We got ourselves a big time MAC matchup this Tuesday night in Kalamazoo. The Western Michigan Broncos will host the Ball State Cardinals in a matchup that could decide the MAC West division. Right now Ball State sits on top at 3-1, but Central Michigan is lurking at 4-2 and Western Michigan is at 3-2.
Kickoff is set for 8:00 EST at Waldo Stadium and will be televised on ESPN2. Oddsmakers currently have the Broncos listed as a 6.5-point favorite with the total anywhere from 63 to 64 depending on where you shop.
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Western Michigan vs Ball State Vegas Betting Preview
Ball State Cardinals (4-4 SU, 5-3 ATS)
Last time we saw the Cardinals was in a 34-21 loss at home to Ohio in Week 9 as a 2-point favorite. That defeat snapped a 3-game winning streak for Ball State. It also snapped a streak of 4 straight covers. Cardinals closed the first quarter in a 7-7 tie with the Bobcats, but Ohio took complete control of the game from there, as they went on a 27-7 run to take a commanding 34-14 lead.
This is the begging of a really brutal 4-game stretch to close out the 2019 season for the Cardinals. After facing Western Michigan, they host Central Michigan, then have to travel to Kent State before hosting Miami (OH) team that’s currently tied for the top spot in the East division.
Western Michigan Broncos (5-4 SU, 4-4-1 ATS)
Broncos were also last in action during Week 9. Things went a little better for them in a 49-10 blowout win at home against Bowling Green, but that was to be expected. Western Michigan was a hefty 27-point favorite in that matchup. It was a big bounce back performance for the Broncos, as they had lost 34-27 as a 9-point favorite at Eastern Michigan the week before.
With a win Western Michigan would be sitting in the driver’s seat in the West, as they would be tied on top of the division with just 2-losses and would own the tie-breaker over both the Cardinals and Chippewas (beat Central Michigan 31-15 earlier this year).
Last year the Cardinals pulled off a thrilling upset at home over the Broncos, taking down Western Michigan 42-41 as a 9-point dog. That snapped a 4-game winning streak by the Broncos and also marked the first time in the last 4 meetings that the favorite didn’t cover the number.
Free College Football Pick & Spread Predictions: UNDER 64
My early lean here would be to take the UNDER 64. Scoring is not as easy this time of year and the totals have been consistently set too high for both of these teams. UNDER has cashed in 5 straight games for Western Michigan and is 4-1 in Ball State’s last 5.
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While both of these teams have decent passing attacks, these are two offenses that really want to establish the run. Ball State averages 194 ypg and 42 attempts/game on the ground. Western Michigan is averaging 206 ypg on 37 attempts. As long as these two defenses are giving up massive chunks, all that running is going to eat up the clock and limit the number of possessions.
Another thing you have to take into account is that both teams will have had 9 days to watch tape and prepare for the opposition. I really just think we are seeing a big overreaction with the total because of the 83 combined points in last year’s meeting. Keep in mind this a massive game inside the MAC that will have both teams 100% locked in.
UNDER is 7-1-1 in Ball State’s last 9 road games and 7-3-1 in their last 11 off a SU loss. UNDER is also 5-0 in Western Michigan’s last 5 at home. Give me the UNDER 64!