Western Michigan Broncos (9-0 SU, 7-2 ATS) vs. Kent State Golden Flashes (3-6 SU, 5-4 ATS)
College Football Week 11
Date/Time: Tuesday, November 8, 2016 at 7:30PM EST
Where: Dix Stadium, Kent, Ohio
By Loot, NCAA Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com
Betting Odds: WMU -18/KENT +18
Over/Under Total: Off
The Western Michigan Broncos face the Kent State Golden Flashes on a Tuesday night MAC special from Ohio. WMU is a robust 9-0, unbeaten thus far on the season. In addition to laying MAC teams to waste, Western Mich has also beaten a pair of Big Ten teams. They're really putting together a big season and are prohibitive favorites to handle Kent St. on the road. The Golden Flashes are coming off a nice 27-24 road win over Central Michigan and look for what would truly be a huge win for this program.
Kent State isn't flourishing at 3-6. The season opened with losses to Penn State (forgivable) and North Carolina A&T (less forgivable). A win over Monmouth got them off the schneid, before they lost a 48-0 slaughter to Alabama and a squeaker to Akron at home. After a road win over a ragged Buffalo, they dropped consecutive games to Miami-Ohio and Ohio, losing both games by 4 points. So the win over CMU was needed. They have been pretty competitive in the MAC even against the conference's better teams, with no loss by more than 4 points. Their 5-4 ATS record attest to that.
Kent State doesn't do anything that well, as there isn't anything terribly compelling about them. They can play pretty good defense. They're giving up about 21 points a game in conference. The Kent State "D" offers some pretty good balance on this side of the ball, equally stout against the pass and the run. On occasion, they are able to create a decent pass rush and they've been adept at securing turnovers, with 9 picks and 9 recovered fumbles on the season. Other than Alabama, a team where they are completely out of their depth, the Kent State defense has not embarrassed themselves this season.
A lot of the Kent State offense goes through QB Nick Holley, a converted running back. And as one could guess when that's the case, the Kent State passing game is a virtual afterthought, barely registering a ripple. They can sometimes spring a play in the pass, but the run is where the heavy lifting is done with this group. Holley accounts for much of that, as he should surpass 1000 yards early on Tuesday. Justin Rankin also chips in with production. But with 22 points scored a game, the Golden Flashes offense is pretty pedestrian.
In contrast, the Western Michigan offense is a handful, as the Broncos are averaging over twice of Kent State's average output at 45.2 points a game. They get it done both on the ground and through the air and it has clicked nicely, as demonstrated by their 9-0 mark. It's not easy for a MAC team to get ranked and if the Broncos can close the season in style, a big bowl appearance could be in the offing. They've beaten Illinois and Northwestern this season and have been dominant in five conference games. They blew out Ball State, Akron, and CMU, while also beating NIU and EMU by 15 and 14 points, respectively. Since their week one win over Northwestern, the Broncos have not had much of a sweat.
The Broncos are led by 4th year starter, senior Zack Terrell, an experienced and capable quarterback. He is completing nearly 72% of his throws with 23 TDs and just 1 interception. His smooth and virtually mistake-free play has given a big boost to this offense. He has also run for five touchdowns. Also helping in the run is Tarvion Franklin, who is over 1000 yards, along with Jamauri Bogan, who has run in 7 touchdowns. And the aerial attack is good hands with Corey Davis, who is also over 1000 yards with 14 TD receptions. Also helping out are receivers Michael Henry and Carrington Thompson. It's a stacked offense where there are any number of different ways for the Broncos to get you.
QUIT THROWING AWAY YOUR HARD EARNED LOOT! BET ON THE WMU VS. KENT ST. GAME AT DISCOUNTED ODDS -105 TODAY AT 5DIMES
One wouldn't call the WMU defense great, but it really doesn't need to be with their offense being such a high-flying unit. They're suitable across most areas. And their average point-allowance of 19.3 points is pretty darned good. Only three teams have gone over 21 points in 9 games against Western Michigan this season. They're a good complement to the offense, as they also chip in with production. They can get turnovers and score points, while the offense has been great in holding onto the ball. The secondary is a playmaking one and just when you think the offense is what you have to watch out for, the defense can spring something big.
This season, Western Michigan is far and away the class of the MAC. They're undefeated, but with no real signature games lying ahead, they need to make the most out of games like this. At the same time, a 9-0 team facing a 3-6 conference team could lead to a small letdown. Combine that with the underlying grit that Kent State has and how they hang in there in games pretty well, one can make a pretty salient case for a Golden Flashes cover this week.
Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Kent State Golden Flashes plus 18 points. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today by signing up and betting the Broncos vs. Golden Flashes game at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 100% sign-up bonus!