Here’s a quick betting preview for the college football bowl game action Monday, Dec. 27.
Quick Lane Bowl (11 a.m. ET) — Nevada vs. (-7) Western Michigan, 56.5
One storyline to watch: How does Nevada handle schedule adversity?
An 11 a.m. ET kickoff is tough for just about everyone, but it has to be a very weird situation for Nevada. That’s the equivalent of an 8 a.m. kick in Nevada, which is something the Wolf Pack probably doesn’t have a ton of experience doing. Obviously, they didn’t just land and head to Ford Field, but you have to wonder whether their internal clocks have fully adjusted. And if that weren’t enough, the Western Michigan campus in Kalamazoo is about a 2-hour drive from Detroit, making this a much easier trip for the Broncos, not to mention a de facto home game for fans and alumni in the area. Nevada also will be playing its first game without head coach Jay Norvell, who is headed to Colorado State and won’t be on the sidelines for this one, and quarterback Carson Strong is sitting out to protect his NFL draft stock.
One trend to know: Nevada is 10-1 against the spread in its last 11 games as underdogs (The Athletic)
Pick: Nevada +7
When the bowl game matchups were announced, the Wolf Pack opened as 6.5-point favorites, so this line has swung two touchdowns since then. Losing a head coach and a quarterback obviously is tough to handle, but Western Michigan isn’t without its own faults. The Broncos went 2-5-1 ATS down the stretch, favored in each of those eight games. Defense was a bit of an issue, as they allowed at least 31 points in five of those games. Then there’s the overall standing of the MAC, with MAC teams going 2-6-1 ATS in their last nine Quick Lane Bowl appearances (per VSiN). If Nevada can protect the ball, it has a chance to put up some points regardless of who’s under center and keep it close.