Little Caesars Bowl Predictions: Western Kentucky Primed to Win First FBS Bowl

James BrownSenior Analyst IDecember 17, 2012

Oct 27 2012; Miami, FL, USA;  Western Kentucky Hilltoppers running back Antonio Andrews (5) runs the ball past Florida International Golden Panthers cornerback Junior Mertile (2)   in the first quarter at FIU Stadium.  Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports
Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

The college football bowl season is here and although this game will not get the same hype as the National Championship game, it is well worth the watch.

The bowl season started off with a bang, as the Gildan New Mexico Bowl between Nevada and Arizona went down to the wire. This game had the potential to be another great game on the early season bowl schedule. 

The latest college football odds have the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers listed as a 5.5 point favorite.

Western Kentucky will face off against the Central Michigan Chippewas at Ford Field in Detroit. These two teams may not be household names in college football but they do have their share of top talent.

The Chippewas feature superstar junior running back Zurlon Tipton who is a regular in the end zone. Tipton logged 19 touchdowns on the season while piling up 1,391 yards on the year. Tipton averages six yards per carry and is the main threat on offense for this team.

Senior Ryan Radcliff is under center for the Chippewas and his main target is wide receiver Titus Davis. Davis hauled in eight of Radcliff’s 20 touchdowns on the season. This offense is a good test for a Hilltoppers team looking to make a splash during the bowl season.

The Hilltoppers finished fifth in the Sun Belt Conference and will be playing in their first FBS bowl game. They may be new to the bowl game scene, but it would be a mistake to write off this team. They are a senior laden bunch with 19 players participating in their final game.

The Hilltoppers defeated a very gifted Arkansas State team and possess the best defense in the conference. That defense was best in the conference in yards allowed per game with 342.8. The leader of that defense is Quanterus Smith, a sack master who registered 12.5 on the season. The defense is impressive for Western Kentucky, but they also have a play maker on offense.

Multi-purpose back Antonio Andrews is the total package. Andrews posted 1,609 yards on the ground averaging 5.8 yards per carry. Andrews is the main focus on offense and is also a contributor on special teams. Andrews averages 248.1 all-purpose yards for the season and he will get the football early and often in this bowl game.

The Chippewas have been a disaster for football betting backers. The Chippewas are 1-6 against the spread (ATS) in their last seven non-conference games, 1-10 ATS against a team with a winning record and 8-20 ATS in their last 28 games on turf.

The Hilltoppers are 11-2 ATS in their last 13 games following a win and 21-7 ATS in their last 28 games overall.

Defense wins ballgames and the senior led Hilltoppers will go all out to secure their first FBS bowl victory.

Little Caesars Bowl Predictions: Western Kentucky 27 Central Michigan 17

Football Picks: (Western Kentucky -5.5)

James Brown is a B/R featured columnist and can be followed on Twitter. Feel free to contact James at He also is a contributor at Bookie Blitz, a sports picks website.