College Football Betting Odds, Predictions: The MACtion Pick to Make for Central Michigan vs. Western Michigan

College Football Betting Odds, Predictions: The MACtion Pick to Make for Central Michigan vs. Western Michigan article feature image
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Dylan Buell/Getty Images. Pictured: Jim McElwain.

Central Michigan vs. Western Michigan Odds

Wednesday, Nov. 3
7 p.m. ET
ESPNU
Central Michigan Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+9
-110
65
-105o / -115u
+270
Western Michigan Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-9
-110
65
-105o / -115u
-350
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Central Michigan and Western Michigan have been playing in football since 1907, but the Victory Cannon has only been on the line since 2008.

But it’s been one-sided since then. Western Michigan has held the Victory Cannon for the last three years and eight of the last 10.

This year, the Chippewas (4-4) and Broncos (5-3) each sit 2-2 in MAC play. The programs are both looking up at Northern Illinois — which is 4-0 in conference play — in the MAC West. The winner of this week’s matchup will need a win and some help in order to stay in the division race.

Last year, Western Michigan won a shootout, 52-44, in Mount Pleasant. There might be more offensive fireworks this year.


Central Michigan Chippewas

Central Michigan runs a fast-paced offense that likes to put the ball in the air. The Chippewas rank 15th in the FBS in plays per minute and throw the ball nearly 40 times per game. The Chips are 22nd in the country in passing yards per game (288.0) and 29th in total offense (449.5).

After splitting time with Washington transfer Jacob Sirmon to begin the year, quarterback Daniel Richardson has entrenched himself as the starter.

Richardson enjoyed his best game of the season last week against Northern Illinois, going 23-of-36 for 289 yards and three touchdown passes. For the year, he’s completing 58.5 % of his passes with 14 touchdowns and only two picks.

Lew Nichols II is the Chippewas’ feature back, and he has 915 rushing yards and five touchdowns this season. With 100 yards rushing in four out of his last five games, there’s a good chance Nichols cracks the 1,000-yard barrier against Western Michigan.

The Broncos are 122nd in rushing play explosiveness allowed. However, the Broncos will have a fairly significant advantage in Havoc. Central Michigan ranks 61st in Havoc Allowed, while Western Michigan sits 12th in Havoc.

Central Michigan ranks 82nd in scoring defense and allows 28.4 points per game. CMU particularly struggles to defend the pass, ranking 113th in passing yards allowed per game (270.5), 127th in passing play explosiveness allowed, and 94th in pass coverage grade. The Chippewas have just three interceptions this season.

Central Michigan does a decent job of getting after the passer and has 21 sacks, tied for 37th in the country. Edge rusher Troy Hairston II leads the team with 5.5 of those.

The Chippewas are 16th in Havoc, but Western Michigan will counter with a strong offensive line.

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Western Michigan Broncos

Western Michigan has an extremely talented quarterback in Kaleb Eleby. He is completing 61% of his passes, averaging 8.3 yards per attempt, and has 12 touchdowns against just two interceptions. However, despite this, Western Michigan has been a lot more run-heavy than it was last year, with a nearly 60/40 run/pass split.

Sean Tyler and La’Darius Jefferson are the main ball carriers for the Broncos. Jefferson has received more carries (133), but Tyler has been more efficient in his opportunities, averaging six yards per carry. Jefferson is only averaging 3.5 yards per carry in conference play, although he has three touchdowns in those four games.

Skyy Moore leads the team with 57 receptions for 762 yards and five touchdowns. He appears to be well on his way to grabbing an All-MAC selection.

Western Michigan creates a lot of disruption up front behind the strength of its duo consisting of defensive end Ali Fayad and defensive tackle Ralph Holley.

The Broncos are 12th in Havoc and 14th in pass-rush grade. They’re also 14th in Passing Success Rate, but explosive plays can be an issue. Western Michigan is 119th in passing play explosiveness and 122nd in rushing play explosiveness.

The Broncos are 116th in tackling grade and 107th in pass coverage grade, contributing to those big plays.

Richardson could have a big game against this Western Michigan secondary.


Central Michigan vs. Western Michigan Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Central Michigan and Western Michigan match up statistically:

Central Michigan Offense vs. Western Michigan Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 68 65
Line Yards 32 31
Pass Success 42 14
Pass Blocking** 59 13
Big Play 53 36
Havoc 61 12
Finishing Drives 88 80
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Western Michigan Offense vs. Central Michigan Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 28 24
Line Yards 36 30
Pass Success 53 51
Pass Blocking** 45 44
Big Play 49 66
Havoc 12 16
Finishing Drives 77 90
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling 37 116
Coverage 94 107
Middle 8 102 53
SP+ Special Teams 72 130
Plays per Minute 15 113
Rush Rate 48.5% (106) 59.8% (33)

Data via College Football Data, FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF and SportSource Analytics.


Central Michigan vs. Western Michigan Betting Pick

Central Michigan and Western Michigan both to struggle to finish drives. However, they also both allow their opponents to finish drives at a high clip. Something will have to give there, but if both are hitting big plays, that may not be a factor.

Eleby and Richardson should both have a big day against two struggling secondaries. Additionally, the Chippewas and Broncos each rank in the top 15 in plays per game.

That means there should be plenty of opportunities to put a ton of points on the board, especially with Central Michigan’s offensive pace.

I like the over here, and I would play it up to 69.

Pick: Over 67.5 

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