Western Kentucky -3.5 vs UL-Monroe
Western Kentucky welcomes Louisiana-Monroe for Homecoming this Saturday as it looks to beat the spread for the 16th consecutive game (yes, that’s right 15-0 the last 15 ATS). This is arguably the game of the year in the Sun Belt between the two teams many feel will finish first and second. In essence, this is the Sun Belt conference championship game and these two teams are not short on the league’s most talented players.
WKU comes into the game as winners of 5 of 6 (their lone loss came @Alabama), including 2-0 in the Sun Belt. The Hilltoppers are lead by senior quarterback Kawaun Jakes. The 6’3” signal caller has thrown for 1079 yards, 11 TDs and only 3 picks on the season. Not to mention he is completing 68% of his passes (73% at home). Jakes isn’t the only play maker in the backfield for WKU. RB Antonio Andrews leads the team in both rushing and receiving.
ULM is certainly no slouch. If you recall, they opened the season with a win at then #8 Arkansas and followed up the season opening upset with hard fought losses @Auburn (31-28 in OT) and at home to Baylor (47-42). It goes without saying that the Warhawks can play some good football and won’t be intimidated by Western Kentucky. Junior QB Kolton Browning anchors the attack for ULM. The mobile QB has thrown for over 1600 yards/14 TDs/3 INTs including a 412 yard performance in the upset at Arkansas.
Defensively, the edge goes the Western Kentucky. The Hilltoppers have at least two all-conference defenders: lineman Quanterus Smith and cornerback Jonathan Dowling. Smith and Dowling lead the Sun Belt in sacks and interceptions, respectively.
What Will Happen: This is a huge conference game between two relatively even teams. ULM gets the edge on offense, but Western Kentucky has more impact players on the defensive side of the ball. In a game of this magnitude, the intangibles are huge. It’s a home game as well as Homecoming for the Hilltoppers and as winners of 12 of their last 15 games, WKU knows how to get it done. Plus, as of writing this, 70% of the money is coming in on ULM, but the line has moved from WKU as a 2.5 point favorite to 3.5. Smart money is on the Hilltoppers.
Prediction: Western Kentucky 33 Louisiana-Monroe 23
The Play: Western Kentucky -3.5
ATS Record: 4-5