Central Michigan and Western Michigan meet on Tuesday night in a battle of directional schools in MACtion for Week 11.
Central Michigan is off an impressive win as home underdogs last week, but now take its talents on the road against Western Michigan, who had a bye to prepare for this one but have been playing much better football as the season winds down.
With both teams jockeying for an outside shot at bowl eligibility, who has the edge? Here's our take.
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Central Michigan vs. Western Michigan Odds, Spread and Total
Western Michigan vs. Central Michigan Betting Trends
- Western Michigan is 6-3 against the spread (ATS) this season
- Central Michigan is 3-6 ATS this season
- Central Michigan is 3-1 ATS as an underdog
- Western Michigan is 3-0 ATS as a favorite
- Central Michigan has gone OVER in three of four games as an underdog
Central Michigan vs. Western Michigan How to Watch
- Date: Tuesday, November 7
- Game Time: 7:00 PM EST
- Venue: Waldo Stadium
- How to Watch (TV): ESPN
- Central Michigan Record: 5-4
- Western Michigan Record: 3-6
Central Michigan vs. Western Michigan Key Players to Watch
Marion Lukes: Lukes has emerged as the key running back in the CMU backfield, fresh off a 202 yard performance against Northern Illinois. The Chippewas offense is completely ground based and Lukes is a big reason why, the team is top 15 in EPA/Rush this season.
Jalen Buckley: WMU also has a steady running back in Jalen Buckley, who has six touchdowns and 683 yards on a healthy 130 rushes this season. The running back had a huge role in the team's 45-21 against Eastern Michigan before the team's bye, rushing for 140 yards with two touchdowns.
Central Michigan vs. Western Michigan Prediction and Pick
I think this matchup should suit the Chips very well, as the team's elite run game should have a big outing against the Broncos. As noted above, this is a top 15 rush offense in terms of EPA/Rush and Western Michigan is 125th in rush defense according to Pro Football Focus.
There are plenty of issues with the WMU defense, including ranking outside the top 110 in defensive line yards and allowing more than six yards per play. However, the Broncos are also a formidable offense for MAC standards, ranking 77th in EPA/Play.
However, I believe CMU has some matchup edges against a lackluster WMU passing game that is 111th in PFF's passing grade. The team has a sturdy offensive line that is top 50 in tackles for loss allowed, but I don't trust the team's ineffective passing game to pull away and win with margin.
To me, the difference between the teams is miniscule and I'll grab a field goal with an underdog that has the most reliable offense in the game, the team's electric running game against a team that has struggled to slow down the opposing run game.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
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