2023 Famous Toastery Bowl – Old Dominion vs Western Kentucky

2023 Famous Toastery Bowl – Old Dominion vs Western Kentucky

posted December 14

The Game

It’s one of the most important sporting events of the calendar year, right up there with THE MASTERS, and any time YOUR Miami Hurricanes take the field. Yes sir, it’s the Famous Toastery Bowl starring the Old Dominion Monarchs and the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers. Old Dominion surprised most of the college football world by getting to six wins using a scrappy style of play and they got their 6th win in dramatic fashion in the season finale vs Georgia St. They also had some close losses to a some good teams (Wake Forest, James Madison, Coastal Carolina) so they’re not a squad to be taken lightly. Western Kentucky was the clear favorite to take down CUSA but they didn’t even make the title game. In fact, they had to crawl over BROKEN GLASS to get to six wins and finally did it in their final regular season game when they handled Florida International.

The Details

Old Dominion -2.5 Western Kentucky (55)

MEGALOCKS LINE – Old Dominion -3

“Vegas” Implied Projected Score: Old Dominion 28.75 Western Kentucky 26.25

Old Dominion offense vs Western Kentucky defense

The Monarchs have had trouble on offense for most of the season (#76 FBS rush offense, #95 pass) and they haven’t eclipsed 28 points in a game since September. The majority of their key weaponry is available for the bowl game and we expect to see a heavy dose of the 1-2 RB combo of Kadarius Calloway and Keshawn Wicks (1,100 rush yds, 8 TDs combined for the duo) against a brutal TOPPERS run defense that’s allowed 190 YPG (#120 FBS). WKU has been better defending the pass but QB Grant Wilson is decent (16-7 TD to INT, 57%) and the WR group is capable of making some big plays from time to time. The TOPPERS have several key defensive players in the portal which really improves the Monarchs’ chances of doing some damage BUT it’s unclear whether or not some of those doods will suit up for this game. We’ll monitor the situation.

Western Kentucky offense vs Old Dominion defense

It’s been noted several times this season on the these fine pages how disappointing the offense has been this season, particularly when you reflect upon how devastating the offense was in 2020. They don’t have much of a rushing attack to speak of (#115) and the THROW GAME hasn’t been nearly as explosive as hoped (#17 passing offense, QB Austin Reed 7.1 YPA). The big news on this side of the football is twofold. One, will star WR Malachi Corley play in this game? So far he’s in, but who knows. Two, who in the SAM HILL is gonna block? There are several players in the portal but some of them may play in the bowl game. Old Dominion will be missing a couple of key defensive pieces including TACKLING MACHINE Jason Henderson (#1 tackler, 167!) who decided to quit. The TOPPERS could have success depending on who decides to play on offense, we just don’t have a clear picture yet.

Trends, Intangibles and More!

It’s always a yuuuge deal to make a bowl game for Old Dominion so we expect a max effort in this one…..Western Kentucky’s motivation has to be called into question given how poorly the season went compared to expectations.


We could only look at Old Dominion in this contest but there’s still too much uncertainty on the WKU side of things for us to make a play. We’ll keep tabs on the news and come back to this game if needed.


No leanage.

‘Official play’ implies this pick is one of our favorites of the week (perceived value, match-up, coaching, trends, etc.). We’re currently playing these picks for the same amount as the leans but it’s up to you how you want to manage your bankroll. Please see the Week in Review posts for more detail.

‘Lean’ implies we are placing a wager on the game.

‘No leanage’ implies we won’t have any action on the game.

Team totalsWe list the implied number based on the point spread and total when our analysis is posted. If a team total ends up being an official play we will post a widely available number at the time of pick release.