Western Michigan is licking its wounds this week as it plays host to Kent State.
Coming off a 45-20 loss at home to Ball State, the Broncos had a 4-game win streak snapped. The setback also left the Broncos looking up in the Mid-American Conference.
Can WMU right the ship this week? Oddsmakers at Michigan sportsbooks seem to think so.
Kent State at Western Michigan: MAC Football Odds, NCAA Week 7
Oddsmakers like Western Michigan at home vs. Kent State
Western Michigan began as a comfortable favorite at home this week.
Oddsmakers were listing the Broncos as a 6.5-point home favorite almost across the board against Kent State by Tuesday afternoon. BetRivers Sportsbook had the spread at 7.5 points.
Moneylines range from -240 to -260 for WMU, while Kent State ranges from +185 to +210.
Most sportsbooks have the over/under total in this game at 65.5 points. DraftKings Sportsbook has the total at 65 points.
Western Michigan is 3-2-1 against the spread right now, with the under on a 4-2 clip. Kent State is 2-4 against the spread, with the under hitting on five of six occasions.
WMU is 35-20-1 all-time against Kent State. The Broncos have won the past two meetings, including the last encounter in 2017. The Golden Flashes have covered in three of the past four against WMU.
How to watch: Western Michigan vs. Kent State
- What: Kent State (3-3, 2-0 MAC) at Western Michigan (4-2, 1-1)
- When: 3:30 p.m. ET, Saturday, Oct. 16
- Where: Waldo Stadium in Kalamazoo
- TV: ESPNU (Announcers: John Schriffen, Rene Ingoglia)
- Online livestream: ESPN+
- Radio: Bronco Radio Network
Western falls flat in second half vs. Ball State
Western Michigan actually led multiple times against Ball State and was tied 17-all at halftime last weekend.
However, the Cardinals scored 28 unanswered points to pull away.
The effort can’t be blamed on the defense. WMU allowed just 375 total yards to Ball State and held the Cardinals to 65 rushing yards. It was the Bronco offense that committed four turnovers in the loss, one of which was a fumble return for a touchdown.
On the season, Western has been a strong defense. The Broncos rank 26th nationally in total defense (312.3 ypg), while being inside the top 40 in passing defense and rushing defense.
Offensively, Kaleb Eleby struggled under center. He was just 19 of 33 passing for 257 yards with two interceptions. He also fumbled the ball three times, losing two of them. The interceptions were the first of the season for Eleby.
WMU still relies a lot on its 1-2 punch in the backfield of La’Darius Jefferson and Sean Tyler. The two have combined for 849 yards and 10 scores on the season.
Kent State rolling in MAC play
Kent State opened the season just 1-3 in non-conference play, but those were losses to Power 5 teams Texas A&M, Iowa and Maryland.
The Golden Flashes have bounced back nicely in MAC play with a 27-20 win over Bowling Green and a 48-38 win over Buffalo last week.
Against the Bulls, Kent State led 31-10 at halftime and then managed to give up 28 points to Buffalo in the third to fall behind. The Flashes then regrouped with a field goal before a 14-0 fourth quarter to get a win.
Kent State amassed 633 yards in the victory, including a 407-yard performance from quarterback Dustin Crum. Crum had three scores and connected with Dante Cephas for 13 catches for 186 yards and all three passing touchdowns.
Crum also rushed for 72 yards and two scores to put together nearly 500 yards of total offense.
Defensively, Kent State can’t be happy with giving up 549 yards to the Bulls. That total included 312 rushing yards.
For the year, Kent State is among the worst defensive teams in the nation. The Golden Flashes rank 110th in total defense (449.3 ypg) and 96th in scoring defense (29.3).
Where the Broncos can really attack is on the ground. Kent State is giving up nearly 200 rushing yards per contest this season.