Kent State Golden Flashes vs. Ball State Cardinals – Free Pick

Jose VasquezArticles, College Football, Football

    The Cardinals of Ball State (-9) are set to welcome their conference counterpart Kent State Golden Flashes to Scheumann Stadium. The afternoon game is scheduled to get going at 3:00 p.m. ET and ESPN+ will broadcast the action.

    Betting Preview: Ball State Cardinals vs. Kent State Golden Flashes

    Kent State is playing the role of underdog and is currently getting 9 points in this MAC game. The Golden Flashes are also receiving +270 moneyline odds while the Cardinals are -350. On the surface it appears that there should be some good live betting scenarios in this game.

    The early action has shifted toward the Cards, as the opening line was -8.

    The Golden Flashes are 3-1 against the spread (ATS) and have gained 0.0 units so far. The team’s posted an Over-Under record of 2-2.

    The Cardinals are down 1.6 units this season. The team is 2-2 ATS and has an O/U record of 0-3.

    The Golden Flashes are 1-3 straight up (SU) and they haven’t faced any MAC competition yet. The Cardinals are 1-3 SU overall and are also 0-0 SU in conference play.

    The Golden Flashes are looking to bounce back after a 38-17 defeat to Ole Miss last week. Woody Barrett completed 24 passes for 224 yards and one interception. Barrett (53 yards on 19 rush attempts, one TD) also mounted the ground attack in the loss and was complemented by Justin Rankin (64 yards on 15 carries). Mike Carrigan (six receptions, 88 yards) and Antwan Dixon (six catches, 36 yards) handled the receiving duties.

    Ball State just lost a 28-20 game to Western Kentucky. The team’s defense allowed the Hilltoppers to run for 192 yards on 40 rush attempts, including two rush TDs. Lucky Jackson had a productive outing in the win for Western Kentucky, recording 91 yards and a score on eight catches. For Ball State, Riley Neal completed 27-of-45 passes for 285 yards and one touchdown. James Gilbert (41 yards on 10 rush attempts) and Caleb Huntley (59 yards on 10 carries) handled the ground game in the defeat while Justin Hall (nine receptions, 60 yards) and Riley Miller (eight catches, 112 yards) led the receiving corps.

    Kent State has run the ball on 53.1 percent of its offensive possessions this year while Ball State has a rush percentage of 50.6 percent. The Golden Flashes have rushed for 181.8 yards per game and have eight scores via handoffs this year. The Cards are averaging 202.3 rushing yards per game and have five total rush TDs.

    If the results so far this season can translate to this game, then it appears the Cards might be the more disruptive team in the trenches, since their offensive line has given up just five sacks while the D-line has registered six sacks. The Golden Flashes offensive line has given up 17 sacks and their defense has got to opposing signal-callerss on just 10 occasions.

    The Golden Flashes offensive scheme has averaged 212.0 yards through the air overall and has five passing scores so far. The Cards have produced 236.0 pass yards per game and also have five total pass TDs.

    Defensively, Kent State has allowed opponents to run for an average of 212.5 yards and pass for 295.8 yards per game. The Ball State defense has given up 217.0 yards per game to opposing passers and 184.5 yards per game to opposing runners. The Cards are allowing an adjusted net yards per pass attempt (ANY/A) of only 5.56 to opposing QBs, while the Golden Flashes have given up a staggering 8.65 ANY/A.

    Offensively, Barrett is up to 650 passing yards this season. The signal-caller has completed 59 percent of his 110 attempts with three scores through the air and four interceptions. He has a 3.98 adjusted net yards per pass attempt, including 3.04 over the last two games.

    Mike Carrigan (147 receiving yards, one receiving touchdown on the year), Antwan Dixon (84 receiving yards, one receiving TD) and Jo-el Shaw (127 rush yards, three rush TDs, 33 receiving yards, one TD) have each played key roles of late.

    Riley Neal has connected on 73-of-125 passes for 724 yards, four TDs and two INTs for Ball State. His ANY/A stands at 5.52 for the season and 5.44 over his last two games.

    James Gilbert (213 rushing yards, one rush TD this season), Corey Lacanaria (176 receiving yards, one receiving TD) and Riley Miller (228 receiving yards) have combined for 405 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns the last two games.

    These two conference adversaries did not get a chance to play each other last season.

    Kent State Golden Flashes at Ball State Cardinals NCAA Tip

    SU Winner: Ball State, ATS Winner: Ball State

    Betting Trends

    • The Kent State defense has sacked opposing QBs 10 times this season. Ball State has recorded six sacks.
    • Ball State has lost one fumble in 2018 while Kent State has lost four.
    • The Golden Flashes offense has created three pass plays of 40 yards or more, while the Cardinals have put up one such play.
    • The Kent State defense has allowed eight pass plays of 40 or more yards, while Ball State has given up one such play.
    • The Kent State offense has created seven rushing plays of 20 yards or more, while Ball State has created six such runs.
    • The Golden Flashes defense has allowed nine rushing plays of 20+ yards, while the Cardinals have given up four such runs.
    • As a team, Kent State has averaged 4.18461538461538 yards per rush attempt over its past three outings and 2.4 over its last two.
    • Ball State has averaged 4.3 yards per carry over its last three games and 4.8 over its last two.