The First Responder Bowl will feature the Western Michigan Broncos out of the Mid-American Conference against the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers out of Conference USA. Kickoff is set for 12:30 pm ET on Monday, Dec. 30, and the First Responder Bowl will take place at Gerald J. Ford Field in Dallas. Now that the matchup is set, let’s make some First Responder Bowl betting predictions.
Western Michigan comes into this game with a record of 7-5. Plus, it beat some tough MAC teams along the way. Western Kentucky went 8-4 during the regular season and has won three straight games.
The First Responder Bowl betting spread has Western Kentucky as a 3.5-point favorite. And remember to check our predictions for online Super Bowl betting in February!
First Responder Bowl Picks
Here is a quick look at each team before delivering our First Responder Bowl betting pick.
Western Kentucky has played well under first-year head coach Tyson Helton, especially on the defensive side of the ball. The Hilltoppers are allowing just 20.1 points per game this season, and that is an impressive number.
Quarterback Ty Storey has been the leader on offense for this team. Also, the Hilltoppers are averaging more than 250 passing yards per game. Western Kentucky will need to put some drives together to give its defense a rest in this game.
LeVante Bellamy is one of the most underrated running backs in college football despite having a monster season. Bellamy racked up 23 rushing touchdowns in 2019, and he is a big reason that the Broncos averaged over 212 rushing yards per game.
Defense has been a bit of an issue for Western Michigan at times, as it has allowed 26 points per game. The Broncos might try to turn this game into an offensive shootout and let Bellamy carry them to a win.
First Responder Bowl betting prediction and pick: This seems like a matchup of two very even teams, and it will likely stay close throughout. Western Michigan has the best player, and its offense will win this game. Take the +3.5 points and bet on the Broncos to win the First Responder Bowl.
First Responder Bowl History and Facts
ServPro is the title sponsor of the First Responder Bowl for the second straight year, and this game was first played in 2011. Despite having contractual affiliations with the Big Ten and Big 12 conferences, the First Responder Bowl has routinely had to choose teams from other leagues. The annual payout for the First Responder Bowl is $1.2 million for each team.
North Texas is the only school to make multiple appearances in this game, and it has gone 1-1 in the First Responder Bowl. The Big Ten Conference has gone 0-4 in its four appearances in the First Responder Bowl.
NFL quarterback Case Keenum was named MVP of this game when he was a quarterback at Houston. The 2018 First Responder Bowl between Boise State and Boston College was canceled due to weather concerns.