Central Michigan vs. Western Michigan Betting Odds
MACtion is finally back. The nation has been patiently waiting for Tuesday and Wednesday night football, and the football gods have finally delivered.
The premier game of the week involves our two favorite directional Michigan schools. The Chippewas travel to Kalamazoo to take on the Broncos in a historically one-sided battle.
Western Michigan has won eight of the last 10 meetings between the two and covered in seven of them. The Broncos have also won the past three meetings by a combined score of 118-69.
This year, Vegas predicts it will be no different. The Broncos have opened as 10-point favorites on the spread and at -375 on the moneyline.
However, I’m not so sure the Broncos have the firepower to win by double-digits.
Central Michigan Chippewas Odds
Central Michigan is a force in the front seven. This is a team that ranks among the top 30 FBS teams in Defensive Rush Success Rate and Defensive Line Yards while ranking 16th in Havoc and 37th in PFF’s tackling grades.
As such, the Chippewas are allowing just 3.7 yards per carry to opposing rush attacks while leading the FBS in sacks.
Unfortunately, when Central Michigan isn’t getting a push up front, the defense can give up chunk plays in bunches. The Chips defense ranks 128th in Defensive Explosiveness and 109th in yards per play.
In the end, the Chippewas give up a good number of points. Over 28 points per game, while ranking 90th in defensive Finishing Drives and 68th in defensive Red Zone efficiency.
The offense is mostly middling, although lead back Lew Nichols is averaging 5.5 yards per carry behind an offensive line that ranks 30th in Offensive Line Yards.
The passing game leaves some to be desired. Daniel Richardson is completing just 58.7% of his passes for less than eight yards per attempt.
However, Richardson also has posted a 14:2 touchdown-to-interception ratio behind a passing attack that has some explosiveness. Richardson has made 14 Big Time Throws on passes 20+ yards downfield and the offense ranks 24th in Explosiveness.
— ✯✯✯✯✯ (@FTBVids_YT) October 23, 2021
Western Michigan Broncos Odds
The Broncos are carried by their offense. It’s the most talented in the MAC, led by Kaleb Eleby and three receivers that are averaging over 13 yards per reception. Western Michigan can score 50 every Saturday.
Plus, the Broncos have a star tailback to support their star quarterback. Sean Tyler has accumulated 600 rush yards this season at over six yards per carry. Although it helps when your offensive line ranks 36th in Line Yards.
However, things get ugly on the other side of the ball.
The Broncos rank 107th in PFF’s coverage grades and 116th in their tackling grades, plus they rank dead last in SP+’s special teams rankings. The secondary gets carved up weekly, as they did against Ball State and Toledo.
Western Michigan did manage to out-duel Pitt on the road earlier in the season, a win that will carry this team in MAC power rankings as the season goes on.
However, the offense will have to continue to score points for this team to see success.
Prediction and Pick
My Pick: Central Michigan +10.5 (-110 at UniBet)
The Chippewas have a major, major advantage on defense. So, having that unit catch 10 points is too good to pass up.
The Chips offense has efficiency issues, but they should create enough explosive plays to keep up. Western Michigan ranks 124th in Defensive Explosiveness, which plays right into Central Michigan’s hands. Look for plenty of chunk plays by the Chips in this game.
As such, I’ll happily play Central Michigan and the points. I’ve seen projections that make this spread closer to seven, meaning there’s plenty of value with the Chippewas in this spot.