Western Michigan vs. Central Michigan Odds & Picks: Moneyline Value on Chippewas on Wednesday
Nick Tre. Smith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Central Michigan’s Brandon Childress (left) and Mark Chapman (right).
- In a battle of Michigan MAC schools, the Western Michigan Broncos travel to take on the Central Michigan Chippewas on Wednesday evening.
- The MAC West division title likely comes down to this matchup between MAC elites, with the spread set around a pick'em across the betting market.
- Below, find Collin Wilson's full betting guide for tonight's matchup, including updated odds and his pick for Broncos vs. Chippewas.
Western Michigan vs. Central Michigan Odds
|Western Michigan Odds||-1 (-105) [BET NOW]|
|Central Michigan Odds||+1 (-115) [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-110/-110 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||59 (-105/-115) [BET NOW]|
|Time||Wednesday, 7 p.m. ET|
Western Michigan Broncos
There may not be enough words to put into context how Western Michigan’s game against Toledo summarized everything that MACtion stands for.
The Broncos never led until the 17-second mark in the fourth quarter when quarterback Kaleb Eleby threw the game-winning touchdown on a fake spike. That game featured a Toledo kickoff from the Western Michigan 35-yard line, 20 penalties and the MACtion referee crew making questionable decisions.
There’s so much going on here… no one knows where the spot should be, every ref palmed the ball, the chain marker is BROKEN in half pic.twitter.com/3yCJBtBpKQ
— Collin Wilson (@_Collin1) November 12, 2020
There were plenty of positives from Western Michigan in the advanced box score. The Broncos’ defense posted 10 tackles for loss and held Toledo to an average third-down distance of 9.3 yards. On the other side of the ball, the offense posted explosive drives in 33 percent of its possessions, which is a significantly higher rate than the national average of 13 percent.
Western Michigan tops the list of the most explosive passing attacks in the nation per expected points. Kaleb Eleby has completed more 50-yard passes than 70% of other offenses in FBS after just two games.
Central Michigan Chippewas
The Chippewas defense did its part in a blowout victory over Northern Illinois.
That same Huskies offense put up nearly 400 yards of offense against Buffalo in its MAC opener. Yet, Central Michigan stuffed Northern Illinois on 15 out of 32 Huskies rush attempts and held Northern Illinois to zero explosive drives.
Central Michigan has a top-20 Defensive Success Rate rank, plus it sits in the top 25 in Finishing Drives and coverage grade per Pro Football Focus. Through 125 defensive snaps, no player on the Central Michigan defense has recorded more than two missed tackles.
The bigger question heading into the season was at quarterback when David Moore was initially suspended for substance abuse. Freshman Daniel Richardson has filled in admirably, throwing for 439 yards and a 3-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio. There has been no drop-off in adjusted completion percentage when Richardson has faced pressure.
Betting Analysis & Pick
The biggest hurdle to the MAC West division title comes in this game between the Chippewas and Broncos.
Defeating Western Michigan would grant Central Michigan the inside track through tiebreakers to compete for the conference title. For the Chips, Toledo and Ball State come at the end of the shortened season.
The handicap of this game comes in two parts: Can the Central Michigan defense slow down the Broncos’ explosiveness, and will Richardson find continued success under center for the Chippewas?
The Central Michigan defense must bring stellar play from its linebackers and secondary, and its coverage grade needs to put a speed bump in the road against the Western Michigan offense. Head coach Jim McElwain’s defense has been one of the best in third-down situations, allowing opponents only six conversions in 26 attempts.
Broncos wide receiver D’Wayne Eskridge will be the primary target for Central Michigan. The explosive playmaker averages 24.6 yards per reception, accumulating 131 yards after the catch. The Chips field three of the highest-graded safeties per PFF, which has translated into holding opposing quarterbacks to less than a 50% completion rate when targeted.
A large difference in these defenses is tackling. Western Michigan ranks outside the top 100 with five players who have three or more missed tackles. Defensive backs Patrick Lupro and Harrison Taylor have combined for 12 missed tackles, and they’re going against a Central Michigan passing attack that is top five in passing expected points.
Richardson should be protected in coverage, but the run game will be a big factor against a Broncos trench that was pushed around by Toledo and Akron.
Central Michigan will be able to limit the Broncos’ explosiveness while continuing to be the conference’s best third-down defense. Look for the Chips to do enough on the ground to set up explosive passes later in the game.
As for the market, plenty of Western Michigan steam is expected. Find the cheapest moneyline price on the Chippewas and enjoy another night of MACtion.
Pick: Central Michigan -130 or better