Monday, September 26, 2022

Western Kentucky vs. Austin Peay odds, spread: 2022 college football picks, Week 0 predictions from top expert

Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium showcases the first game of the 2022 college football season on Saturday. The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers play host to the Austin Peay Governors in the 2022 debut for both teams. WKU aims to build on a 9-5 season that resulted in a trip to the Conference USA title game. Austin Peay makes the jump to the ASUN conference, leaving the Ohio Valley, and looks to improve on a 6-5 campaign in 2021.

Caesars Sportsbook lists the Hilltoppers as 21.5-point favorites in Bowling Green for this noon ET kickoff on CBS Sports Network. The total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, or the over/under, is 67.5 in the latest Western Kentucky vs. Austin Peay odds. Before making any Austin Peay vs. Western Kentucky picks or CFB predictions, you need to see what SportsLine college football expert Zack Cimini has to say.

A Las Vegas handicapper who’s never afraid to buck conventional wisdom, Zack excels in multiple sports. Over the past two NBA seasons, Zack is 134-101-1, returning $2,296 to $100 players. All-time in MLB, Zack sports a record of 535-468-6, returning $2,962 to $100 bettors. All-time in college basketball, Zack is 423-375, returning $1,331 to $100 players. 

In addition, Zack is 5-0 in his last five college football picks involving Western Kentucky, returning $500 to $100 bettors. Anyone who has followed him is way up.

Now, Cimini has set his sights on Austin Peay vs. WKU and just locked in his picks and CFB predictions. You can head to SportsLine now to see his picks. Now, here are several college football odds and betting lines for WKU vs. Austin Peay:

  • Austin Peay vs. Western Kentucky spread: WKU -21.5 
  • Austin Peay vs. Western Kentucky over/under: 67.5 points 
  • AP: The Governors are joining ASUN this season 
  • WK: The Hilltoppers won eight of the last nine games in 2021 
  • Austin Peay vs. Western Kentucky picks: See picks here.

Why Austin Peay can cover

Austin Peay projects to benefit from the immense personnel losses for Western Kentucky. The Hilltoppers lose Bailey Zappe from last year’s team, and the talented quarterback accounted for almost 6,000 passing yards and more than 60 touchdowns in 2021. Western Kentucky also returns only four offensive starters, losing its top two receivers, both of whom were highly productive. 

On the ground, WKU was not at all prolific last season, averaging only 93.8 rushing yards per game, and the Hilltoppers’ defense could be vulnerable. Western Kentucky allowed 422.5 total yards per game in 2021, including more than 160 rushing yards per game and 27 rushing touchdowns. The Hilltoppers yielded almost 29 points per game last season, and Austin Peay concluded the 2021 campaign on a high note, winning its final three games before changing conferences.

Why Western Kentucky can cover

Western Kentucky has a stout talent advantage against an FCS opponent in this matchup. The Hilltoppers won eight of the last nine games last season, culminating with a 21-point win over Appalachian State in the Boca Raton Bowl. Western Kentucky has made seven bowl appearances in the last eight seasons, with three Conference USA title game appearances over that time. 

Western Kentucky’s offense is built around the passing game, and the Hilltoppers were in the top two of the country in total yards per game, points per game, passing yards per game, and passing touchdowns in 2021. Austin Reed takes the reins at quarterback after a transfer from West Florida. Reed posted a 22-3 record at the helm at his previous stop, including a 4,000-yard passing season that featured 46 total touchdowns and a Division II national title. Western Kentucky also returns two receivers with more than 675 yards each last season, and Austin Peay traditionally struggles against FBS opponents.

How to make Austin Peay vs. Western Kentucky picks

For Saturday’s contest, Cimini has identified a critical X-factor he believes makes one side of the spread a must-back. He’s sharing what it is, and which side of the Austin Peay vs. Western Kentucky spread he’s backing, only at SportsLine.

So who wins Austin Peay vs. Western Kentucky? And which critical X-factor makes one side of the spread a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the Austin Peay vs. Western Kentucky spread you need to jump on Saturday, all from the expert who has crushed his college football picks, and find out.  

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