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SERVPRO First Responder Bowl – Western Kentucky Hilltoppers vs. Western Michigan Broncos

C-USA vs MAC

Our 2019 First Responder Bowl pick offers WKU at -3.0. This First Responder Bowl prediction has an over/under of 53.5. The SERVPRO First Responder Bowl is one of four being played on Monday, December 30. This bowl game, which has a 12:30 pm ET start time, will be played at the Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Dallas, Texas. The final game of the day is the Orange Bowl with Florida and Virginia. That game has an 8;00 pm ET kickoff. For a full list of 2019 – 2020 bowl contests, please see our links page.

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (8-4) were 6-2 in Conference USA play. They tied for second in the East Division with the Marshall Thundering Herd. The Florida Atlantic Owls won the division with a 7-1 record. The Western Michigan Broncos (7-5) finished second in the West Division of the Mid-America Conference. Their 5-3 conference record put them one game behind the division-winning Central Michigan Chippewas.

2019 First Responder Bowl Pick – Regular Season

The Hilltoppers went 1-2 over their first three games. After that, they ran off four straight wins, which included a 20-13 win over UAB. That string was followed by two losses. First, the Marshall Thundering Herd beat Western Kentucky 26-23. That was followed by a Florida Atlantic Owls win over the Hilltoppers 35-24. WKU finished their season with three wins in a row.

In contrast to WKU, the Broncos’ season seemed to veer from one loss to one win and then back to another loss. As a result, they never developed a winning streak. In fact, our 2019 First Responder Bowl pick notes that their one streak came near the end of the season and lasted three games. Western Michigan played one nationally-ranked team, #19 Michigan State. The Spartans beat the Broncos 51-17. Over their first eight games, WMU was 4-4. However, they rescued their season by going 3-1 over their final four games. As a result, they’re playing in the First Responder Bowl.

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers vs. Western Michigan Broncos – Stats

The Hilltoppers are putting up 25.6 PPG. On the other hand, the Broncos are good for 34.2 PPG. The contrast continues comparing total offensive yards. On one end, WKU is averaging 380.0 YPG, and on the other end, WMU is accumulating 457.3 offensive YPG. The biggest differential is in ground yards. On the low end, Western Kentucky is posting 128.9 rushing YPG. On the high end, Western Michigan is accumulating 212.7 ground YPG.

In contrast, WKU’s defense does not allow many points. Their defense is giving up 20.1 PPG. In comparison, WMU is allowing opponents 26.2 PPG. Yards allowed come to 337.8 PG for the Hilltoppers and 414.6 PG for the Broncos. With air yards allowed being fairly even, defensive rushing yards are uneven. WKU is giving up just 137.3 ground attack YPG, while WMU is allowing opponents 186.5 running YPG.

Western Kentucky at Western Michigan – Players

WKU offers a solid rush attack and a sound pass attack. Their defense is effective versus the run. However, their passing D is vulnerable. The Bronco offense has three accomplished receivers and a QB who can connect with them. The rush attack is very productive. Although, on the other side of the ball, the defense is vulnerable.

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers

QB Ty Storey comes to this game with 2,209 passing yards, 12 TD passes, and five interceptions. He’s been sacked 16 times. Our 2019 First Responder Bowl pick observes that he has two 70-plus reception pass catchers, Lucky Jackson and Jahcour Pearson. Jackson has 985 receiving yards and three TDs, while Pearson has 772 yards and six scores. RB Gaej Walker has amassed 1,115 yards on 226 carries. As a result, he’s averaging a healthy 4.9 YPA and has scored eight TDs.

The WKU defense has recorded 25 sacks, 10 INTs, and 42 PD. In addition, they’ve forced five fumbles. DL DeAngelo Malone, who has 91 total tackles, leads the team in sacks with 11.5. Also, he lead the team with 51 solo tackles. LB Kyle Bailey tops the team in total tackles with 99. He also has two picks and two PD. DB Antwon Kincade has defended five passes and taken down two picks.

Western Michigan Broncos

For the Broncos, QB Jon Wassink is completing 59.8% of his passes and has made 19 scoring tosses while giving up seven picks. He’s been sacked 17 times. For WMU, three receivers have 45-plus receptions each with TE Giovanni Ricci posting 47 catches. In addition, eight of those receptions have gone for TDs. RB Levante Bellamy has recorded 23 TDs while rushing for 1,412 yards and averaging 5.7 YPA.

The strongest part of the Bronco D is their sack attack. The WMU D has 34 sacks. DE Ali Fayad tops the team with 6.5 sacks. Other defensive markers include 11 INTs, 36 PD, and nine FF. DB Patrick Lupro is skilled. He’s got three picks and six PD.

Five Keys to the Game

In developing our 2019 First Responder Bowl pick, we acknowledge the following keys to this bowl:

  1. Edge at QB goes to WMU
  2. WKU has advantage on defense
  3. The Bronco D offers a good pass rush
  4. WMU RB Bellamy can score
  5. Hilltoppers coming off of a three-game winning streak

Our 2019 First Responder Bowl Pick

Our 2019 First Responder Bowl pick notes that the Western Michigan Broncos bring a tough to stop ground attack. At the same time, Western Kentucky is tough on defense. We’re going to take WKU at -3.0. We think their defense will come through. We’re taking the under at 53.5.

First Responder Bowl Pick – Summary

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers at -3.0 and under 53.5

Our 2019 First Responder Bowl pick offers WKU at -3.0. This First Responder Bowl prediction has an over/under of 53.5. The SERVPRO First Responder Bowl is one of four being played on Monday, December 30. This bowl game, which has a 12:30 pm ET start time, will be played at the Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Dallas, Texas. The Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl with Mississippi State vs. Louisville follows at 4:00 pm ET. For a full list of 2019 – 2020 bowl contests, please see our links page.

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (8-4) were 6-2 in Conference USA play. They tied for second in the East Division with the Marshall Thundering Herd. The Florida Atlantic Owls won the division with a 7-1 record. The Western Michigan Broncos (7-5) finished second in the West Division of the Mid-America Conference. Their 5-3 conference record put them one game behind the division-winning Central Michigan Chippewas.

2019 First Responder Bowl Pick – Regular Season

The Hilltoppers went 1-2 over their first three games. After that, they ran off four straight wins, which included a 20-13 win over UAB. That string was followed by two losses. First, the Marshall Thundering Herd beat Western Kentucky 26-23. That was followed by a Florida Atlantic Owls win over the Hilltoppers 35-24. WKU finished their season with three wins in a row.

In contrast to WKU, the Broncos’ season seemed to veer from one loss to one win and then back to another loss. As a result, they never developed a winning streak. In fact, our 2019 First Responder Bowl pick notes that their one streak came near the end of the season and lasted three games. Western Michigan played one nationally-ranked team, #19 Michigan State. The Spartans beat the Broncos 51-17. Over their first eight games, WMU was 4-4. However, they rescued their season by going 3-1 over their final four games. As a result, they’re playing in the First Responder Bowl.

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers vs. Western Michigan Broncos – Stats

The Hilltoppers are putting up 25.6 PPG. On the other hand, the Broncos are good for 34.2 PPG. The contrast continues comparing total offensive yards. On one end, WKU is averaging 380.0 YPG, and on the other end, WMU is accumulating 457.3 offensive YPG. The biggest differential is in ground yards. On the low end, Western Kentucky is posting 128.9 rushing YPG. On the high end, Western Michigan is accumulating 212.7 ground YPG.

In contrast, WKU’s defense does not allow many points. Their defense is giving up 20.1 PPG. In comparison, WMU is allowing opponents 26.2 PPG. Yards allowed come to 337.8 PG for the Hilltoppers and 414.6 PG for the Broncos. With air yards allowed being fairly even, defensive rushing yards are uneven. WKU is giving up just 137.3 ground attack YPG, while WMU is allowing opponents 186.5 running YPG.

Western Kentucky at Western Michigan – Players

WKU offers a solid rush attack and a sound pass attack. Their defense is effective versus the run. However, their passing D is vulnerable. The Bronco offense has three accomplished receivers and a QB who can connect with them. The rush attack is very productive. Although, on the other side of the ball, the defense is vulnerable.

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers

QB Ty Storey comes to this game with 2,209 passing yards, 12 TD passes, and five interceptions. He’s been sacked 16 times. Our 2019 First Responder Bowl pick observes that he has two 70-plus reception pass catchers, Lucky Jackson and Jahcour Pearson. Jackson has 985 receiving yards and three TDs, while Pearson has 772 yards and six scores. RB Gaej Walker has amassed 1,115 yards on 226 carries. As a result, he’s averaging a healthy 4.9 YPA and has scored eight TDs.

The WKU defense has recorded 25 sacks, 10 INTs, and 42 PD. In addition, they’ve forced five fumbles. DL DeAngelo Malone, who has 91 total tackles, leads the team in sacks with 11.5. Also, he lead the team with 51 solo tackles. LB Kyle Bailey tops the team in total tackles with 99. He also has two picks and two PD. DB Antwon Kincade has defended five passes and taken down two picks.

Western Michigan Broncos

For the Broncos, QB Jon Wassink is completing 59.8% of his passes and has made 19 scoring tosses while giving up seven picks. He’s been sacked 17 times. For WMU, three receivers have 45-plus receptions each with TE Giovanni Ricci posting 47 catches. In addition, eight of those receptions have gone for TDs. RB Levante Bellamy has recorded 23 TDs while rushing for 1,412 yards and averaging 5.7 YPA.

The strongest part of the Bronco D is their sack attack. The WMU D has 34 sacks. DE Ali Fayad tops the team with 6.5 sacks. Other defensive markers include 11 INTs, 36 PD, and nine FF. DB Patrick Lupro is skilled. He’s got three picks and six PD.

Five Keys to the Game

In developing our 2019 First Responder Bowl pick, we acknowledge the following keys to this bowl:

  1. Edge at QB goes to WMU
  2. WKU has advantage on defense
  3. The Bronco D offers a good pass rush
  4. WMU RB Bellamy can score
  5. Hilltoppers

Our 2019 First Responder Bowl Pick

Our 2019 First Responder Bowl pick notes that the Western Michigan Broncos bring a tough to stop ground attack. At the same time, Western Kentucky is tough on defense. We’re going to take WKU at -3.0. We think their defense will come through. We’re taking the under at 53.5.

First Responder Bowl Pick – Summary

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers at -3.0 and under 53.5

pmroczka

Paul has been writing about sports betting and sports for more than a decade, offering picks on the NFL, MLB, NHL, and NBA, as well as on college sports and European football. He's written thousands of season and post-season previews, innumerable articles on sports betting strategies, and various books on sports and sports betting.

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