Little Caesars Bowl
Western Michigan vs. Purdue
Tuesday, 1:30 pm PT - ESPN
Purdue -2.5 O/U 60
Purdue -2.5 O/U 60
Teddy Covers’ Betting Take:
Western Michigan has not stepped up in class well at any point during the Bill Cubit era. The Broncos entered the season in the midst of an 0-5 SU and ATS run against BCS conference competition. They did knock off one BCS foe this year – UConn – but the Huskies were not a bowl team and they scored 31points against Western Michigan’s defense, just shy of their season high. The Broncos did not fare well against other bowl teams. They gave up 66 points in a loss to Toledo; 51 in a loss to Northern Illinois. Michigan and Illinois beat the Broncos by a combined margin of 57-30. Starting quarterback Alex Carder is expected to be fully healthy for this bowl game after missing time following a late season shoulder injury and wide receiver Jordan White caught a whopping 128 passes this year. Simply put, Western can score plenty of points. But their defense, like so many in the MAC, is slow and undersized, vulnerable to a balanced Purdue attack.
The Boilermakers haven’t been bowling since their last trip to Detroit back in 2007; a wild 51-48 overtime win over Central Michigan. But after three straight losing campaigns, Purdue stole three late season victories – including two over bowl bound Ohio State and Illinois – to earn the first bid of the Danny Hope era. Purdue has some potentially significant suspension and injury issues. The team’s leading tackler, LB Dwayne Beckford, has been suspended following a DUI arrest. Two other defensive starters, LB Will Lucas and DE Gerald Gooden, were both arrested earlier this week for removing the wheel locks from their cars after they had been clamped for unpaid parking tickets. Their punishment has not yet been announced. Leading rusher Ralph Bolden is out with a torn ACL, leaving Purdue as a short-handed favorite for Tuesday’s showdown.
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