One of the problems with wagering on bowl games is figuring out how every team is going to approach their game. Some teams view these games as more of a vacation than a day at the office, while others come in ready to go after sitting on a tough loss for a few weeks. The best games that we see each bowl season tend to be the ones where both teams come in ready to roll and end the season on a winning note.
The goal as bettors is to figure out which teams will come in hot and which will simply be going through the motions, which is certainly not easy to do. One sign that a team might struggle is when they finish the season on a tough loss and then need to wait a full month before the bowl game, which is where the Western Michigan Broncos are at ahead of their First Responder Bowl matchup against the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers. It is the Hilltoppers who are in as a 3-point favorite, with the point total for this one set at 54 ½.
Western Kentucky vs Western Michigan 2019 First Responder Bowl Lines & Prediction
- When: Monday, December 30 at 12:30 PM EST
- Where: Gerald J. Ford Stadium, Dallas
- TV: ESPN
- Radio: SiriusXM
- Live Stream: WatchESPN
- Responder Bowl Lines: Western Kentucky -3 (Total 54.5)
Why bet on the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers?The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers finished the season with an 8-5 record, but it was how they closed things out that makes them a potentially good bet here. They closed out the season with 3 straight wins, while also winning 7 of their last 9. They have dominated in their recent games against teams from the Mid-American Conference, going a perfect 6-0 SU in those meetings.
This is a team that was also a very good bet against the spread this season. In those final 9 games of the season that we discussed a moment ago, the Hilltoppers went 7-2 ATS. The Hilltoppers are 5-1 SU in their last 6 games played in the month of December, while they have seen 4 of their last 5 games go OVER the point total.
- Points per Game: 25.58
- Passing Yards: 251.08
- Rushing Yards: 128.92
- Yards per Play: 5.56
- Points per Game: 20.08
- Passing Yards: 199.92
- Rushing Yards: 137.67
- Yards per Play: 5.28
Why bet on the Western Michigan Broncos?There is a very definite reason to have concerns about the Western Michigan Broncos. They have not played a game since November 26, which was a loss to Northern Illinois. That defeat actually cost them a shot at playing for the conference championship, so you do really need to be concerned about their mindset ahead of this one.
The worst part of that loss was that the Broncos had won 3 in a row and went into that final game as a 20-point favorite before going down 17-14. It’s the type of defeat that can be very tough to come back from and play another game. The Broncos have also not been a very good pick against the spread when playing in the month of December, going 1-6 ATS in those games.
- Points per Game: 34.17
- Passing Yards: 244.58
- Rushing Yards: 212.67
- Yards per Play: 6.46
- Points per Game: 26.17
- Passing Yards: 228.08
- Rushing Yards: 180.17
- Yards per Play: 5.76
Western Kentucky vs Western Michigan 2019 Responder Bowl Betting Trends
- Hilltoppers are 7-2 SU in their last 9 games
- Hilltoppers are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games this season
- The total has gone OVER in 4 of Western Kentucky’s last 5 games
- Broncos are 4-2 SU in their last 6 games
- Broncos are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games played in December
Expert Pick & Final Score PredictionEverything that I see here points towards the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers coming away with the win. It is not a particularly large spread to deal with either, so I am going all in on WKU to win and cover.
Score: Western Kentucky Hilltoppers 33 – Western Michigan Broncos 24