College Football Pick: Western Michigan -2½ over Eastern Michigan

LT Profits Sports Group

Thursday, November 7, 2013 5:00 AM GMT

The Western Michigan Broncos and Eastern Michigan Eagles are both 1-8, but the Broncos’ win occurred last game with a freshman quarterback giving the offense a boost.

Two of the worst teams in the MAC square off on Saturday, but at least the road club has some reason for optimism when those Western Michigan Broncos (1-8, 1-4 away) pay a visit to the Eastern Michigan Eagles (1-8, 1-2 home) at Rynearson Stadium in Ypsilanti, MI at 1:00 ET in a game available on ESPN3.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Western Michigan as a road favorite for this contest with the current line at -2½ with odds of -106.

It is not too often that we would recommend a 1-8 team as a road favorite, but remember that Western Michigan only returned 10 starters from last season and are playing under a first year coach in P.J. Fleck, so this team has been a work-in-progress all year. Well, the Broncos’ hard work was finally rewarded after an 0-8 start as Fleck notched he first win 31-30 on the road at Massachusetts last game before a bye last week.

Eastern Michigan unfortunately has not shown that same improvement, as its defense has incredibly been torched for at least 50 points in four straight games and at least 42 points in six straight! We do not think playing at home will make much of a difference here given those atrocious defensive shortcomings.

At least Western Michigan has been competitive for the most part and continues to play hard despite its lack of talent, even covering spreads at Michigan State and Northwestern earlier in the year. The Broncos were finally rewarded vs. the Minutemen last game thanks to an unsuccessful two point conversion by UMass following its final score with 22 seconds remaining.

Yes, Western Michigan ranks 115th in the country in total offense and is averaging only 15.3 points per game, but they doubled that scoring average in the win with freshman quarterback Zach Terrell completing 23-of-36 passes for 275 yards and four touchdowns without an interception while filling in for the injured Tyler VanTubbergen. Terrell will now get the start again this week after that fine performance and he appears to have a promising future.

The spark he gave the offense can now continue vs. an Eastern Michigan team that has lost eight straight games since barely beating Howard out of the FCS 34-24 way back on opening week. The Eagles certainly do not figure to put up much resistance, as they are ranked 123rd in the country in total defense yielding a disgusting 523.6 yards per game and 124th in scoring defense surrendering a horrid 45.6 points per contest, an average that has been rising steadily.

All things considered, giving less than a field goal seems extremely reasonable here vs. a team that seems to have given up, as although both teams are 1-8, at least Western Michigan is on an upswing and may have found its quarterback of the future.

Give the small spot and look for the Broncos to make it two wins in a row following an 0-8 start at Eastern Michigan on Saturday.

[gameodds]6/241050/?r-1=238-92-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

College Football Pick: Western Michigan -2½ (-106)