Western Michigan vs. Western Kentucky Odds and Prediction: First Responders Bowl Features Slow Offenses
Steve Roberts, Getty Images. Pictured: Ty Storey
- Updated Western Kentucky vs. Western Michigan odds for the 2019 First Responder Bowl list the Hilltoppers as a 3.5-point betting favorite.
- Western Kentucky had a resurgent season under first-year coach Tyson Helton thanks to a stellar defensive front.
- See our experts' picks for WKU vs. WMU below.
Western Michigan vs. Western Kentucky Odds, Pick
- Odds: Western Kentucky -3.5
- Over/Under: 54.5
- Time: Monday, 12:30 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN
- Location: Dallas
Western Kentucky vs. Western Michigan odds via FanDuel, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $500.
Western Michigan head coach Tim Lester said that his team is “angry” heading into the First Responders Bowl. Lester’s third season in Kalamazoo ended on a sour note when the Broncos squandered the opportunity to play in the MAC Championship. I do expect Lester to have his team fired up, as Western Michigan’s senior class is 0-3 in bowl games and Lester noted his team wants to give the outgoing players a win in their final game.
Western Kentucky enjoyed plenty of success this season, culminating with Tyson Helton being named Conference USA coach of the year. Quarterback Ty Storey transferred from Arkansas and led the Hilltoppers to a win over his former team on the road.
Despite a solid season, Western Kentucky’s offense did struggle for the most part in 2019. The Hilltoppers rank 101st in passing explosiveness, 103rd in rushing explosiveness and 110th in finishing drives.
Western Michigan is by no means a power house on defense, but the Broncos get after the quarterback well and will get Corvin Moment back for this game after he was forced to sit out the 2019 regular season.
The Broncos boast some strong numbers on offense, but Western Kentucky’s defense grades out well and should be able to slow down quarterback Jon Wassink. The Hilltoppers own the eighth-bast passing success rate on defense and they are ranked 18th in finishing drives. Western Michigan is the fourth-most explosive rushing team in the country, but Western Kentucky does a good job limiting big plays on the ground.
Our projected spread for this game is Western Kentucky -2.5, so there isn’t much value on either side, but the total looks an edge may pop up on the under. Western Kentucky is the 99th-slowest team in the country — in terms of seconds per play — and Western Michigan struggles in the red zone, which could set up for a play on the under.
Pick: Under 55 or better