The Chippewas (-2) are prepared to host their MAC nemesis Ball State Cardinals in Central Michigan. ESPN 3 will broadcast the action and this afternoon game is scheduled to get underway at 3:00 p.m. ET.
Betting Preview: Ball State Cardinals vs. Central Michigan Chippewas
Ball State is the road underdog in this MAC game and is currently being given 2 points. The Cardinals are also receiving +100 moneyline odds while the Chippewas are -120. On the surface it looks like this game may have some live betting possibilities.
The opening line was initially set at 0, but has recently shifted.
The Cardinals have lost 1.6 units so far and are 3-3 against the spread (ATS). They’ve been a good under bet and have posted an O/U mark of 1-4.
The Chippewas have lost 3.5 units for moneyline bettors this season. They’re 4-2 ATS and have an even O/U record of 3-3.
The Cardinals are 2-4 straight up (SU), including 1-1 SU against MAC opponents. The Chippewas are 1-5 SU overall and are also 0-2 SU in conference play.
The Cards will try to get back on track after a 24-16 defeat to Northern Illinois last week where Riley Neal completed 32 passes for 260 yards. James Gilbert (79 yards on 19 rushes, one TD) spearheaded the running attack while Justin Hall (seven receptions, 59 yards) and Corey Lacanaria (six catches, 41 yards) handled the receiving duties in the defeat.
One week ago, Buffalo took care of this Central Michigan crew by a score of 34-24. As a group, the Chippewas collectively completed 14-of-33 passes for 172 yards, two touchdowns and four interceptions. Tommy Lazzaro went nine-for-23 for 117 yards, one touchdown and four interceptions while Tony Poljan was five-of-10 for 55 yards and one touchdown. Lazzaro (102 rushing yards on 18 attempts) handled the running game while JaCorey Sullivan (four receptions, 74 yards, one TD) and Devon Spalding (four catches, 43 yards) led the pass-catching attack in the loss.
Ball State has run the ball on 47.9 percent of its offensive possessions this year while Central Michigan has a rush percentage of 54.5 percent. The Cardinals have rushed for 183.3 yards per game (including 145.5 per game versus Mid-American opponents) and have nine scores on the ground this year. The Chippewas are totaling 118.5 rushing yards per game (166.0 in conference) and have four total rush TDs.
It seems like the Cardinals might have the more disruptive lines up front, as their offensive line has given up just 33 sacks while their D-line registered 24 sacks. The Chippewas offensive line has given up 25 sacks and their defense has sacked opposing QBs just 34 times.
The Cards offensive scheme has tallied 275.0 yards per contest through the air overall (353.0 per game against conference opposition) and has nine passing TDs so far. The Chippewas have recorded 151.3 pass yards per game (165 in the MAC) and have seven total pass scores.
Defensively, Ball State has allowed opponents to rush for an average of 185.3 yards and pass for 220.8 yards per game. The Central Michigan defense has allowed 145.3 yards per game to opposing passers and 205.3 yards per game to opposing runners. The Chippewas are allowing an adjusted net yards per pass attempt (ANY/A) of only 3.43 to opposing QBs, while the Cardinals have given up a 5.10 ANY/A.
Offensively, Neal is up to 1,099 passing yards this year. He’s completed 117-of-205 attempts with four passing scores and two interceptions. Neal’s got a 4.92 adjusted net yards per pass attempt, including 6.01 over the last two games.
Riley Miller (296 receiving yards this season), James Gilbert (381 rush yards, three rush TDs, 60 receiving yards) and Corey Lacanaria (257 receiving yards, one TD) have each played key roles lately.
For the home team, Tommy Lazzaro has connected on 29-of-61 passes for 327 yards, three TDs and six INTs. Lazzaro’s ANY/A stands at a minuscule 1.42 for the season and 0.34 across his last two games.
Look for Lazzaro to attack all areas of the Ball State secondary. Tommy Lazzaro (zero receiving yards), JaCorey Sullivan (92 receiving yards, two receiving TDs), and Julian Hicks (115 receiving yards, two TDs) have collectively recorded 136 receiving yards and three scores over the last couple of games.
When these two teams faced one another a year ago, Central Michigan knocked Ball State off soundly 56-9.
Ball State Cardinals at Central Michigan Chippewas Betting Prediction
SU Winner: Ball State, ATS Winner: Ball State
Team Betting Trends
- Central Michigan has lost four fumbles this season while Ball State has let three get away.
- The Ball State defensive unit has sacked opposing QBs 14 times this season. Central Michigan has recorded 13 sacks.
- As a team, Ball State has produced 3.7027027027027 yards per carry across its last three games and 3.5 over its last two.
- Central Michigan has averaged 3.3 yards per carry over its last three outings and 4.1 over its last two.
- Over its last three games, Central Michigan is 2-1 ATS and the over cashed in two of those three.
- Ball State was the underdog by 3 points in its last game and the Over/Under was set at 53.5. The under cashed and Ball State failed to cover in the 24-16 loss to Northern Illinois.
- In its last three games, Ball State is 1-2 ATS and the under cashed in two of those three.
- Central Michigan was the underdog by 7 points in its previous matchup and the Over/Under was set at 52. The over cashed and Central Michigan failed to cover in the 34-24 defeat to Buffalo.