Western Michigan vs. Central Michigan Football Betting: Will the Chippewas end the Broncos’ recent dominance in Mount Pleasant?

Eddie Griffin

On Wednesday night, in-state rivals Western Michigan and Central Michigan will duke it out in Mount Pleasant in their annual battle for the Victory Cannon.

The Western Michigan vs. Central Michigan matchup has taken place 92 times on the gridiron, but the Broncos and Chippewas have only been playing for the Victory Cannon since 2008.

Central Michigan claimed the trophy each of the first three years, but since then, the series has been dominated by Western Michigan, who has won eight of the last 11 meetings, including each of the last five at CMU.

However, the Chippewas won last year in Kalamazoo, and they are heavily favored to log consecutive wins for the first time since 2006 to 2010.

With a win on Wednesday, Central Michigan will enter its season finale at Eastern Michigan with a shot to finish with six wins and be in contention for a potential bowl berth. So, bragging rights and a trophy will not be the only things on the line in this game.

Western Michigan Broncos vs. Central Michigan Chippewas Matchup Information and Betting Odds

Matchup Information

  • Matchup: Western Michigan Broncos (3-7, 2-4 MAC, 6th in the MAC West) vs. Central Michigan Chippewas (4-6, 3-3 MAC, 4th in the MAC West)
  • Venue & Location: Kelly/Shorts Stadium (Mount Pleasant, Michigan)
  • Date: Wednesday, November 16, 2022
  • Game Time: 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time
  • How to Watch Western Michigan vs. Central Michigan: ESPNU

Western Michigan vs. Central Michigan Odds

Game odds are via FanDuel as of Sunday, November 13, 2022, at 6:20 p.m. ET. This article may also include odds from our other recommended legal sports betting sites.

Spread

  • Western Michigan +9.5 (-105)
  • Central Michigan -9.5 (-115)

Over/Under

  • Over 49.5 (-110)
  • Under 49.5 (-110)

Moneyline

  • Western Michigan +315
  • Central Michigan -410

Chippewas Chasing Third Straight Win

This season could not have started any worse for Central Michigan, as the Chippewas won only one of their first six games. That included losses in their first two conference games at Toledo and at home against Ball State.

But they enter Wednesday’s game with three wins in their last four games. Last Wednesday, they rallied from down 24-7 halftime to beat Buffalo 31-27, thanks to a monster performance by true freshman QB Bert Emanuel Jr.

Emanuel, son of former NFL wide receiver Bert Emanuel, didn’t make his impact against the Bulls through the air.

With leading rusher Lew Nicholes III out due to injury, Emanuel, who had logged six carries for 30 yards in his collegiate debut against Northern Illinois a couple of weeks ago, got the lion’s share of the carries. And he made the most of his opportunities, going for 293 yards and three touchdowns on 24 carries.

It remains to be seen what kind of role he will have against Western Michigan and if Nichols will return to action.

Either way, the Broncos, who allowed 220 rushing yards on 45 attempts in last week’s 24-21 loss to Northern Illinois, will have their hands full at Kelly/Shorts Stadium.

Nichols (561 yards, 3.5 yards per carry, 8 TD; 20 catches, 128 yards, 0 TD) has had a bit of a disappointing year after a monster season in 2021 (1,848 yards, 5.4 yards per carry, 16 TD; 40 catches, 336 yards, 2 TD).

But with Emanuel’s big night against Buffalo, the Chippewas now have four players who have run for 100+ yards this season.

100-Yard Rushers for Central Michigan in 2022

  • RB Lew Nichols III: one time (vs. Bucknell: 30 attempts, 166 yards, 2 TD)
  • RB Marion Lukes: one time (at Akron: 26 attempts, 160 yards, 2 TD)
  • QB Jase Bauer: twice (vs. Bowling Green: 16 attempts, 109 yards; at Northern Illinois: 14 attempts, 109 yards, 2 TD)
  • QB Bert Emanuel Jr.: one time (vs. Buffalo: 24 carries, 293 yards, 3 TD)

Western Michigan vs. Central Michigan Prediction and Picks

Western Michigan vs. Central Michigan Prediction: Central Michigan to win

Western Michigan vs. Central Michigan Picks: Western Michigan/Central Michigan under (Best Value: under 50 @ -110 at Caesars Sportsbook) & Central Michigan to cover (Best Value: -9.5 @ -115 at FanDuel)

The Broncos have been able to stay competitive recently due to their defense, but their offense continues to struggle mightily.

Running back Sean Tyler, a 1,000-yard rusher last season, is having a decent year with 719 yards rushing. But after averaging 6.5 yards per carry in 2021, he is averaging only 4.4 yards per carry this year. Overall, the Broncos are averaging just 3.4 yards per attempt on the ground.

The aerial attack hasn’t been overly successful either, with the team’s QBs combining to complete just 51.9 percent of their passes, average just 183.2 yards per game, and toss more interceptions (12) than touchdowns (10).

Both of these teams have had issues with turnovers this season, and the Chippewas have more giveaways (23–17 via lost fumbles) than the Broncos (20).

But the Chippewas look a bit more put together on offense than their rivals at the moment, and while they may not hit the 30-point mark for a third straight game, I think they will come away with a comfortable win over the Broncos to retain the Victory Cannon.

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Eddie Griffin
Eddie Griffin

Eddie Griffin has been writing about and Betting on sports for over a decade. For more of his thoughts on sports and sports betting, you can follow him on Twitter.

Eddie Griffin has been writing about and Betting on sports for over a decade. For more of his thoughts on sports and sports betting, you can follow him on Twitter.