Bowling Green vs. Western Michigan kicks off this Tuesday (11/21/23) at 7 p.m. EST in Kalamazoo, Michigan as a home game for the Broncos. Get Bowling Green vs. Western Michigan predictions and best bets below as our best bet is on under 53.5 in what will be a run heavy slugfest.
Bowling Green vs. Western Michigan Prediction
It’s that time of year where rivals face off against each other, teams look to secure their spot for the conference championship and teams on the cusp of a bowl try to get the coveted sixth win. None of that applies in this MACtion matchup as Bowling Green sits at six wins with no chance of winning its division, while Western Michigan is at four wins and would need a miracle to make a bowl game with just potentially five wins.
That makes for a pretty standard matchup, one that will feature a heavy dose of the run with the potential of more playing time for the backups. All factors giving value toward the under with this one shaping up to be a pretty run-heavy slugfest with stalled drives and a consistently bleeding clock.
Looking deeper into the ground game, Bowling Green has fared well in this department. The Falcons rank 55th in Rush Success Rate, 67th in Rush PPA and 21st in Rush Explosiveness. The issue is they have been without starting running back Terion Stewart. He has missed the last two games due to injury and is listed as questionable. Without Stewart, the Falcons ground game has taken a step back in production and gives the Broncos defense a better chance at stuffing the run.
Limiting the run will be top priority for a struggling Broncos front seven as they currently rank 103rd in Def Rush Success Rate, 98th in Def Rush PPA and 70th in Def Rush Explosiveness. While those metrics are stunningly low, the Broncos do excel in creating disruptions and making tackles for loss as they rank 15th in Havoc. Their ability to put pressure in the backfield will help negate the Falcons explosiveness, slowing down running back Ta’ron Keith by making contact in the trenches as well as crashing their linebackers down to finish the job.
The Broncos also call a heavy dose of the run as well, but to minimal success. They currently rank 43rd in Rush Play Rate, 89th in Rush Success Rate, 79th in Rush PPA and 86th in Rush Explosiveness. This helps mask the Falcons struggling rush defense as they clock in at 112th in Def Rush Success Rate and 106th in Def Rush PPA. While midfield defense success has been an issue, we can rest assured that fluke big gains will be held in check as they rank 33rd in Def Rush Explosiveness.
Bowling Green vs. Western Michigan Prediction: Under 53.5
Bowling Green vs. Western Michigan Best Odds
In a battle between a Bowling Green team with nothing to play for and a Western Michigan squad clinging on for dear life, oddsmakers lean toward the Falcons favor of winning by opening them as a -2.5 favorite. Bettors think differently, backing the Broncos down to +2 with some shops even going down to +1.5 as of writing.
As for the total, oddsmakers believe points will be scored at a quick pace by opening the number at 53.5. Bettors have yet to take a firm stand on either side of the total, keeping the number the same since the opener. With both teams calling a heavy dose of the run to potential minimal success, this gives value toward the under on a high total.
Bowling Green vs. Western Michigan Key Matchups
Can Western Michigan’s secondary hold up against Bowling Green’s Connor Bazelak?
Connor Bazelak vs. Western Michigan Secondary
While this game will feature run heavy game script from both ends, Bowling Green’s quarterback Connor Bazelak is still a playmaker that the Western Michigan secondary will have to defend against.
Connor Bazelak on the next NCAA game is essentially Madden 04 Michael Vick pic.twitter.com/s7X6xawR35
— Hustle Belt (@HustleBelt) November 15, 2023
Luckily for the Broncos, the Falcons pass attack has underwhelmed throughout the year by ranking 87th in Pass Success Rate and 30th in Pass Explosiveness. A true boom or bust type of pass attack, struggling to get to the appropriate distance to gain on early downs and needing a big play to move it down the field. A very unreliable style of passing that plays towards the Broncos favor who struggles in coverage.