Bowling Green Falcons (8-3 SU, 8-3 ATS) vs. Ball State Cardinals (3-8 SU, 4-7 ATS)
College Football Week 13
Date/Time: Tuesday, November 24, 2015, 7:00 pm EST
Where: Scheumann Stadium, Muncie, Ind.
by Badger, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: BGSU -21.5/BALL +21.5
Over/Under Total: OFF
The final week of the Mid-American Conferences national midweek MACtion games will kickoff Tuesday night in Muncie, Indiana, when the Ball State Cardinals host the MAC East champion Bowling Green Falcons in the regular season finale for both teams inside Scheumann Stadium on ESPN3.
Bowling Green will be using the Tuesday nighter against the Cardinals to tune up and get ready for the MAC Championship game at Ford Field in Detroit December 4th. The Falcons had their seven-game winning streak snapped at home last week in MACtion when they dropped a heartbreaker to Toledo, 44-28. But since the MAC West title is still up for grabs, the Falcons will have to wait until after their Tuesday night (and a possible Northern Illinois victory on Tuesday) to find out who will be their opponent in the title game.
Ball State has lost seven of their last eight games in MAC play, including last weeks disappointing, 48-31, loss at Ohio. Besides playing the role of spoiler against the Falcons, the Cardinals will be able to use Tuesdays finale as a measuring stick to see how far their young team full of freshmen and sophomores has come during the year when they take on the senior-laden Falcons who have reached the MAC Championship game for three years in a row.
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With Ball State struggling to stay competitive in conference play, it wont surprise anyone to see that the early point spread on this game shows Bowling Green as extremely large 21-point favorites on the road in the finale. As of press time, an over/under total has not been released yet.
The biggest reason why the opening point spread is so big is because anybody and their brother can predict that the Ball State defense is going to have major problems solving the passing game of Bowling Green. Fifth-year senior QB Matt Johnson may not play the whole game against a Cardinals secondary that is ranked 122nd in FBS allowing 297 yards a game, but considering Johnson leads the Falcons attack with 401 yards per game passing (2nd in FBS) chances are hell be adding a few more touchdowns to his already impressive total of 39 this season. Look for running back Travis Greene to cross over into 1,000 yard rushing (currently at 939) at some point as well before hes taken out and rested for the MAC title game the following week.
Ball States offense is led by freshman Riley Neal, who is having a nice debut for the Cardinals running the show this year. With sophomore running back Darian Green also young and improving, theres a lot to look forward too in 2016 if youre a Cardinals fan.
If you are worried about motivation for Bowling Green in this one, let it be known that Ball State handed the Falcons perhaps their most embarrassing loss last season, on the road in Bowling Green, 41-24. The Falcons ran for 314 yards in the loss, but any thoughts of letting up for the Cardinals or looking past them in the finale looking ahead to the title game can be thrown out the window because head coach Dino Babers and the seniors will remind everyone about what happened in 2014. The win for Ball State snapped a six-game win streak the Falcons had going against them going as far back as the 1999 season.
Once a total is put up on the board for this game, take a look at the under as a possible betting trend wager. The under is 4-0 in the Falcons last four road games, the under is 4-0 in Ball States last four home games and the under is also 4-1 for Bowling Green when they play on a Tuesday night.
Badger’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: With no real idea how long Bowling Green will keep their starters in this game before resting them for the MAC title game next week, a side wager on them will be a little risky. I envision the Falcons running up a big lead before taking them out, then Ball State coming on late in backdoor fashion to cover the point spread. Betting the trend play on the under may turn out to be the best value, once a total is released. Im taking Ball State plus the three touchdowns in this game.
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