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Wednesday Pick: Ball State Cardinals vs. Toledo Rockets Betting Preview

by | Oct 29, 2018 | cfb

Ball State Cardinals (3-6 SU, 4-5 ATS) vs. Toledo Rockets (4-4 SU, 3-5 ATS)
NCAA Football Week 10
Date/Time: Wednesday October 31st, 2018. 7:30PM (EST)
Where: Glass Bowl Toledo, O.H.
TV: ESPN2

Point Spread:BALL +14/TOL -14 (Best Odds)
Over/Under Total: 66

For the second night in a row, teams from the MAC will step into the mid-week spotlight when the Ball State Cardinals meet the Toledo Rockets this Wednesday night at The Glass Bowl. For Toledo, the possibility to earn a bowl opportunity is still within reach as they merely need to go.500 during the final 4 games of the year. Toledo will be rather heavy favorites in at least 3 of those games starting this week when the Rockets enter as 14 point favorites at home against the Cardinals. At the early look of things, this appears to be a blowup spot for the Toledo offense and a golden opportunity for bettors to cash a winning ticket on a lopsided matchup.

Fade the Ball State Defense

The reason the Cardinals are just 3-6 SU is primarily the result of a pathetic defense that has been shredded on a near-weekly basis. The Ball State defense has relinquished 422 yards per game which ranks 95th in the FBS. Against the run, this unit has been flat horrible giving up 216 yards per game on the ground (111th in FBS). The Ball State defense lacks talent and speed which is often exploited against some of the more talented opposing offenses. If you simply go back to the Cardinals’ last outing, the defense gave up over 400 yards on the ground in a 52-14 blowout loss to Ohio. Because of their inability to stop the run, I believe they will be at a huge disadvantage this week against the Rockets.

Trust the Rockets Offense

On paper, Toledo has been a solid rushing team all year, and that is a strength that should help exploit this Ball State defense yet again. The Rockets have averaged 204 yards per game on the ground and have a stable of running backs to keep fresh legs on the field. Despite the match-up advantage on paper, I believe Toledo’s offense tendencies are a bigger advantage. This offense runs a lot of misdirection style plays, screen passes, and short pick plays. They spread defenses out and try to attack in the gaps on the field which is a perfect plan of attack against a defense that lacks the speed to get out and cover those holes on the field.

Quarterback Mitchell Guadagni has been solid throwing the football with 13 passing touchdowns and 3 picks. However, Guadagni is also a substantial rushing threat with 428 yards on the season. Guadagni and this offense run a lot of run-pass-options (RPOs) and other plays to confuse the direction of the defenses. I can’t say it enough, but this is a huge disadvantage for a team that lacks the discipline and overall speed to compete. If the offense can hit a few balls down the field to keep the defense honest, they should be able to keep the pressure on throughout the game. The Cardinals defense has been very suspect to these types of offenses this season, and I foresee another long night for this group.

Betting Trends: Ball State vs. Toledo

The trends also seem to favor my viewpoint in laying the points with Toledo this week. The Cardinals are just 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games and 2-6 in their last 8 games on the road. Toledo has not necessarily been better in recent weeks going just 1-4 against the mark in their last 5 contests. However, Toledo has held the upper hand in head to head meetings recently against Ball State. The Rockets have won the last 4 straight games by double digits including a huge 58-17 blowout at Ball State last year. I am not sure if we will see that type of blowout this week by the Rockets, but I think they will win convincingly.

Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Take Toledo -14. Get more of Jay’s and a slew of other betting opinions all week long by visiting and bookmarking our CFB Picks Page

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