NCAA Football: San Jose State Spartans vs Western Michigan Broncos Prediction, Odds and Preview - 09/25/2021

by James Q

NCAA Football: San Jose State Spartans vs Western Michigan Broncos Prediction, Odds and Preview - 09/25/2021

Game Time: 2:00 pm ET, Saturday, September 25th, 2021 
Venue: Waldo Stadium, Kalamazoo, Michigan
Where to Watch: ESPN+

Opening NCAAF Odds at USA Sportsbooks

DraftKings:  Spread: Western Michigan -2.5:  O/U: 63
BetMGM:  Spread:  Western Michigan -3:  O/U:  63.5
Caesars:  Spread: Western Michigan -3:  O/U: 63

Season Record

San Jose:  2-1 (Mountain West)
W. Michigan: 2-1 (Mid-American)

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Spartans vs Broncos Preview and Analysis

The San Jose State Spartans opened their season (after missing a whole season for Covid-19) with a big win.  The Spartans beat Southern Utah 45-14.  They plowed into game 2 against USC and were big underdogs.  It showed.  USC beat San Jose (they are having trouble beating anyone else) 30-7.  Game 3 was against a fun and impressive team.  Hawaii.  Hawaii is not thought of by a lot of people, but they do produce a lot of quality players.  A lot of Samoan lineman and big-armed quarterbacks play for Hawaii.  San Jose State won 17-13…. San Jose State is a fun team to watch.  They will never be or compete with top programs from the Power five.  They are loaded with JUCO transfers that are looking for the college degree that comes with playing football long enough.  They are loaded with free thinkers who enjoy the beach and breakfast burritos.  They are Point spread spoilers when they are at their best.

Western Michigan opened with Michigan.  They got a big check for their appearance, and a big loss for their record 47-14.  They got some relief the next week against the Illinois State Redbirds… a 28-0 win.  Then it was tough sledding, hard nosed, down to the wire, to struggle against Pitt.  Pittsburgh did everything under the sun to win game 3 but Western Michigan took it… 44-41. 

Offensive Analysis 
Quarterback Nick Starkel is under center for San Jose State 63-123 937 yards, 6 touchdowns and 4 interceptions.  As a team they score 23 points a game and gain 403.3 yards per game.  The passing game is where they shine with 317.7 yards per game.  The San Jose State odds of winning go up when they control the turnovers.  RB Tyler Neven leads the team in rushing at 149 yards over 3 games, WR Isaiah Hamilton, WR Charlie Ross, and TE Derrick Deese Jr have over 140 yards receiving each.. With WR Jermaine Braddock and TE Sam Olsen having over 100 yards also.  It’s a passing team. 

The Western Michigan Broncos score 28.7 points per game while netting 413.7 yards per game.  Slightly better stats, but essentially the same numbers when adjusted for the level of competition.  QB Kaleb Eleby 58-92 for 702 yards 5 TD’s and 0 INT.  He has a soft offensive line that has allowed him to be sacked 5 times so far.  RB La’Darius Jefferson and RB Sean Tyler have combined for 440 yards rushing.  WR Corey Crooms leads the team in catches and yards 18, 279.  
If you add these two teams' average total points together you get 51.7 points.  The O/U number on this game is 63-63.5… that’s 12-13 points higher. As college football picks go, this is expected to be a high scoring affair. The styles are apparent.  The SJ State offense is pass happy, while the Western Michigan offense is focused on the run.

Defensive Analysis

Western Michigan is ranked 46th in CFB defense, giving up only 304 yards per game.
San Jose State is ranked 65th in CFB defense, giving up 333 yards per game.
These teams are super close in both offensive output and defensive performance.  For betting insights we have to figure out who is on the right trajectory. 
The area where one team has a noticeable advantage is points allowed… San Jose State allows 19 per game while Western Michigan gives up 10 more points per game at 29.3


Tigers vs Bulldogs Prediction 

Our prediction for Saturday, September 25th is... San Jose State 35 - W Michigan 29 


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NCAAF Betting Trends

San Jose State's games have yet to go over 63 points this season.
Western Michigan has covered the spread two times this year.
San Jose State has covered the spread one time this season.

Key Injuries



Players to Watch

San Jose State:  backup TE Sam Olson.  The Visalia, California product at 6’4 225 should be out front of short passes blocking.  Let’s see how he does.
Western Michigan:  the Freshman duo of back up wide receivers Anthony Sambucci and Henry Wilson.  If they are racking up yards then the Western Michigan passing game has come alive.


Notable Quotes

“I think every player that plays at this level has the confidence that they can play with anybody, and hopefully they focus on what they’re doing and how to execute their job”  -Western Michigan head coach Tim Lester (it was about playing Michigan)

Starting Lineups

San Jose State:  QB Nick Starkel, RB Tyler Nevens, WR Charles Ross, WR Isaiah Hamilton, WR Jermaine Braddock, TE Derrick, Deese Jr, LT Jack Snyder, LG Trevor Robbins, C Kyle Hoppe, RG Tyler Stevens, RT Jaime Navarro

Western Michigan:  QB Kaleb Elleby, RB Sean Tyler, WR Skyy Moore, WR Corey Crooms, WR Bryce Nunnelly, TE Anthony Torres, LT Wesley French, LG Jacob Gideon, C Mike Caliendo, RG Dylan Deatherage, RT Mark Brooks


Statistical Leaders 

SJ State:  
Passing: QB Nick Starkel 937 yards
Rushing: RB Tyler Nevens 149 yards
Receiving:  WR Isaiah Hamilton  168 yards
Tackles:  Kyle Harmon 24

W. Michigan:
Passing: Kaleb Elleby  702 yards
Rushing:  La’Darius Jefferson 222 yards
Receiving:  Corey Crooms  279 yards
Tackles:  Corvin Moment  18



SJS:  Brent Brennan (since 2016).  He won the National Coach of the Year award last season for turning San Jose State around and winning the Mountain West.

W. Michigan:  Tim Lester (since 2017)

Weather Forecast

Partly cloudy.  High of 64*.  The turf should be very soggy from a full week of rain that doesn’t let up until Friday. Humidity 61%.


James Q

About the Author:

James Q. has been involved with sports and gambling his entire life. A former division 1 scholarship basketball player, James understands sports (and especially basketball) inside-and-out. Following his basketball playing days, James parlayed his gambling skills into a semi-pro poker career. James resides in Los Angeles, and especially loves the Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Rams, and Los Angeles Dodgers. And when he isn't betting on sports (and writing about it), James can be found performing stand-up comedy on the Sunset Strip.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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