The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (-3) are entering the Servpro First Responder Bowl as favorites as they prepare to battle the Western Michigan Broncos. This Monday afternoon matchup is scheduled to get underway at 12:30 p.m. ET and ESPN will televise the action.
Betting Preview: Western Kentucky Hilltoppers vs. Western Michigan Broncos
In this Monday matchup, Western Kentucky is labeled as the favorite and is currently giving up 3 points. The Hilltoppers are also receiving -155 moneyline odds while the Broncos are +135. This tilt should provide several decent live betting opportunities, and oddsmakers have determined the over/under (O/U) to be 54.5 points.
This game’s opening line was originally -2 while the over/under was initially set at 54, so the early action has leaned toward the Hilltoppers.
The surprising Hilltoppers are 8-4 against the spread (ATS) and have gained 4.2 units so far. The team has recorded an O/U mark of 6-6.
The Broncos have lost 5.6 units for moneyline bettors this season. They’re 5-6-1 ATS and have an O/U record of 4-8.
The Hilltoppers have gone 8-4 straight up (SU) in 2019 while the Broncos are 7-5 SU.
The Hilltoppers continue to ride high after a 31-26 victory over Middle Tennessee on November 30. Ty Storey completed 23 passes on 30 attempts for 294 yards and two touchdowns. Gaej Walker (119 rushing yards on 14 attempts, one TD) and the signal-caller Storey (62 yards on 12 carries, one TD) spearheaded the ground attack. Lucky Jackson (eight receptions, 110 yards, one TD) and Quin Jernighan (four catches, 76 yards, one TD) handled the receiving duties in the win.
Western Michigan narrowly lost a 17-14 game to Northern Illinois. Jon Wassink completed 17-of-33 passes for 185 yards. LeVante Bellamy (128 rushing yards on 21 attempts, two TDs) mounted the running attack while Skyy Moore (nine receptions, 125 yards) and Keith Mixon Jr. (three catches, 14 yards) led the pass-catching attack in the loss.
Western Kentucky has run the ball on 49.1 percent of its offensive possessions this year while Western Michigan has an overall rush percentage of 55.6 percent. The Hilltoppers have produced 128.9 rush yards per game and have 18 scores on the ground this year. The Broncos are averaging 212.7 rushing yards per game and have 35 total rush TDs.
The Hilltoppers offense has logged 251.1 yards per game through the air overall and has 18 passing TDs so far. The Broncos have produced 244.6 pass yards per outing and have 20 total pass scores.
On the defensive side of the ball, Western Kentucky seems to have the upper hand in both facets. The team has allowed 137.3 rush yards and 200.5 pass yards per game. The Western Michigan defense has allowed 228.1 yards per game to opposing passers and 186.5 yards per game to opposing runners. Both teams allow similar adjusted net yards per pass attempt (ANY/A) to the opposition, as the Hilltoppers have given up an ANY/A of 5.94 to opposing QBs, while the Broncos are allowing an ANY/A of 5.81.
Wassink has completed 199-of-337 passes for 2,582 yards, 16 TDs and seven INTs for Western Michigan. His adjusted net yards per pass attempt sits at 6.97 for the season and 7.90 over his last two games. In the other locker room, Storey is up to 1,984 passing yards on the year, and has completed 186-of-264 attempts with 10 passing touchdowns and five interceptions. Storey has a 6.62 ANY/A for the year, though that number sits at 9.50 over the past two games.
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers vs. Western Michigan Broncos Free Pick
SU Winner: Western Michigan, ATS Winner: Western Michigan, O/U: Over
Team Betting Notes
- Western Kentucky, as a team, has produced 5.4 yards per carry across its past three contests and 5.1 over its last two.
- Western Michigan has averaged 5.2 yards per carry over its last three matchups and only 3.8 over its last two.
- The Western Michigan offense has lost six fumbles this season while Western Kentucky has lost nine.
- The Hilltoppers offense has produced 13 pass plays of 40 or more yards, while the Broncos have put up 11 such plays.
- The Western Kentucky defense has allowed 10 pass plays of 40 or more yards, while Western Michigan has given up eight such plays.
- The Western Kentucky offense has created 12 rushing plays of 20 or more yards, while Western Michigan has created 27 such runs.
- The Hilltoppers defense has allowed 11 rushing plays of 20 or more yards, while the Broncos have given up 23 such runs.
- The Western Michigan defense has tallied 34 sacks on the year while Western Kentucky has just 25.