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The Miami (Ohio) Redhawks make the trip to Michigan to face the Western Michigan Broncos from the Waldo Stadium, Kalamazoo on Saturday at noon. Despite the Redhawks coming into this game on the back of a win and the Broncos going down in their previous game, Western Michigan are two-touchdown favorites in this one.
Redhawks beat Buffalo, but work aplenty aheadForm
Middling. A 2-3 record attests to that. They began the season with a 30-14 loss to No. 20 Iowa. The Redhawks were even defeated by Cincinnati, before being drubbed 76-5 by No. 6 Ohio State. However, they bounced back strongly, with a 34-20 win against Buffalo last week, their second win of the season.
It didn't always look like a cruise for the Redhawks. But then they scored 31 straight points, led by Jaylon Bester's strong rushing game (107 yards on the ground), including a touchdown. The Redhawks were splendid against Buffalo's passing game, limiting them to just 89 yards in the air.
— Miami Football (@MiamiOHFootball) October 8, 2019
The Redhawks need to put in some work on both ends of the field. Despite two wins, they have poor offensive stats. They average just 22.8 points per game, 102nd in the country. They also average just 133.6 yards in the air (126th overall) and 105.6 yards on the ground (118th).
Wassink solid, but Western Michigan lose to ToledoForm
Inconsistent. Or consistent, depending on how you see this. The Broncos have a record of W-L-W-L-W-L, with a 3-3 record to date. They've put away teams they've expected to beat, but not been able to put much together against teams ahead of them. They would be particularly perturbed by their 31-24 defeat to Toledo in their previous game.
Toledo scored in their first two possessions, taking a 14-0 lead. Jon Wassink had a solid game, throwing for 303 yards and two touchdowns. Wassink's season tally is now at 1769 passing yards with 12 touchdowns. However, the Broncos were unable to stifle Bryant Koback, the MAC's leading rusher, allowing him 177 yards on 21 carries.
Led by Wassink, the Broncos have some very strong passing stats. They average 300 yards per game, 24th in the country. They also have a very favorable point differential for a team with a 3-3 record. They score 35 points per game and allow 28.7 points, a positive delta of 6.3 points per game.
In another game they're expected to win, the Broncos should see this next one through. However, they need to translate their offensive prowess into wins against teams that are challenging them. Wassink and the rest of the offense, including LeVante Bellamy (629 yards on 101 carries) will need to lead that turnaround.
Western Michigan Broncos are:
- 4-0 ATS in their last 4 home games.
Miami (Ohio) Redhawks are:
- 6-16 ATS in their last 22 games after allowing less than 170 yards passing in their previous game.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Broncos are a strong unit. Their offense ranks in the top 20 in the country, leading them to three wins this season. Let's take a look at one of the match-ups that could really matter in this one. The Broncos offense are averaging 485 yards per game, while the Redhawks defense allows 433 yards. But the game could be won on a bigger differential on the other end of the field. The Redhawks average just 239.6 yards of offense per game. That should be enough for a win by more than two touchdowns.
Prediction: Western Michigan Broncos -13.5
Full-Game Total Pick
It's a contest between two teams on different ends of the offensive efficiency spectrum. The Broncos have been sterling (17th nationally) with 300 yards passing per game. That is too good for them not to score plenty. However, for this handicap, the game could be decided by the inefficiency of the Redhawks, who have struggled offensively. They average just 2.6 yards per rush, which shouldn't translate into too many points.
Prediction: Under 56