Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 3:15 PM EST odds are subject to change.
Ball State +155 over Ohio
Scheumann Stadium - Muncie, IN
7:00 PM EST. Perhaps no team has been hotter in the MAC than these Bobcats of Ohio. Ohio has ripped off five wins in a row, but perhaps more importantly, the Bobcats have cashed tickets in every one of their last six games. That includes two straight games in prime time since the MAC took over Tuesday nights in November. Back on November 1, the Bobcats whacked market darling Buffalo 45-24, and last week, they smacked around rival Miami-Ohio, 37-21. That’s two easy wins and trips to the pay window with many eyes on them.
We faded the Bobcats last week at Miami-OH, and things were looking pretty good at half time. It was 10-7 for Ohio, but the Bobcats would overpower the RedHawks in the final 30 minutes. As tough as it might be, the prudent play here would be to come right back and fade the Bobcats tonight. If we saw value in the RedHawks as a pooch at home, how can we not see even more value in Ball State as a home underdog?
The Cardinals are just 5-5, but they lost three of their games by seven points or less. That includes last week’s 28-21 loss to Toledo, a 20-16 loss to EMU and a 37-30 loss to Western Michigan. Had a bounce or two gone the other way, Ball State could easily be 8-2, 7-3, or 6-4. Instead, they are .500, but this is not a middling team. Lost in the defeat to Toledo was the Cardinals’ running all over the Rockets. Carson Steele picked up 198 rushing yards and three majors and nobody is talking about it. That’s what happens when you lose.
We’ll close with this. The Bobcats have punched their ticket to bowl season with their seven wins, but Ball State is still just one win away from securing that postseason date. The Cardinals have the best running back in the MAC. Carson Steele can put this team on his back and carry them to that bowl game. Market perception on these two teams is skewed by their records, but they are much closer to one another than this line might have you believe. To the uninclined, Ohio is going to look like a steal. To those watching the MAC very closely, Ball State cannot be a dog at home to the Bobcats. Ball State outright is the call.
Ball State +156 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 3.12)