Western Michigan Football Meets Surging Pittsburgh In Intriguing Week 3 Clash

Written By Drew Ellis on September 14, 2021Last Updated on September 16, 2021
Western Michigan Pittsburgh Football September 2021

After picking up its first win of the season last weekend, can Western Michigan manage a Week 3 upset of Pittsburgh?

The Broncos return to the road this weekend when they step on Heinz Field. You should always be on the watch for possible surprises when two programs meet for the first time.

Here’s an overview of one of Saturday’s more intriguing games in the Michigan sports betting landscape.

Western Michigan at Pittsburgh: NCAA Football Odds

Pittsburgh favored by more than two TDs

Western Michigan appears to have its work ahead of it on Saturday.

The Broncos find themselves as a big underdog on the road against the Panthers.

Oddsmakers from PointsBet Sportsbook and DraftKings Sportsbook each have WMU as a 15-point underdog at Pitt. FanDuel Sportsbook lists the Broncos as a 15.5-point underdog.

On the moneyline, Western Michigan is ranging from +470 to +500. Pittsburgh has a wider range from -660 to -720.

The over/under total is also a bit open. Oddsmakers have it listed from 60.5 to 61.5 points.

The current best odds on each side of the margins are in the table above.

The Broncos come into Saturday 1-1 against the spread, with their games both hitting the under. Pitt is 2-0 against the spread, with the over in points totals hitting in both.

How to watch: Western Michigan Broncos at Pittsburgh Panthers

  • What: Western Michigan (1-1) at Pittsburgh (2-0)
  • When: Noon ET, Saturday
  • Where: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh
  • TV: ESPN3
  • Online livestream: ESPN+
  • Radio: Bronco Radio Network
  • Satellite Radio: Sirius Channel 193

Western Michigan Broncos bounce back from Michigan loss

Western Michigan was trounced in its season opener, a 47-14 loss at Michigan. However, the Broncos looked like a much different team in their home opener last weekend. WMU shut out Illinois State 28-0 to move to 1-1 on the season.

The Broncos had one of their more dominant defensive efforts to date, holding the Redbirds to just 57 total yards and four first downs.

Illinois State was held to 28 rushing yards on 26 carries while going 8-for-19c passing for just 29 yards. The Broncos finished with four sacks and eight tackles for loss. Corvin Moment led the way with six tackles, three TFLs and a sack.

Offensively, WMU rushed for 233 yards to control the clock. Former Michigan State Spartan La’Darius Jefferson followed up his touchdown against the Wolverines with 106 rushing yards and two scores against Illinois State. Sean Tyler added 78 yards on 15 carries with one score.

At quarterback, Kaleb Eleby threw for 174 yards and a score on 15-for-21 passing. Jaylen Hall caught seven passes for 75 yards and a touchdown.

WMU was without Skyy Moore, one of their top receivers against Illinois State. He suffered a knee injury in the opener and was unable to go last weekend. He is listed as questionable for Saturday’s game.

Pittsburgh edges Tennessee

Pittsburgh is off to a 2-0 start to the season following an impressive 41-34 win at Tennessee last weekend.

The Panthers have been very effective through the air this season, averaging 338 passing yards per game thus far. The Broncos’ defense is seventh nationally in passing defense, but Pittsburgh will test Western Michigan in a manner it wasn’t challenged much by Michigan or Illinois State.

Kenny Pickett is off to a great start at quarterback. He has thrown for 557 yards and four touchdowns without an interception. Pickett is also completing 69.9 percent of his passes. He is listed as a +15000 longshot to win the Heisman Trophy according to DraftKings.

Pickett has been spreading the ball out well, as four different Panthers have at least 91 receiving yards. Taysir Mack is the leading receiver with 134 yards.

Pitt also has a lot of depth in the backfield. As a team, the Panthers have run for 319 yards through two games, but Israel Abanikanda is the leading rusher with just 73 yards.

After some previous struggles defensively, former MSU defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi seems to have the Panthers’ defense playing well.

They’ve been third in the ACC the past two seasons for fewest points allowed. They have allowed just 291.5 yards per game in 2021. That includes just 89 rushing yards per contest.

Up front, Pitt has been able to create a lot of havoc. The Panthers already have 10 sacks on the young season.

Photo by Al Goldis/AP
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Drew Ellis

Drew Ellis is the Lead Writer of Playinmichigan, the No. 1 source for online gambling news in Michigan. A lifelong resident of the state, Ellis has been working in various forms of media since 1998, including more than a decade in the sports betting industry prior to transitioning into US casino markets in 2020.

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