Potato Bowl Pick

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Famous Idaho

Potato Bowl

Central Michigan 

vs.

Wyoming

12/22/17 

The Potato Bowl features a team that’s on a hot streak and another that hasn’t figured it out this season. Central Michigan will try and carry over its five-Game winning streak to beat a Wyoming team that has scored 24 points in the last two Games. Still, bookmakers don’t know what to make of this matchup and the Cowboys were early -1 point favorites at 5Dimes Sportsbook.

Wyoming had high hopes this season with NFL hopeful Josh Allen at quarterback, but that’s been far from the case. He missed the last two Games because of a shoulder sprain and that’s led to some iffy outings, but he should be 100 percent for this Game. That’s key in backing Wyoming because at the end of the day, Allen only had three losses when he started with all of them against tough competition in Iowa, Oregon and Boise.

Central may be playing well, but beating up on weaker MAC teams doesn’t say much. The Chippewas have appeared to at least turn a corner since early in the season when the offense couldn’t move the ball against the likes of Syracuse and Miami (OH). Getting something going offensively will be key because Wyoming’s defense has led the way most of the season, allowing less than 18 points per Game.

After an extremely rough start to the season, former Michigan quarterback Shane Morris has been the main reason for CMU’s turnaround. He threw 12 touchdowns and 11 picks in the first seven Games of the season, but has posted 14 touchdowns and only two picks in the last five Games. Some of that has to do with Schedule, but it’s still a huge difference no matter the opponent. That’s also led to better numbers for running back Jonathan Ward, who’s up to 1,349 total yards and 11 touchdowns this season.

The question will be if that offense can continue rolling against the Wyoming defense that’s giving up more rushing yards than passing (172 to 160). That all points to Ward and the running Game and if he can find room, that would be huge for the Chips. And while Wyoming’s defense has been good, there aren’t many great offenses in the MWC so it’s not easy to judge.

Funny enough on the other side, Central also gives up more rushing yards than passing yards per Game (190 to 188). However, that may not work in Wyoming’s favor with the team averaging just 3.6 yards per carry. That’s part of the reason this offense has struggled because they continue to run more than pass, even with Allen. Speaking of Allen, even though he missed the last two Games, his numbers were still down across the board from a year ago. From completing 56.2 percent of his passes to having just 6.61 yards per attempt, it hasn’t been easy. Allen has only lost to elite teams, but also hasn’t beaten many quality squads.

 

CMU was an early underdog, but its offense is rolling and has a 5-2 record on the road, which could come in handy. The Chippewas are 1-5 ATS in their last six non-Conference Games, but are 4-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record. The Cowboys are 1-4 ATS in their last five against the MAC.

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