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How and what to watch for Western Michigan vs. Ball State

The Broncos and The Cardinals meet up in a battle for the MAC West division crown Saturday afternoon.

Western Michigan Broncos wide receiver Skyy Moore scores a touchdown during the college football game between the Northern Illinois Huskies and Western Michigan Broncos on November 28, 2020, at Waldo Stadium in Kalamazoo, MI. Photo by Joseph Weiser/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

In a battle for the MAC West crown, the Western Michigan Broncos and Ball State Cardinals will face off against each other Saturday at 12:00 p.m. ET in Muncie, IN.

The Broncos (4-1) are coming off a disappointing 53-42 loss to the Eastern Michigan Eagles last week. Western Michigan’s offense was clicking on all cylinders, starting with quarterback Kaleb Eleby throwing four touchdowns. They got another 100-yard rushing performance La’Darius Jefferson who had 130 yards on 21 carries and two touchdowns.

But what hurt them was their defense and turning over the ball three times, which gave EMU life. Eagles quarterback Preston Hutchinson had one of his best games this season with 315 passing yards and three touchdowns. He also received help from his running game, which contributed 218 yards and three touchdowns. The Broncos will need to be better at stopping the run as Ball State is averaging 194 yards per game this season.

The Cardinals enter off of a dominating 45-20 win over Central Michigan, extending their winning streak to four games. BSU got a fantastic performance from quarterback Drew Plitt, who had 366 passing yards, four touchdowns and an interception. It was the first time all season he threw more than two touchdowns.

Defensively, Ball State created four turnovers, which consisted of two interceptions and two fumbles. This season, they are averaging 1.8 takeaways per game, ranking them 38th in the country.

Game Time/TV Channel/Streaming

You can watch Western Michigan vs. Ball State on Saturday, December 12th at 12:00 p.m. ET on ESPN+, a subscription service available as an add-on from ESPN even for non-subscribers.

Point Spread, Totals, Odds, Trends

Point spread: Western Michigan vs. Ball State (-2)
Point Total: O/U 67.5
Money line: Western Michigan (+100) vs. Ball State (-121)

  • In this truncated season, Western Michigan has a record of 4-1 straight up and the point total went over in four of its last five games.
  • Here’s some more good ATS news, WMU has a record of 4-2 in its last six games against Ball State.
  • On the other sideline, Ball State has a record of 5-1 straight up in its last six games.
  • The point total went over in seven of the Cardinals’ last nine games.

Betting splits

Western Michigan: (33% of handle, 37% percent of bets)
Ball State: (67% of handle, 63% percent of bets)

The Best Bet

After losing their first game of the season by double digits to then winless EMU, I think that Western Michigan comes out playing better this weekend vs. Ball State. It won’t be a blowout because the Cardinals are a good MAC team with an opportunistic defense that thrives off turnovers. But it will be up to Eleby to continue to take care of the ball like he has this season (16 TDs, 1 INT).

Pick: Western Michigan (+2)

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