The 10th First Responder Bowl features two interesting teams from lower level conferences as the Western Michigan Broncos and the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers meet up in Texas. This will be the first time both of these teams play in this bowl.
Western Michigan finished the 2019 regular season with a 7-5 overall record and a 5-3 record in the MAC. The Broncos missed out on the MAC Championship Game with a loss in the final game. WMU is bowling for the second consecutive season and will look to improve on their 1-8 all-time bowl record.
Western Kentucky finished the regular season with an 8-4 overall record and a 6-2 record in Conference USA. The Hilltoppers are back in a bowl game for the first time since 2017 and will look to improve on their 3-2 all-time bowl record.
Below is my pick for the First Responders Bowl between the Western Michigan Broncos and the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers. All lines are from the PointsBet Sportsbook.
Western Michigan Broncos vs Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (-3.5): O/U 51.5 points (-115/-105)
Western Michigan needed a win and they would have been in the MAC Championship Game, but the Broncos went to Northern Illinois and fell 17-14 to the Huskies. Northern Illinois got up 10-0 and never looked back as they led by that 10 point margin for most of the game. Western Michigan finished the regular season winning three of their final four games. WMU went 1-5 away from Kalamazoo this season. Western Michigan is 5-6-1 against the spread and the under hit in seven of their 12 games this season.
Western Kentucky ended their regular season with a narrow 31-26 win over Middle Tennessee State. The Hilltoppers trailed 20-17 early in the fourth quarter, but scored 14 unanswered points to secure the win. WKU finished the regular season on a three game winning streak. The Hilltoppers went 4-1 away from home this season. Western Kentucky is 8-4 against the spread and both the over and under his six times this season.
Series History: These two teams have met 15 times before, but not since 1947, and Western Michigan leads the all-time series 11-3-1.
ATS Prediction: Western Kentucky -3.5 is the play here.
YTD College Football Results: 68-57-2