Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 9:00 AM EST. Odds subject to change.
Western Michigan -3 over Eastern Michigan
Rynearson Stadium – Ypsilanti, MI
1:00 PM EST. Spotting points on the road is not something we look for, but there is a time and a place for it. There are a confluence of factors that warrant such an action here.
Last week Eastern Michigan was touted out by many “experts” as a bet of the week taking back +11½ points on the road at Northern Illinois. Salivating to scoop up the points, the market swarmed the Eagles and Eastern Michigan cashed beautifully. Against the hosting Huskies, EMU was defeated 20-13 but the Eagles were never in jeopardy of not covering. You see, Eastern Michigan took a 13-10 lead into the fourth quarter and the game was deadlocked at 13 with a minute to go before Northern Illinois would find the end zone and nudge to the front. Time, set, match and to the window the bettors went for an easy and satisfying cover. Eastern Michigan has now covered four consecutive outings but to bet on them again this week would mean you are too late to the EMU “ticket cashing party”.
Meanwhile, the favored Broncos have won just one game in their previous six outings and yet the bookmakers have installed them as the chalk? Moreover, Western Michigan has yet to win a game on the road this year while Eastern Michigan is undefeated at home. When we add in that the Eagles have covered the last five meetings between these two rivals overall and boast a four-game winning streak against Western Michigan, how on Earth are the Broncos favored here? Your guess is as good as ours but either the bookmakers have committed a tremendous error or EMU is an enormous sucker bet. Given all the mechanics we have outlined and the fact that the books took one on the chin last week with the Eagles cashing comfortably as a public underdog, we would infer the latter.
Indeed, Western Michigan has won just one game in their last six matches but who were the six culprits responsible for handing the Broncos a loss? We’ll list them: Syracuse (an ACC team that Western played on the road), Iowa (another road game against a B1G opponent who was ranked last week), Toledo (a team that only lost to Illinois by two points in Champaign this year), Mississippi State (a SEC team in another notoriously hostile environment), Miami Ohio (presently 6-2), and Ohio (on the road again against the defending MAC Champion, which incidentally WMU only lost by a field goal).
By contrast Eastern Michigan has beaten the following: Howard (FCS), UMass (a dreg they beat by two points), Kent State (a team that has only beat FCS Central Connecticut State this year), and Ball State. EMU’s four losses came at Minnesota, at Jacksonville State, and at two of the middle of the road MAC teams in Central Michigan and the aforementioned Northern Illinois.
WMU QB Hayden Wolff is the vastly superior QB here. Dude was 30-of-42 for 290 yards with one touchdown in the close loss to the Bobcats while Eastern Michigan’s QB Austin Smith was 14-of-26 for 151 yards and two interceptions. EMU bettors got to the window last week against the Huskies but that run of wins against the spread is about to crash. WMU is sick of losing to this inferior team so expect the Broncos to bring everything they have. Since 2019, the Eagles have won as a 9-point dog, a 13½-point dog, a 6-point dog and as a 4-point dog last season. Not only are EMU backers late to the ticket cashing party of late, they are four years too late to the EMU ticket cashing party as a pooch to this superior opponent. That party is over.
Western Michigan -3 -108 (Risking 2.16 units - To Win: 2.00)