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Western Michigan vs Nevada Quick Lane Bowl Picks & Predictions

David Caraviello for Bookies.com

David Caraviello  | 5 mins

Western Michigan vs Nevada Quick Lane Bowl Picks & Predictions

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Nothing says college football bowl season better than an 11 a.m. ET kickoff in Detroit. And for one team in the Quick Lane Bowl, it will feel even earlier.

That would be the Nevada Wolf Pack, which is +3 in the game against Western Michigan, and will be playing at 8 a.m. body time. The Mountain West team will also play without head coach Jay Norvell, who left to take the job at Colorado State. Running backs coach Vai Taua is running the show on an interim basis. And to add another disadvantage, their opponents are busing in from just two hours away in Kalamazoo.

The boys from Reno remain a slight underdog despite winning eight games and beating California and Boise State in the regular season. Western Michigan won at ACC champ Pitt, but then finished .500 in a deep Mid-American Conference that sent a record eight teams to bowls. And anyone looking for college football betting action on a Monday morning will surely appreciate this one under the Ford Field roof in Detroit.

Odds subject to change.

Western Michigan vs Nevada Key Matchups

Carson Strong vs. Ali Fayad: Strong, Nevada’s quarterback, was named MWC Offensive Player of the Year after passing for 4,175 yards and 36 TDs. He’ll be pursued by Fayad, the Mid-American Conference Defensive Player of the Year, who has 11.5 sacks for WMU.

Skyy Moore vs. Daiyan Henley: Moore is WMU’s big-play receiver, with a MAC-leading 114 receiving yards per game. Henley is Nevada’s hybrid linebacker and safety who’s picked off four passes, second in the MWC, returning one for a touchdown.

Sean Tyler and La’Darius Jefferson vs. Dom Peterson: The Broncos’ tailback tandem combined for 1,830 yards and 19 TDs, and will face a Nevada defensive tackle who’s among the school career leaders in tackles for loss.

RELATED: College Football Bowl Games Ultimate Betting Guide

5 Key Western Michigan vs Nevada Stats

1-1: Western Michigan’s record against the spread as an underdog this season, with a 44-41 victory at Pittsburgh and a 47-14 loss at Michigan.

4-3: Nevada’s record against the spread this season as a favorite, a mark that includes covers against Idaho State, Hawaii, UNLV and Colorado State.

34:54: Western Michigan’s average time of possession per game, good enough to rank sixth nationally.

11: Number of passing touchdowns thrown by Nevada’s Strong over his past three games.

387: Number of receiving yards recorded over the last two games by WMU’s Moore, including 206 in his regular-season finale at Northern Illinois.

Western Michigan vs Nevada Moneyline

Nevada is a +120 moneyline underdog, according to sportsbooks, while Western Michigan is a -140 favorite. Here’s the big question for those making college football picks on this game: Are an interim head coach and an 8 a.m. body-time start enough to offset what otherwise looks like the better team?

For Nevada, those are real concerns, as is the fact that Western Michigan has a very good pass defense allowing just 191 yards per game. That’s all enough to swing us to the de facto home team, and a moneyline which offers some value despite being a negative number.

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Western Michigan vs Nevada Point Spread

Nevada is a 3-point underdog, according to betting sites. Nevada’s high-flying offense is easy to fall in love with, but it’s natural to worry about the timing in a morning kickoff two time zones east of home.

And if the Broncos are able to disrupt that pass game even a little, the Pack has zero run game to fall back on - they average 73.5 rush yards per game, last in the MWC. Nevada’s mediocre defense presents its own issues. If you’re taking the Broncos outright on the moneyline, you’re certainly taking these college football odds and backing Western Michigan as a slight favorite.

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Western Michigan vs Nevada Totals

The total is 61.5, according to betting apps. All jokes about the location and kickoff time aside, this shapes up as a fun matchup of two teams capable of putting up yards and points. Nevada averages 439 yards and 36.7 points per game, while Western Michigan averages 462 yards and 30.8 points.

While he hasn’t received all the accolades of Strong, WMU quarterback Kaleb Eleby is outstanding in his own right with 21 TDs and a MAC-leading 3,115 passing yards. Nevada went over in eight of its last 11, WMU in five of its last seven, and the over seems the natural play here.

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About the Author

David Caraviello for Bookies.com
David Caraviello
Veteran sports journalist David Caraviello has covered college football, college basketball, motorsports and golf, covering all three US golf majors, the Daytona 500 and SEC football.