’ll be. Rice caught 96 passes for 1,355 yards last season. Wisconsin has brought in a plethora of receivers through the transfer portal: CJ Williams from USC, Will Pauling from Cincinnati, and Bryson Green from Oklahoma State, but it could take a while for the passing game to really gel. 

I expect Wisconsin to lean on Braelon Allen once again to carry their offense. Last year, Buffalo was 81st against the run and will be better this year with Shaun Dolac returning at linebacker. Dolac made 148 tackles last year with 4.5 sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss. 

Both teams have entirely new receiving groups and Wisconsin has a new quarterback to break in. Mordecai has a ton of experience from his years at Oklahoma and SMU, but it may not all show up in Week 1. Wisconsin’s offense will be improved this season, but these things take time, so I’ll go with the under. 

Follow all Josh Yourish’s bets HERE

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change