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

A potential shootout is on the horizon in Mount Pleasant.

Central Michigan Chippewas quarterback Quinten Dormady throws the ball in the third quarter against the San Diego State Aztecs during the New Mexico Bowl at Dreamstyle Stadium. Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday action in the MAC West division will pit two foes gunning to get into the win column for the second week in a row as the Ball State Cardinals trek up to Mount Pleasant to meet the Central Michigan Chippewas.

CMU’s 31-25 victory over in-state rival Eastern Michigan was, as some would say, bonkers as the Chips fired off 25 points in the fourth quarter to come from behind and upend the Eagles. The running back tandem of Lew Nicholas III and Kobe Lewis shouldered a bulk of the load in CMU’s frantic comeback, combining for 302 rushing yards on 47 carries and three scores. Playing an integral role was the Chippewa defense, who turned the Eagles over on their final three possessions.

Meanwhile at the Glass Bowl, it was Ball State having to hunker down late to hold off a comeback attempt, ultimately prevailing against Toledo 27-24. Having already yielded 15 points in the fourth and seeing the Rockets driving, the Cardinals defense came away with a game-saving stopped when an Anthony Ekpe forced fumble was recovered by Bryce Cosby to end it.

Game Time/TV Channel/Streaming

You can watch Ball State vs. Central Michigan on Saturday, December 5th at 5:30 p.m. ET on ESPNU, or you can stream it via the ESPN app with a cable or streaming service login.

Point Spread, Totals, Odds, Trends

Point spread: Ball State (-1.5) vs. Central Michigan
Point Total: 62
Money line: Ball State (-118) vs. Central Michigan (-103)

  • CMU covered the spread as a 1.5 point underdog in last year’s matchup between the two schools. The OVER of 60 hit in a 45-44 Central Michigan victory.
  • Ball State is 1-3 against the spread this season while Central Michigan is 3-1.
  • Ball State covered as a 10 point underdog in their 27-24 win over Toledo last week.

Betting splits

Ball State: (44% of handle, 27% percent of bets)
Central Michigan: (56% of handle, 73% percent of bets)

The Best Bet

Both teams are enjoying 3-1 campaigns due to offenses who have been able to move the ball with relative ease. Both teams have crossed 400 yards in each of their respective contests and have taken care of the ball with only only nine combined turnovers.

Defensively however, the two MAC teams are susceptible to giving those yards right back with both squads giving up 6.2 yards per play. Ball State is currently ranked 104th in defensive SP+ while CMU is at 79th. This virtual tossup has all the makings of a shootout, making the OVER a favorable play.

Pick: Over 62

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