Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#303 Western Michigan 62.5 vs.
#304 Ohio U -2
Tuesday, November 12, 2019 at 6:30pm EST
Written by Sporty Jordy

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#303 Western Michigan University
#304 Ohio University
6-4
4-5
4-5-1
2-7
3-7
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35
29
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This article covers a past game!

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When and where: November 12, 2019, Peden Stadium, Athens, OH, 6:30 PM ET

The Ohio Bobcats get a visit from the top-scoring offense in the Mid-American Conference in Tuesday’s clash with the Western Michigan Broncos. Since dropping a disappointing road loss to Eastern Michigan, the Broncos have continued to ride the coattails of their high-powered offense to back-to-back wins over Bowling Green and Ball State. Meanwhile, the Bobcats took a step back after having their two-game win streak snapped at home by Miami-Ohio.

Broncos must keep feeding Bellamy

For the No. 1-ranked scoring offense in the league, there isn’t anything complex about the way the Broncos run things. Take last week’s game with Ball State for example. The Broncos lined up and ran the football 52 times for 382 rushing yards and five touchdowns for a 35-31 victory. What’s the sense in fixing something that isn’t broken?

They’ll have an opportunity to continue their smash-mouth style brand of football on Tuesday against an opponent allowing an average of 196.6 rushing yards per game. Broncos running back LeVante Bellamy must be salivating at the mere thought of running against the Bobcats’ shoddy defensive front. He ran all over Ball State for 157 yards and three touchdowns, and he could be in for a similarly big day against the Bobcats as well.

But it isn’t just Bellamy chewing up grass.

Quarterback Jon Wassink is sure to get in on the fun as well as he did against Ball State—131 rushing yards and one touchdown on six carries.

Along with being the top-scoring offense, the Broncos also rank second in the conference in scoring defense. It’ll be an interesting challenge for them going on the road against the conference’s best third-down team. If the Bobcats’ offense can continuously move the chains and stay on the field, they can keep Wassink and Bellamy off it.

Offense will be Ohio’s best defense

The Bobcats recently gave up 84 yards and two touchdowns to Miami-Ohio running back Jaylon Bester in a 21-24 loss. If the RedHawks would have lost that game, there would be questions of why they didn’t run Bester more with him averaging 5.6 yards per carry.

However, some of the credit for the lack of run plays goes to the Bobcats’ offense for extending drives and staying on the field. Even in the loss, they led the time of possession by nearly 13 minutes. They’ll have to have a similar performance against the Broncos to at least give themselves a chance to win the game. There isn’t enough push on the defensive line, and they also lack the talent at linebacker to make a dent in the Broncos’ dominant run defense.

Bobcats quarterback Nathan Rourke will have to take care of the football whether he’s dropping back to pass or scrambling out of the pocket as a runner. The last thing his defense needs is to get bludgeoned by the Broncos’ rushing attack on a short field. Players like Isaiah Cox will be counted on to step up as possession receivers to convert third-down plays and keep extending drives.

If the defense had two Javon Hagans, it would be easier to count on them in this game.

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The Bobcats have a knack for converting in third-down situations and playing keep-away, but that still hasn’t helped them win more football games. They have struggled this season due to the inability of their defense to get stops when they matter. Teams are averaging 28.9 points per game against them.

Yes, I know the Broncos haven’t been much better in shutting teams down (26.3), but they have the offense that can go blow-for-blow with any team in the conference. It’s hard to lose games when the unit is scoring 35.9 points per game. Even if their defense isn’t playing well, opponents still have the herculean task of stifling an offense spearheaded by Wassink and Bellamy’s rushing attack.

The run game is where everything comes undone for the Bobcats.

Opposing running backs are averaging a conference-worst 5.38 yards per carry. Bellamy will bring the thunder, and Wassink will bring the lighting for the rushing storm of the century on Tuesday. I’m taking the Broncos in this game.

Prediction: Western Michigan Broncos (-1)

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This is a conference that gives up a lot points, even for top teams like Western Michigan. The Bobcats should be able to move the ball effectively and extend drives as they often have all season. However, the problem will continue to be on the defensive side of the ball and keeping the Broncos from torching them on the ground.

Both defenses have been known to give up long scrimmage plays. Western Michigan is actually ranked dead last in the conference in the amount of broken plays for big yards. I’m sticking with the over betting total in what should be a wild, high-scoring affair.

Prediction: Over
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Written By Jordy McElroy , "Sporty Jordy"

Born in Germany and raised in the beautiful state of Tennessee, Jordy McElroy is a storyteller of sports, a sports betting enthusiast and a semi-deep thinker. Being a New England Patriots fan means he's a six-time Super Bowl winner as well, which means you'd have to be a fool to ignore his advice. Prior to joining our team here at Winners & Whiners, Jordy’s work appeared on CNN.com, FOX Sports, Bleacher Report, USA TODAY and BJPenn.com. There are no beaches where he comes from -- just rolling hills, green valleys and all the Sun Drop you can drink.