Western Michigan Broncos vs. Michigan Wolverines Pick
Western Michigan Broncos (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS) vs. Michigan Wolverines (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS)
College Football Week 2
Date/Time: Saturday, September 8th 2018 –12:00 PM ET
Where: Michigan Stadium – Ann Arbor, Michigan
TV: B1G Network
By: Keith Franks, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Western Michigan +27.5 / Michigan -27.5 (Youwager)
Over/Under Total: 51.5
The Western Michigan Broncos and the Michigan Wolverines will lock horns in a cross-state match-up pitting the B1G against the MAC. Michigan and Michigan State are traditionally the powers in “The Wolverine State” but it is in fact the Broncos who have been most prominent of late. Two years ago, the Broncos earned the right to play in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic against a football team the Maize and Blue know well, the Wisconsin Badgers. Though the Broncos came up on the losing end of that contest to finish with just one loss on the season, it was a huge victory for the WMU program and the Mid-American Conference. Now they get another opportunity on Saturday when the two teams meet in Ann Arbor at the fabled Michigan Stadium. Kick-off is set for noon and to be aired on the B1G Network. The teams have met six times in their histories and Michigan has won all of the matches. The last edition was in 2011 when betting sites had the Wolverines as 14 point favorites before they trampled the Broncos 34-10 in The Big House.
The Broncos come into this contest off a loss at home suffered at the hands of the visiting Syracuse Orange of the ACC. The game saw over 100 points scored and 1,000 yards of total offense compiled as the Orange would defeat the Broncos 55-42, defining the word “shootout”. The Broncos were heavily played by the public as a six-point pup causing sportsbooks to move the market down and eventually close at 4.5 points.
The strongest part of Western Michigan’s game resides in their duo of talented running backs. Junior LeVante Bellamy and senior Jamauri Bogan are the heartbeat of the Western Michigan offense. Against Syracuse, the duo accumulated over 190 all-purpose yardage and found the end zone on two occasions. In total, WMU accumulated 621 yards of offense against Syracuse. Against Michigan, Bellamy and Bogan will be deployed in heavy doses, though the Wolverines are known for their defensive prowess.
There has been a lot of hype surrounding the Michigan Wolverines program as it headed into 2018. In fact, many have placed the Maize and Blue on a short list of teams to take the B1G, College Football Playoff, and even as National Championship contenders. Led by one of the most recognized names in all of college football, Head Coach Jim Harbaugh, the Wolverines earned a top-ten ranking to kick off its 2018 season as it ventured into South Bend, Indiana to face an old but true rival in Notre Dame.
Despite being touted by many to win by double-digit margins and also closing as a field goal road favorite, Notre Dame had its way with Michigan in their primetime match-up at The Golden Dome. The Fighting Irish dominated the ebb and flow of the contest and led by as much as 14 against their counterparts. The talk of the town heading into the game was the transfer of Ole Miss quarterback Shea Patterson who manned the Michigan offense. Many had pegged him as a potential catalyst that could finally get the sputter-and-stall Wolverines offense firing on all cylinders. Nevertheless, Notre Dame kept him out of the end zone while also limiting the Wolverines rushing attack to just 1.8 yards per carry. Clearly, improvements need to be made on the offensive side of the football if the Irish defense can dominate the Wolverines in the manner which they did.
It goes without saying that going from playing under the lights in South Bend against Notre Dame to an early afternoon contest against Western Michigan is a step-down for the Wolverines. This is a far more manageable game for Michigan against a weaker defense that won’t cause half as much chaos as the Fighting Irish.
However, given the inconsistency of Michigan’s offense this kind of lumber is a lot to lay. First, can Michigan generate enough offense to build this kind of lead? Secondly, if they are able to establish a big enough cushion can Michigan’s defense mitigate Western Michigan’s potent offense from coming through the backdoor? The bottom line is taking Michigan here is a dangerous move because it asks backers to lay what will probably be four-plus touchdowns by the time this market closes. That is a long swim back under any pretense but when you factor in how both teams’ offenses played in game one, you might as well be stuck in the middle of Lake Michigan (no pun intended).
Be sure to check for the best line from the best sportsbooks listed in Predictem’s main menu. Leaving a half point or more on the table can be the difference between a losing and winning football season!