After losing their last two bowl games, the Western Michigan Broncos are looking to flip the script when they take on the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers on Monday in the 2019 First Responder Bowl. The Broncos (7-5) have had five winning seasons over the last six years, while the Hilltoppers (8-4) have achieved their eighth winning season since 2007, the team's first year at Division 1. The game will kick off at 12:30 p.m. ET from Gerald J. Ford Stadium in University Park, Tex. Western Michigan dropped a 49-18 decision to BYU in the 2018 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl in their last bowl matchup, while Western Kentucky fell 27-17 to Georgia State in the 2017 Cure Bowl.
The Hilltoppers are 3.5-point favorites in the latest Western Kentucky vs. Western Michigan odds, while the over-under for total points scored is 55 after opening at 52.5. Before making any Western Michigan vs. Western Kentucky picks of your own, check out the college football predictions from the SportsLine Projection Model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every FBS college football game 10,000 times. Over the past four-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated a stunning profit of almost $4,000 for $100 players on its top-rated college football picks against the spread. It also went a sizzling 8-2 on all picks against the spread during Championship Week. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns.
Now, the model has set its sights on Western Kentucky vs. Western Michigan. We can tell you that the model is leaning under, and it also says one side of the spread has all the value. You can go to SportsLine to see it. Now, here are the college football lines and trends for Western Kentucky vs. Western Michigan:
- Western Kentucky vs. Western Michigan spread: Western Kentucky -3.5
- Western Kentucky vs. Western Michigan over-under: 55 points
- Western Kentucky vs. Western Michigan money line: Western Kentucky -169, Western Michigan +144
- WKU: Allowing just 20.1 points per game
- WMU: Taking part in its fifth bowl game in six years.
The model knows defense has been a calling card for the Hilltoppers, who rank 30th nationally in total defense, allowing just 337.8 yards per game, and are 42nd in rushing defense, allowing 137.3 yards. Western Kentucky is effective at getting off the field on defense and is sixth in the nation in third down conversion percentage defense at .293.
Junior running back Gaej Walker has been a load for the opposition and leads the team in rushing with 226 carries for 1,115 yards and eight touchdowns. He has rushed for 100 yards in seven games, including in two of the past three. In the regular-season finale against Middle Tennessee State, Walker carried 14 times for 119 yards and one touchdown.
But just because the Hilltoppers have been on a roll of late does not guarantee they will cover the Western Michigan vs. Western Kentucky spread in the First Responder Bowl 2019.
Western Michigan has found plenty of success on the ground and is ranked 25th nationally in rushing offense at 212.7 yards per game. The Broncos are also 22nd in total offense, averaging 457.3 yards. Another big reason for their success has been their ability to protect the ball on offense, entering the game tied for 18th in turnover margin at plus-seven.
Leading Western Michigan's offense is senior running back LeVante Bellamy. He's expected to play despite nursing an injury after leading the Broncos with 1,412 yards rushing on 248 carries and scoring 23 touchdowns. Bellamy has been a beast, rushing for 100 yards in eight games and scoring three or more touchdowns in four games, including four in a 49-10 win over Bowling Green on Oct. 26.
So who wins Western Kentucky vs. Western Michigan in the First Responder Bowl 2019? And which side of the spread has all the value? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Western Kentucky vs. Western Michigan spread to jump on Monday, all from the advanced model that is up nearly $4,000 on its top-rated college football picks, and find out.