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Dec 26, 2021

Quick Lane Bowl Picks, Predictions and Odds: Western Michigan vs. Nevada

Dec. 27, 2021
Jonathan Willis
VI Betting Expert
VegasInsider.com

An early Bowl Game is set for Monday morning as the Western Michigan Broncos face the Nevada Wolf Pack in the Quick Lane Bowl. Opening kick is set for 11:00 a.m. ET and will air on ESPN from Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan.

Score Prediction

Western Michigan 34, Nevada 17

Best Bets

Western Michigan -6.5 (-110) at Circa Sports

Quick Lane Bowl Predictions

The MAC has not had good luck in the Quick Lane Bowl. Three MAC teams have taken part in this bowl game, and all three of those teams ended up losing to a Power Five opponent. The Western Michigan Broncos are out to give the MAC their first win in this bowl game, and they are currently a touchdown favorite over the Nevada Wolf Pack.

Nevada was originally close to a touchdown favorite in this game. However, head coach Jay Norvell is now Colorado State’s new head coach, and star quarterback Carson Strong has declared for the 2022 NFL Draft. That gives Western Michigan a great chance to win its first bowl game under head coach (and former star quarterback) Tim Lester.

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Quick Lane Bowl Betting Odds

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Quick Lane Bowl Betting Resources

  • Matchup: MAC vs. Mountain West
  • Date: Monday, December 27, 2021
  • Venue: Ford Field
  • Location: Detroit, Michigan
  • TV-Time: ESPN, 11:00 a.m. ET

Western Michigan Broncos Betting Analysis

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 7-5
  • ATS: 5-6-1
  • O/U: 6-6

The Broncos were pretty impressive in non-conference play, going on the road to beat Kenny Pickett and Pittsburgh, and they also hammered Kent State 64-31 during the regular season. Western Michigan was one of a few teams in the country to have a 3,000-yard quarterback, a 1,000-yard receiver, and two 800-yard rushers.

Kaleb Eleby was a Second Team All-MAC selection at quarterback this season. Eleby was very good for the Broncos this season, completing 63.8% of his passes for 3,115 yards with 21 touchdowns and five interceptions. He threw an interception in three straight games back in November, but Eleby closed out the season by torching MAC champion Northern Illinois for 338 yards and five touchdowns in a 42-21 romp.

Skyy Moore was a First Team All-MAC selection with 91 receptions for 1,256 yards and 10 touchdowns. Jaylen Hall and Corey Crooms were big play threats too by averaging over 16.0 YPR.

This ground game was impressive with Sean Tyler and La’Darius Jefferson being a reliable one-two punch. Tyler led the team with 1,004 yards (6.1 YPC) and nine touchdowns, and Jefferson had 836 yards (4.5 YPC) and 10 scores.

Western Michigan had the 92nd ranked defense per SP+. The Broncos had trouble stopping the run and the pass, but they did get to the quarterback often thanks to Ali Fayad. Fayad was named MAC Defensive Player of the Year by leading the team with 11.5 sacks, and Western Michigan had 35 sacks this season. Unfortunately, they had just three interceptions and ranked second-to-last nationally in interception rate.

Nevada Wolf Pack Betting Analysis

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 8-4
  • ATS: 8-4
  • O/U: 8-4

Nate Cox will be Nevada’s starting quarterback with Strong preparing for the 2022 NFL Draft. The senior has never started a game during his time in Reno, but he will turn heads at 6’9. Cox was not very accurate as a JUCO quarterback, completing just 51.8% of his passes, but he is more mobile than Strong.

Cox does have the benefit of having some solid receivers to throw to in the passing game. Romeo Doubs is one of the most underrated receivers in the country with 80 receptions for 1,109 yards and 11 touchdowns. Tory Horton and Melquan Stovall both had over 50 receptions for more than 600 yards too, but star tight end Cole Turner opted to skip the Quick Lane Bowl to prepare for the draft.

Leading rusher Toa Taua will be available for the Wolf Pack. Taua had 704 yards and five touchdowns, and he averaged 5.1 YPC for Nevada.

The Wolfpack defense will be without one of their star players too. Daiyan Henley led Nevada in tackles and interceptions this season, but he announced that he would be transferring to Washington State last week. Nevada will have a hard time stopping the run without him.

Inside the Stats - Western Michigan Broncos

  • Record: 7-5
  • VI Ranking: 90
  • Points Scored: 370
  • Points Allowed: 343
  • PS/G: 30.8 (48th)
  • PA/G: 28.6 (88th)

Inside the Stats - Nevada Wolf Pack

  • Record: 8-4
  • VI Ranking: 35
  • Points Scored: 440
  • Points Allowed: 293
  • PS/G: 36.7 (15th)
  • PA/G: 24.4 (49th)

Key Players to Watch

  • WMU: Kaleb Eleby - QB (222/349, 3,115 yards, 21 TD, 5 INT)
  • WMU: Sean Tyler - RB (164 carries, 1,004 yards, 9 TD)
  • NEV: Nate Cox - QB (14/20, 158 yards, TD)
  • NEV: Romeo Doubs - WR (80 catches, 1,109 yards, 11 TD)

Quick Lane Bowl Betting Conclusion

Nevada would be the favorite if this game was played during the regular season, but the absence of Strong, Turner, Henley, and Norvell is too much for this team to overcome. Western Michigan will have pseudo home field advantage with the game in Detroit, and they will take full advantage.

Quick Lane Bowl Betting Trends

  • Nevada has covered the spread in five of its last six games away from Reno.
  • Nevada has covered the spread in four of its last five games when playing as the underdog.
  • Nevada has covered the spread in 10 of its last 11 games when playing as the underdog.
  • Nevada has gone OVER the point total in four of its last five Bowl Games.


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