NCAA Football Free Betting Matchup: Northern Illinois Huskies at Ball State Cardinals

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The Northern Illinois Huskies (-3.5) are set to pay a visit to the Ball State Cardinals at Scheumann Stadium. This MAC game starts at 3:00 p.m. ET and fans can tune in to the action on ESPN 3.

Betting Preview: Northern Illinois Huskies vs. Ball State Cardinals

In this Saturday Mid-American game, Northern Illinois is tabbed as the favorite and is currently giving up 3.5 points. The Huskies are also receiving -175 moneyline odds while the Cardinals are +155. Vegas has placed the over/under (O/U) at 51 points. If Northern Illinois starts trailing early, it will likely create a worthwhile betting scenario in-game.

Odds have shifted slightly from where they first opened. The opening line was 4 while the game’s O/U was originally set at 51.5.

The Huskies are 2-3 against the spread (ATS) and are down 0.5 units so far. They’ve been a good under bet and have posted an O/U record of 1-4.

The Cardinals have lost 0.6 units this season. The team is 3-2 ATS and has an O/U record of 1-3.

The Huskies are 2-3 straight up (SU), including 2-0 SU against MAC opponents. The Cardinals are 2-3 SU overall and 1-0 SU in conference play.

When these two squads met last year, Northern Illinois knocked off Northern Illinois handily 63-17.

The Huskies enter after a 26-23 win over Eastern Michigan last week. The defensive unit did its part in the win, limiting the Eagles to just 180 passing yards and 62 yards on the ground. Shaq Vann had a productive day for the Eagles in that one with 68 rushing yards and a score on 18 attempts. On the offensive side, Marcus Childers completed 20 passes for just 121 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. Tre Harbison (136 yards on 32 rush attempts, one TD) and the signal-caller Childers (77 yards on 17 carries) led the ground attack. Jauan Wesley (eight receptions, 76 yards) and D.J. Brown (five catches, three yards) shared the receiving duties in the win.

The Ball State Cards enter this Saturday’s matchup having just earned a lopsided 52-24 win over Kent State. The defensive unit allowed the Golden Flashes to pass for 314 yards while rushing for 147 yards and two scores. Mike Carrigan had a good showing in the loss for Kent State, accounting for 85 yards and a score on four catches. For Ball State, Riley Neal completed 30-of-50 passes for 402 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. James Gilbert (40 rushing yards on 14 attempts, two TDs) and the signal-caller Neal (61 yards on 11 carries, one TD) led the running game while Miller (11 receptions, 208 yards, one TD) and Corey Lacanaria (eight catches, 73 yards, one TD) led the pass-catching corps in the win.

Northern Illinois has run the ball on 57.4 percent of its offensive possessions this year while Ball State has an overall rush percentage of 49.3 percent. The Huskies have run for 127.8 yards per game (including 207.5 per game against Mid-American opponents) and have three scores on the ground this year. The Cards are putting up 193.8 rushing yards per game and have eight total rush TDs.

The Huskies offensive scheme has tallied 132.2 yards/contest through the air overall (112.5 per game versus conference opposition) and has seven passing scores so far. The Cards have produced 278.0 pass yards per outing and have nine total pass TDs.

Defensively, Northern Illinois has let opponents run for an average of 124.8 yards and throw for 223.8 yards per game. The Ball State D has given up 236.4 yards per game to opposing passers and 177.0 yards per game on the ground. Both teams allow similar adjusted net yards per pass attempt (ANY/A) to opponents, as the Huskies have given up an ANY/A of 5.49 to opposing QBs, while the Cards are yielding an ANY/A of 5.50.

Neal has been more efficient than Childers lately. The Cardinals man under center has an adjusted net yards per pass attempt 5.75 for the year and 7.31 over his past two games while Childers’ ANY/A is 2.27 and 3.50 over his last two.

Northern Illinois Huskies vs. Ball State Cardinals Betting Pick

SU Winner: Northern Illinois, ATS Winner: Northern Illinois, O/U: Over

Team Betting Notes

  • Northern Illinois was favored by 4 points in its previous game and the O/U was set at 50.5. The under cashed and Northern Illinois failed to cover in the 26-23 victory over Eastern Michigan.
  • Northern Illinois, as a team, has produced 3.23846153846154 yards per carry over its past three games and 2.9 over its last two.
  • Ball State has averaged 4.4 yards per carry over its last three contests and 3.9 over its past two.
  • Ball State has lost two fumbles this season while Northern Illinois has lost three.
  • Over its last three contests, Northern Illinois is 1-2 ATS and the under cashed in two of those three.
  • Ball State was favored by 7 points in its previous match and the Over/Under was 60. The over cashed and Ball State covered in the 52-24 victory over Kent State.
  • In its last three contests, Ball State is 1-2 ATS and the under cashed in two of those three.
  • The Huskies offense has produced one pass play of 40 or more yards, while the Cardinals have put up three such plays.
  • The Northern Illinois defense has allowed three pass plays of 40 or more yards, while Ball State has given up two such plays.
  • The Northern Illinois offense has created two rushing plays of 20 or more yards, while Ball State has created eight such runs.
  • The Huskies defense has allowed three rushing plays of 20+ yards, while the Cardinals have given up six such runs.
  • The Northern Illinois defense has 16 sacks on the year while Ball State has 11.