Monday Underdog POWER-SHOCKER ~ 17-8 L25 NCAAF! +$24,600 Run L39 Days!
Western Michigan vs. Wisconsin,
01/02/2017 13:00 EDT,
Score: 16 - 24
Point Spread: +8½/-110 Western Michigan
8* Western Michigan (1:00 ET): The MAC is notoriously awful in bowl games and 2016 was no different. It was a big "0-fer" in December w/ the conference losing all five opportunities. However, with the exception of Central Michigan's awful showing against Tulsa in the Miami Beach Bowl (55-10 loss), all the other games were close. In fact, Toledo, Ohio, Eastern Michigan and Miami OH all lost by five points or less, two of them covering. Those four losses came by a combined 13 points. So this is a storyline that will likely be overplayed in the analysis leading up to the Cotton Bowl. Furthermore, it's grossly unfair to lump Western Michigan in w/ the rest of the conference. The 13-0 Broncos are likely the best team EVER to come out of the MAC and because of HC PJ Fleck, you know they'll be supremely motivated Monday afternoon. So take the points.
While motivation couldn't be higher for Western Michigan, I'm not sure that will be the case for the Wisconsin side. In the past, we've seen the Power 5 team matched up w/ a "Group of Five" team in the "New Year's Day Bowl Game." In fact, since the new playoff system was institued two years ago, we've seen upsets both times. In the 2015 Fiesta Bowl, Boise State beat Arizona 38-30. Last year, in the Peach Bowl, Houston took care of Florida State 38-24. So the precedent is set for the Badgers to lay an egg here. Especially considering the disappointing ending to their regular season, which saw them blow a 28-7 lead in the Big 10 Championship Game. Yes, their only three losses came to Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State. But their best win - against overrated LSU - was by just two points.
When I call Western Michigan "(possibly) the best MAC team in history," it's not hyperbole. In nine conference games, the Broncos outscored foes by a whopping 221 points. The MAC Title Game vs. Ohio was a bit closer than you'd like to see, but still they put up 29 pts on a very good defense. This sets up as a bit of a defensive affair as well, but I still give WMU the edge on the offensive side of the ball w/ the combo of QB Zach Terrell and WR Corey Davis. Plus, the Wisconsin defense was certainly susceptible to the "big play" against Penn State, an offense that is no more dynamic than Western Michigan's. While 4-0 ATS as a dog this year, Wisconsin was just 3-3 ATS when laying more than a touchdown. WMU is on an 11-3 ATS run as a dog the L3 seasons and has already beaten two "lesser" Big 10 teams - Northwestern and Illinois - this season, both on the road! 8* Western Michigan