A nine-game home winning streak is on the line for the Akron Zips (12-3, 2-0 MAC), who will be 4-point favorites when they square off with the Ball State Cardinals (9-6, 2-0 MAC) at James A. Rhodes Arena. The game’s Over/Under (O/U) has been set at 135.5 points and it will air on CBS Sports Network at 9 p.m. ET on Friday, January 10, 2020.
Ball State Cardinals at Akron Zips ATS Odds
Both teams covered as favorites in their last contest. The Zips (11.5-point favorites) defeated the Western Michigan Broncos 84-69, while the Cardinals (4-point favorites) beat the Buffalo Bulls 88-68. Both games went over their projected point totals. The Akron game finished 13.5 points over the projected point total of 139.5, while the Ball State game finished 9 points over the projected point total of 147.
Ball State dominated nearly every facet of the game. They had a phenomenally low turnover percentage of 8.5 (better than their season average of 16.9) and a free throw rate of 0.141 (matching their season average). Buffalo had marks of 16.6 and 0.076, respectively, for those same stats. Meanwhile, Akron’s turnover percentage was their largest advantage over Western Michigan. The Zips had a rate of 13.6 (better than their season average of 17.5), while the Broncos posted a mark of 28.8 (above their season average of 14.2). Tyler Cheese fueled Akron with 25 points and five rebounds. Meanwhile, Tahjai Teague played well for Ball State, contributing 25 points and nine rebounds.
The Cardinals won the lone contest between these two teams last year, 57-56. The Cardinals’ 29.3 offensive rebounding percentage was their largest strength over the Zips, who had a mark of 17.8. This is the first time these teams will meet this year.
Of the Cardinals’ 13 games with betting action, eight have finished under the projected point total. Ball State holds records of 9-6 straight up (SU) and 8-5 against the spread (ATS).
Unlike Ball State, games involving the Zips have a slight tendency to go over the total (53.8 percent). Additionally, Akron is 12-3 SU and 8-5 ATS.
Points could be at a premium as a pair of the country’s best defenses clash. Akron currently ranks 26th in defensive efficiency (88.9) and Ball State is 25th (88.6).
Ball State Cardinals vs. Akron Zips Pick
Free Prediction: SU Winner – Akron, ATS Winner – Ball State, O/U – Over
- Ball State ranks 50th in steals allowed per game (5.7) while Akron ranks 140th (7.1).
- The Cardinals take the 22nd-most three pointers per game (27.8) while the Zips rank 49th (25.8).
- Akron ranks 50th in blocks allowed per game (2.8) while Ball State ranks 54th (2.9).
- The Zips are sixth in the country with 8.8 assists allowed per game while the Cardinals are 43rd with 10.7 assists allowed per game.
- Akron ranks 62nd in rebounds per game (38.7) while Ball State ranks 98th in rebounds allowed per game (34.0).
- Akron is 4-3 ATS at home, while Ball State is 4-2 ATS on the road.
- The total has gone under in 4 of the Cardinals’ 6 road games, while 4 of the Zips’ 7 home games have gone under.
- The Cardinals are 3-1 ATS over their last five games, while the Zips are 2-3.
- In their last five games, Ball State has 2 overs and 2 unders, while Akron has 3 overs and 2 unders.
- The Cardinals’ average margin of victory in their last five games has been 3.4, down from 11.1 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Zips have scored an average of 73.4 points per game (2.9 below their season average) and allowed an average of 66.8 points per game (3.3 above their season average).