The MAC West is a logjam but if the Broncos can pull out a win in the week 12 Western Michigan at Eastern Michigan matchup they would still have hopes (faint) at representing the division in the conference championship game. WMU would need two losses from NIU as well as Toledo, Ball State, and Central Michigan to falter over the last two games of the season but it’s still possible.
Eastern Michigan is out of the running for a conference title berth due to their 27-20 loss to NIU which would give the Huskies the tie breaker. Both WMU and CMU are bowl eligible at 6-4, and obviously the winner on Tuesday night will improve their chances at the postseason. Western Michigan is a -5.5 favorite in this meeting.
Can Western Michigan Control the Trenches?
The Broncos have dropped three of their last five, mostly due to a defense that has given up at least 31 points in five straight games. That’s not ideal heading into a matchup with an EMU squad that is the highest scoring team in the MAC putting up 34.0 ppg.
The Broncos are coming off a 45-40 win over Akron last week but they were -26 point underdogs against the 2-8 Zips. Akron is the lowest scoring team in the conference, but also got TDs on a 94-yard kickoff return and a 24-yard INT return.
On the bright side for WMU they ran for 316 yards on the ground vs. Akron, although it should be noted the zips have the worst run defense in the MAC (EMU is 6th). Sean Tyler had 147 yards rushing on just 16 carries, just his second 100+ yard game of the season. Western Michigan Kaleb Eleby has two 300+ yard passing games on the year, but he also has 15 TDs to just 4 INT on the year.
Eastern Michigan Can Score Here
EMU is coming off a 34-26 loss to Ohio last week breaking a two game streak of scoring 50+ points. The Eagles have hung 50+ points in three of the last seven games, and Tuesday’s betting total is ‘only’ 66.
Eastern Michigan does most of their damage through the air as their passing game is 2nd in the MAC putting up 276.7 ypg. QB Ben Bryant was 41/57 for 354 yards last week in the loss to the Bobcats. Bryant now has 330+ yards passing in three of the last four games, and is up against a WMU defense that allowed 305 yards through the air to Akron QB Zach Gibson last week.
The EMU defense has to step up against the Western Michigan rush offense, and the Eagles allow almost 200 ypg on the ground. Ohio ran the ball 42 times for 265 yards against Eastern Michigan last week.
Week 12 Western Michigan at Eastern Michigan Pick
Eastern Michigan won this game 53-42 in Kalamazoo last season with both teams putting up 300+ yards through the air and another 200+ on the ground. EMU was a +13.5 underdog in this matchup so although the Broncos are in a revenge game spot, there’s no way WMU should be a -5.5 favorite on the road in this matchup.
Eastern Michigan 46 – Western Michigan 38
Free Pick: Eastern Michigan +5.5