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Bowling Green vs Western Michigan Odds & Picks: Bet Broncos In Low-Scoring Affair

Bowling Green vs Western Michigan Odds & Picks: Bet Broncos In Low-Scoring Affair article feature image
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Adam Ruff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Western Michigan running back Sean Tyler.

  • MACtion returns on Wednesday night for a battle between Bowling Green and Western Michigan.
  • The Broncos have been on an upswing of late, while the Broncos have trended downward after losing two star players on offense in quarterback Kaleb Eleby and wide receiver Skyy Moore.
  • Collin Wilson wasted no time breaking this game down, and he dished out two bets for the Bowling Green-Western Michigan matchup.

Bowling Green vs Western Michigan Odds

Wednesday, Nov. 2
7 p.m. ET
ESPN2
Bowling Green Odds
Spread Over/Under Moneyline
-5.5
-105
48.5
-105o / -115u
-225
Western Michigan Odds
Spread Over/Under Moneyline
+5.5
-115
48.5
-105o / -115u
+185
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Wednesday’s MACtion slate features two teams going in complete opposite directions.

Bowling Green hasn’t won more than five games since 2015, as the coaching transition since Dino Babers left has not been smooth. Mike Jinks compiled a 9-27 record before the Scot Loeffler era began in 2019.

The 2020 pandemic season consisted of five games and no victories. With a chance to go to a bowl game, any victory from here on out is a celebration after oddsmakers set the Falcons’ season win total at 4.5.

While the Falcons are in flight, Western Michigan has moved in the opposite direction. With the exception of a 4-2 pandemic season, head coach Tim Lester had the Broncos in a bowl game in three of four seasons.

The foundation laid by P.J. Fleck rolled into the Lester era with the best season coming in 2021 with eight wins and a Quick Lane Bowl victory over Nevada.

As Big Bets on Campus co-host Stuckey wrote, Western Michigan has suffered in the wake of being one of the lowest-ranked teams in terms of TARP (Transferring Assets and Returning Production).

Although the team has underachieved, there’s still a path to winning the division. The Broncos hold the tiebreaker over fellow two-loss team Ball State, as the season concludes against a Toledo team in the pole position.

A hot run from the Broncos will get Lester to another bowl and a possible MAC Championship appearance.


Western Michigan Broncos

After consecutive losses by three scores to Ohio and Eastern Michigan, the Broncos bounced back with a victory over Miami (Ohio). The RedHawks returned quarterback Brett Gabbert after a Week 1 injury, but it was the junior’s legs that provided the only touchdown of the game.

The Broncos’ victory covered up some poor numbers, as Miami (Ohio) recorded a better yards-per-play mark. Western Michigan had six offensive drives extend past the 40-yard line with only 13 points to show.

Freshman Treyson Bourguet got the nod at quarterback after Jack Salopek suffered a knee injury.

Behind a retooled offensive line that swapped nearly every position, Bourguet was under duress the entire game with 11 RedHawk pressures on just 33 passing attempts from Western Michigan. Bourguet logged two turnover-worthy plays, as the signal-caller posted a completion percentage of 54% from a clean pocket.

There isn’t much of a ground game with La’Darius Jefferson and Sean Tyler each averaging less than 2.8 yards after contact. The Broncos own a top-30 ranking in passing downs explosiveness, but that number is held up by three plays that exceeded 70 yards this season.

If there’s a saving grace to the season, the defense has generated pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Western Michigan ranks top-25 in Defensive Havoc, led by high rankings nationally in sacks and tackles for loss.

Edge Andre Carter and linebacker Corvin Moment lead the team with a combined 59 pressures and nine sacks.

The Broncos also rank top-30 in tackle grading, per PFF, limiting explosive plays on the ground.

Western Michigan has not been the most successful unit in limiting first downs, but top-25 Havoc and third-down numbers are primary reasons the team has a shot to win the division.

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Bowling Green Falcons

The driver behind the return of a quality Bowling Green team is the defense.

Coordinator Eric Lewis was promoted in March 2021, starting a turn that would lead to a victory over Minnesota that same year.

Bowling Green has flashed an aggressive style of defense along with multiple coverage schemes. Lewis calls a defense that ranks top-10 nationally in pass rush and top-30 in Rushing Success Rate.

Bowling Green has been inept at defending the run with bottom-10 ranks in Line Yards and Stuff Rate. The Falcons thrive in passing downs, as defensive backs Jordan Oladokun and Jordan Anderson lead the team in pass breakups.

While the offensive numbers don’t fly off the page, the number of downfield attempts by quarterback Matt McDonald does.

The senior is vastly improved from seasons past, setting career numbers with an increase in big-time throws and a decrease in turnover-worthy plays. He’s tossed 16 touchdowns to just three interceptions, but an important note is the passing depth.

Bowling Green is just as aggressive on offense with downfield passing as the defense is with blitz and pressure.

McDonald has attempted nearly as many passes over 20 yards as passes behind the line of scrimmage. On 32 attempts over 20 yards, McDonald has yet to throw an interception or post a turnover-worthy play while tossing seven touchdowns.

A large portion of targets go to the slot receivers of Odieu Hilaire and CJ Lewis, with Tyrone Broden hauling in four touchdowns out wide.


Bowling Green vs Western Michigan Matchup Analysis

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

Bowling Green Offense vs Western Michigan Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 98 115
Line Yards 112 58
Pass Success 95 98
Pass Blocking** 100 16
Havoc 105 24
Finishing Drives 119 43
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Western Michigan Offense vs Bowling Green Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 107 26
Line Yards 113 123
Pass Success 107 99
Pass Blocking** 104 9
Havoc 111 51
Finishing Drives 112 122
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling 29 96
PFF Coverage 81 44
SP+ Special Teams 47 119
Seconds per Play 26.8 (80) 26.2 (62)
Rush Rate 55.4% (51) 50.4% (82)
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.

Bowling Green vs Western Michigan Prediction & Betting Pick

There are similar ranks for both teams in terms of putting pressure on opposing quarterbacks, making the handicap in this game completely about the execution of the offensive line.

While both offensive lines field similar grades in pass blocking, it’s Western Michigan’s run blocking that ranks third in the MAC, per PFF. In comparison, Bowling Green sits eighth in the conference in run blocking.

Both teams are expected to be in passing downs frequently, an area that heavily favors Western Michigan from an explosiveness perspective.

Steam has hit the market on a Bowling Green team playing at home against the Broncos with a reshuffled offensive line and inexperienced freshman quarterback.

Action Network projects this game as a pick’em, while SP+ calls for a four-point victory by Bowling Green. Any number -3.5 or less should be played on Bowling Green, while plenty of buy-back will hit the market just short of kickoff if Western Michigan +6 pops at a book.

The play for the game lands on the under. The total projection of 41 comes from two teams that rank bottom-20 in Offensive Finishing Drives.

Western Michigan has the better defense in terms of limiting scores in the red zone, placing top-30 in opponent conversion rate. While McDonald will attempt more than a half-dozen explosive passing attempts, the Broncos defense has limited opponents in coverage.

As of writing, the total is steaming from an opener of 44.5 through 47. A bevy of key numbers are in range and should be taken into consideration from a bet sizing perspective, with both 48 and 51 ranking in the top five when it comes to college football totals.

Look to take an under at 48, and increase that bet size through 51 or in the live betting market at 55 and 59.

Pick: Under 48 or BetterWestern Michigan +6 or Better

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