The Western Michigan Broncos will host the Kent State Golden Flashes in a Mid-American Conference match-up on ESPNU. Western Michigan comes into this game with a 4-2 record overall, 1-1 in the MAC, and 3-2-1 against the spread. Kent State is 3-3 overall, 2-0 in the MAC, and 2-4 against the spread.
According to CBS Sports, Western Michigan is rated No. 66 in the country, and Kent State is No. 94 in the FBS.
Western Michigan and Kent State last played each other in 2017, when the Broncos won 48-20 at home.
Kent State looking to improve to 3-0 in MACThe Kent State Golden Flashes opened the season 1-3 in the non-conference. On Sept. 4, Kent State lost 41-10 to Texas A&M as a 29.5 point dog and followed it up with a 60-10 victory over VMI. The Golden Flashes also lost to Iowa 30-7 as a 22-point dog and 37-16 as a 13-point dog to Maryland. This year, Kent State has won both of their conference games at home, opening up with a 27-20 win over Bowling Green as a 17-point favorite and a 48-38 win over Buffalo as a seven-point favorite.
Against Buffalo, Kent State built a 31-10 halftime lead before getting outscored 28-0 in the third quarter. The Golden Flashes were able to bounce back in the fourth quarter with the game's final two touchdowns. In victory, Kent State did not turn the ball over while outgaining Buffalo 633 to 549 in total yardage. The Bulls turned the ball over twice. Senior quarterback Dustin Crum led the Golden Flashes completing 22 of 36 throws for 407 yards with three touchdowns passing and added another 72 yards and two touchdowns rushing. As a team, Kent State racked up 226 rushing yards on 45 attempts, led byMarquez Cooperwith 112 yards on 21 attempts and a touchdown.
Turnovers hurt WMU in loss to Ball StateThe Western Michigan Broncos had their four-game winning streak snapped with a 45-20 home loss as a 13.5 point favorite to Ball State last Saturday. The Ball State game was tied 17-7 at the half, and the Broncos only trailed 24-20 until the Cardinals scored the game's final three touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
Western Michigan outgained Ball State 376 to 375 in total yardage and turned the ball over four times, while the Cardinals did not turn the ball over. QuarterbackKaleb Elebycompleted 19 of 33 passes for 257 yards with two interceptions. The Broncos ran the ball 49 times for 119 yards with two touchdowns, led by La' Darius Jefferson with 65 yards on the ground and Sean Taylor with 52. The Broncos' defense held the Cardinals to just 65 rushing yards on 28 attempts but allowed Ball State quarter Drew Plitt to throw for 310 yards and four touchdowns.
Before last week's defeat, the Broncos' only other loss was in the season opener 47-14 loss as a 16.5 road underdog to the Michigan Wolverines. The Broncos covered the spread in each of their first three wins beating Illinois State 28-0 as a 13-point favorite, Pittsburgh 44-21 as a 14-point dog, and San Jose State 23-3 as a 2.5 point favorite, and on October 2, beat Buffalo 24-17 a seven-point choice at Buffalo.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
Both teams have faced intense competition thus far, as Western Michigan's Strenght of Schedule ranks 20th in the nation, and Kent State's ranks 37th according to the College Football Power Index. The Golden Flashes, losses this season, have been against a Texas A&M team that beat Alabama last week, current No. 2 Iowa, and Maryland. Since beginning conference play, the Golden Flashes have handled their business with two wins.
Western Michigan is coming off a 25-point loss as a double-digit favorite to Ball State. Although the Broncos should be motivated to bounce back, I see these conference foes too close to even to give the Broncos a seven-point advantage here. I am taking Kent State.
Full-Game Total Pick
Western Michigan is fourth in the MAC on offense with 403.5 yards per game, and on the other side, has allowed the opposition to score more than 40 points in half of their games this season.
Kent State is first in the MAC offensively, averaging 464.2 yards per game and last allowing 449 points per game on defense, so expect the Golden Flashes to score and allow a lot of points in this game.
Neither team is one-dimensional on offense, possessing the ability to hurt you through the air and on the ground. I expect to see a shootout on Saturday and will take the over.