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Western Michigan vs. Middle Tennessee - 12/24/15 College Football Bahamas Bowl Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (7-5) at Western Michigan Broncos (7-5)

College Football: Thursday, December 24, 2015 at 12:00 pm (Thomas Robinson Stadium)

The Line: Western Michigan Broncos -3 -- Over/Under: 60 See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN

The Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders and Western Michigan Broncos will face off in the Popeyes Bahamas Bowl on Thursday, December 24th in College Football action.

The Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders won their last four regular season games and finished with an overall record of 7-5. The Blue Raiders lost some early matchups to Western Kentucky and Louisiana Tech but finished with a respectable 6-2 conference record which earned them 2nd place in the C-USA East division behind Western Kentucky. Offensively, Middle Tennessee averaged 34.3 ppg on 458.7 total yards per game (310.4 passing, 148.3 rushing). Leading the way for the Blue Raiders was QB Brent Stockstill who completed 66.7% of his passes for 27 TD & 8 INT while throwing for an average of 306.5 yds/game. Stockstill’s main targets on the year were WR Richie Games (8.3 rec/game, 101.7 yds/game, 6 TD) and WR Ed’Marques Batties (6.4 rec/game, 80.0 yds/game, 13 TD). The Blue Raiders had five different RB’s that scored at least 2 TD’s on the year and were led by Jordan Parker who had 6 TD’s while averaging 46.80 yds/game. Defensively, Middle Tennessee allowed their opponents to average 25.1 ppg on 388.3 total yards per game (247.0 passing, 141.3 rushing). The Blue Raiders had trouble with turnovers as they committed 27 turnovers on the season and had a turnover margin of -3.

Western Michigan vs. Middle Tennessee - 12/24/15 College Football Bahamas Bowl Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Western Michigan Broncos had an up and down season finishing the year with a 7-5 over record and a 6-2 MAC-West conference record. The Broncos had a rough schedule to kick of the season playing Michigan State and Ohio State and although they lost two of their last three that cost them a chance for the MAC Championship, they did bet the 24th ranked Toledo Rockets, 35-30, to close out their regular season. Offensively, Western Michigan averaged 35.3 ppg on 480.6 total yards per game (283.4 passing, 197.2 rushing). Leading the way for the Broncos was QB Zach Terrell who completed 66.8% of his passes for 27 TD’s & 8 INT while averaging 269.1 passing yds/game. Terrell had one of the better WR duos in the country in Daniel Braverman (105.8 yds/game, 12 TD) and Corey Davis (104.4 yds/game, 11 TD). The Broncos rushing attack was led by Jamauri Brogan (69.67 yds/game, 12 TD) and Jarvion Franklin (58.25 yds/game, 5 TD). Defensively, Western Michigan allowed opponents to average 28.1 ppg on 411.3 total yards per game (224.8 passing, 186.6 rushing). The Broncos forced opponents into committing 16 turnovers on the season and had a turnover margin of 0.

The Blue Raiders are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games overall and 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games following an ATS win. The Broncos are 4-0 ATS In their last 4 Thursday games and 17-7 ATS in their last 24 games overall.

Middle Tennessee has a solid passing attack however, even though their offense is averaging 34.3 ppg on the season, a big part of the ppg average comes from the 143 combined points they scored against Jackson State and Charlotte who didn't put up much of a fight against anyone this season. Western Michigan was the pre-season favorite in the MAC and although their defense can be shaky at times, they have one of the better overall offenses in the country. Middle Tennessee’s only decent win this season was a 27-24 victory at Marshall and I just don’t think they have enough firepower on either side of the ball to compete with the Broncos in this one. I think Western Michigan wins this one easily and covers this small spread. 

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Western Michigan Broncos -3

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