Ball State Cardinals vs. Ohio Bobcats Point Spread – Pick Against the Betting Line Nov/17/2015

Ball State Cardinals (3-7 SU, 4-6 ATS) vs. Ohio Bobcats (6-4 SU, 6-4 ATS)
College Football Week 12
Date/Time: Tuesday, November 17, 2015, 7:00 pm EST
Where: Peden Stadium, Athens, Ohio
TV: ESPNU, DirecTV 208
by Badger, NCAA Football Handicapper,

Point Spread: BALL +8.5/OHIO -8.5
Over/Under Total: OFF

Two schools both limping toward the finish line of the 2016 season will meet in Tuesday nights Mid-American Conference (MAC) MACation undercard, when the Ball State Cardinals travel to Peden Stadium in Athens to take on the Ohio Bobcats on ESPNU.

An optimist would look at the Cardinals three-win season thus far and point out the fact that they are playing a host of underclassmen, including several freshman in key positions in an attempt to make the performance on the field look better than the results. Ball State snapped a five-game losing streak with a victory over Massachusetts on Halloween, but then gave it back up their last time out between the lines on Nov. 5th with a lopsided, 54-7 shellacking by Western Michigan in what was clearly their ugliest loss of the season.

Meanwhile, with eight players listed as questionable for Tuesdays game with various ailments, the Bobcats are literally limping into the mid-week MACtion tilt with Ball State this week. Last Tuesday the Bobcats played perhaps their best all-around game of he season, shutting out Kent State, 27-0. The win snapped a three-game losing streak for the Bobcats and also made them bowl eligible after not qualifying for the post-season in 2014.


With these two playing out their schedules and with a much larger and more important MACtion game being shown on another ESPN channel on Tuesday, oddsmakers opened this game with Ohio as 9-point favorites at home. With a little less than 12 hours for this point spread to draw action, there hasnt been a lot of line movement yet although there are a few sportsbooks listing the Bobcats down the hook as just 8.5-point favorites.

As of press time, an over/under total hasnt yet been released.

After giving up an average of 50.6 points per game during the three-game losing streak, last week the Ohio defense finally looked like a unit full of players on scholarship, albeit it came against the MACs worst offense in Kent State. Regardless, the Bobcats defense looks to have another matchup in their favor this week when they face off against Ball States freshman QB Riley Neal (1,875 yards, 13 TD, 3 INT).

But perhaps even more exciting for Ohio fans will be that chance to face the Ball State defense, a unit currently allowing over 500 yards a game (503 ypg 119th in FBS) and over 33 points per game too (33.4 ppg 99th). QB Derrius Vick has been more dangerous with his legs than his arm lately, but with a Cardinals defense that allows 299 in the air a game and over 200 on the ground too, Vick should be able to pad his stats as he leads the Bobcats in their final home game of the season inside Peden Stadium.

These two schools havent played on the field since the 2012, a game won by Ball State at home, 52-27. The win was the second in a row for the Cardinals, however, Ohio won the previous three meetings going back from 1999 to 2009.

The most telling betting trend for this game might be the fact that it is going to be played on Tuesday night. Ball State is 4-1 ATS in their last five games played on Tuesday, whereas the Bobcats are just 1-5-1 ATS when they show up in primetime on Tuesday. And for the record, that lone cover for Ohio on a Tuesday happened last week against Kent State, so prior to a week ago the Bobbies have failed to cover on a Tuesday night.

Badger’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Ohio looked pretty good last week, but lets not forget it came against Kent State. Ball State has had an extra week to prepare for this one, while Ohio is faced with a short turnaround again. Ball States (lack of) defense really scares me and should make anyone think twice about the amount you wager on them. But Im still taking Ball State plus the points for this one.

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