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Free Pick Breakdown, Odds & Prediction: Western Michigan vs. Bowling Green (11/2/2022)

By Ace Margolis
November 2, 2022
Photo by: Kimberly Moss - USA Today Sports

Western Michigan vs Bowling Green (11/2/22 7:00 pm EDT)

Line: BGU -4
O/U: 47

Western Michigan vs Bowling Green Overview

The Mid-American Conference is in the thick of its playoff race as the Western Michigan Broncos head into Ohio to take on the Bowling Green Falcons with each looking to move up in the MAC standings. The Broncos are coming off a 16-10 victory over Miami of Ohio while the Falcons took on another team from Michigan by beating Central Michigan 34-18.

Western Michigan Analysis

Western Michigan hasn’t had the season they had expected as they come into this matchup with a 3-5 overall record. On the bright side, the Broncos are 2-2 in the MAC West division, putting them in second place behind 4-1 Toledo. With that in mind, Western Michigan has split its last four games, three of which were home games. On the year, the Broncos are 3-5 against the spread as well as 3-5 against the over/under.

The season started poorly for Western Michigan as they would lose three out of their first four games to put them behind the eight ball before the halfway point of the season. In the Broncos’ defense, however, two of their first three opponents, Michigan State and Pittsburgh, were both ranked in the Top 25 when they beat Western Michigan early in the season. Still, the Broncos simply struggle against more-talented opponents as they’ve lost by an average of 22.4 points in their five defeats.

Running back Sean Taylor is one of the few bright spots for the Broncos as he was a major factor in their win Saturday over Miami of Ohio. Taylor ran for 110 yards on 22 carries, adding a touchdown. The 110 yards and 22 carries were his most of the season thus far as he has accumulated 529 yards rushing on 129 attempts to average 4.4 yards per carry. Wide receiver Crooms is another guy on offense that’s played a big role for the Broncos with 469 receiving on 35 receptions.

Bowling Green Analysis

Bowling Green is trending in a much better direction than Western Michigan coming into this game as they’ve won two consecutive games for the first time this season after beating Central Michigan and Miami of Ohio the last two weeks. They come into this match with a 4-4 overall record and find themselves tied for second place in the MAC East division with Ohio and only a game behind first-place Buffalo. Against the spread this season, the Falcons are 3-4-1 while going 6-2 versus the over/under.

Last weekend’s dominant win over the Chippewas was one of Bowling Green’s best defensive games of the season as they record six sacks and four takeaways including a 45-yard fumble return for a touchdown. Like the Broncos, however, the Falcons have performed terribly in their games against ranked opponents UCLA and Mississippi State, losing by a combined 59 points. While they have won four games this season, their victory over Central Michigan was their only blowout win.

The offense has been clicking lately and it all starts with quarterback Matt McDonald who has 1,692 yards through the air to go with 16 touchdowns and only three interceptions. He spreads the ball around to three different receivers in Odieu Hiliare, CJ Lewis, and Broden who have at least 290 yards or more receiving. Their biggest stud, however, is on defense where defensive lineman Karl Brooks is second in the country with seven sacks, which is almost one per contest.

Free Pick – Bowling Green -4

This isn’t a Saturday Special or a Sunday Primetime game by any stretch but with two teams battling for position in the MAC, it will be a battle controlled by Bowling Green. Already riding a two-game winning streak, Western Michigan hasn’t shown anything on offense to believe they can score enough in this game to win as they only put up 20.8 at a contest, which is 111th in the nation. The Falcons may not be world-beaters but they have momentum and home-field advantage both of which should be enough for McDonald to lead the offense over a Broncos team that gives up 28.1 a game. With Western Michigan going nowhere fast, Bowling Green should win this game easily. We’re taking Bowling Green -4.

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