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How and what to watch for Northern Illinois vs. Ball State

Ball State won this matchup last year for the first time in 10 years. Can the Cardinals make it a trend?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 11 Eastern Michigan at Ball State

The offensive firepower from the Ball State Cardinals should be on full display on Wednesday night as they host the Northern Illinois Huskies as part of a trio of MACtion games starting at the exact same time. This is why there needs to be a minimum of three televisions in every college football fan’s place of residence.

Ball State enters with a 1-1 record that includes two games with the exact same score. The Cardinals lost to Miami (OH) 38-31 in the season opener, and they beat Eastern Michigan 38-31 last week. Ball State ranked as the best offense in the MAC in several of the major categories last season, and the Cardinals look pretty darn good on the offensive side of the ball this year, ranking 30th in all of college football in yards per play.

Northern Illinois gave up 40 to Central Michigan last week and 49 to Buffalo in the season opener. One interesting thing to note in that game is Northern Illinois turned the ball over five times, so that will likely not happen again the rest of the season. It’s a very limited sample size obviously, but Northern Illinois currently ranks at No. 121 out of 127 teams in the SP+ rankings without a whole lot of promise of the Huskies turning things around.

Ball State snapped a 10-game losing streak in this series when it beat Northern Illinois 27-20 on the road.

Game Time/TV Channel/Streaming

You can watch Northern Illinois vs. Ball State on Wednesday, November 18th at 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN, or you can stream it via the ESPN app with a cable or streaming service login.

Point Spread, Totals, Odds, Trends

Point spread: Northern Illinois vs. Ball State (-14)
Point Total: 60
Money line: Northern Illinois (+40) vs. Ball State (-625)

  • Northern Illinois is 4-9 straight up in its last 13 games and in that span, the Huskies covered the spread six times.
  • The point total in Ball State games went over in its last six games, and the Cardinals hit the over in eight of their last nine matchups as the favorite.

Betting splits

Northern Illinois: (41% of handle, 37% percent of bets)
Ball State: (59% of handle, 63% percent of bets)

The Best Bet

Ball State’s offense should have no issues in thrashing the Northern Illinois defense, but there is no reason bettors should trust the Cardinals defense after last season and early on in 2020. The Huskies should do enough on offense for this over to hit. Ball State should win this game straight up, though the spread is a little bit too high set at more than two touchdowns. Either way, one team will win this game 38-31.

Pick: Over 60

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