Central Michigan vs. Western Michigan kicks off this Tuesday (11/07/23) at 7:00pm EST in Kalamazoo Michigan as a home game for the Broncos. Get Central Michigan vs. Western Michigan predictions and best bets below as our best bet is on the over 56 in what will be a thrilling battle for the victory cannon.
Central Michigan Vs. Western Michigan Prediction
Both Central Michigan and Western Michigan’s hopes of making the MAC Conference Championship may be gone, but this rivalry matchup still has plenty of juice as Western looks to keep their bowl berth alive. Currently sitting at 3-6, WMU has the chance to win out and make a bowl game while CMU potentially plays spoiler while getting in themselves as they are currently 5-4 and a short underdog in this matchup.
While it may be tough to pin down who comes out on top, points will at least be scored at a blistering pace as each other’s offenses have key advantages when on the field. Especially when in scoring position as Central ranks 22nd in Points per Opportunity while Western Michigan clocks in at 52nd. Those metrics are a sharp contrast to each other’s ability to limit points as CMU ranks 115th in Def PPA while Western ranks 105th.
Simply put, points will be near automatic when each other’s offense enters scoring territory. Getting there should be an easy task as well, especially since each offense grades out very well in taking care of the ball. Central ranks 29th in Havoc Allowed while WMU ranks 47th, both showing they can move the ball down the field with little to no hiccups that can flip the field and burn an over. CMU’s ability to take care of the ball at an elite rate is especially vital as WMU ranks seventh overall in Havoc.
With CMU being able to negate the Broncos Havoc minded tendency, expect plenty of mid field ball movement as they continue to run over opposing defenses. Banking on a heavy dose of the run is normally not ideal when taking an over ticket with this year’s new clock rules, but CMU is in a good position as any to put up points in a hurry. While their ground game may rank 65th in Rush Success Rate, the CMU offense is more built on getting out in the open field by clocking in at 27th in Rush Explosiveness and 35th in Rush PPA.
Their ability to churn out big gains at a time will be on full display against a WMU rush defense that ranks 82nd in Def Explosiveness, 69th in Def Rush Success Rate, and 77th in Def Rush PPA. On the off chance Central decides to try and throw the ball, they get the favor of doing so against a WMU secondary that ranks 105th in Def Pass Success Rate, 96th in PPA, and 82nd in Explosiveness.
Central Michigan Vs. Western Michigan Prediction: Over 56
Central Michigan Vs. Western Michigan Best Odds
In a rivalry game with massive bowl berth implications on the line, oddsmakers lean towards Western Michigan to pull out the win by opening them as a -3 favorite. Bettors believe that number is just about right, keeping the spread the same as the opener with a few books ticking up to -3.5 as of writing.
As for the total, oddsmakers believe points will be scored at a lightning quick pace as they opened the number at 56. That is a sharp difference from the lookahead line, originally opening at a lowly 44.5. The drastic uptick in points makes sense with how both offenses are looking as well as getting the chance to gash each other’s weak defensive units.
Central Michigan Vs. Western Michigan Key Matchups
Can WMU’s Jalen Buckley continue to run wild against the Chippewas defense?
Jalen Buckley Vs. Central Michigan Rush Defense
Like Central Michigan, the Broncos also run a heavy dose of the run by ranking 30th overall in Rush Play Rate. While they don’t necessarily do so at an elite rate, lead back Jalen Buckley is in a good position to continue to succeed against a very weak Central Michigan rush defense.
Third touchdown of the season for Western Michigan RB Jalen Buckley.
Hasn’t received a ton of national attention but Iowa is the only team to stop him finding the end zone so far this season.
— Oliver Hodgkinson (@ojhodgkinson) September 23, 2023
After rushing for 138 yards and two touchdowns against Eastern Michigan, Buckley now gets the opportunity to gash a Central defense that ranks 122nd in Def Rush Success Rate, 117th in PPA and 72nd in Explosiveness. With a high-quality opportunity to routinely move the sticks, Western can match the CMU scoring pace when in the red zone as a successful scoring unit inside the 20 as previously mentioned.