Central Michigan vs. Ball State Prediction ATS 11/17/21

by | Nov 16, 2021 | cfb

Central Michigan Chippewas (6-4 SU, 5-5 ATS) vs. Ball State Cardinals (5-5 SU, 3-7 ATS)

When: Wednesday, November 17, 7 p.m.

Where: Schuemann Stadium, Muncie, Ind.

TV: ESPNU

Point Spread: CMU +2/Ball St -2 (MyBookie - Use bonus code PREDICT100 and they’ll give you a SPECIAL 100% bonus up to $300!)

Total: O/U 61

Outlook

Ball State saw its chances at repeating as the MAC champion slip away last week at Northern Illinois, and now the Cardinals will look to play spoiler for the only team left that can reasonably beat out the Huskies for the Western Division crown. Two wins for Central Michigan and two losses for Northern Illinois would make the Chippewas champions of the West, but a loss here to Ball State would officially knock them out of the running and would require nothing short of a miracle to keep Northern Illinois out of the championship.

Helping their rival isn’t really what Ball State wanted to do with this season, but the Cardinals have little choice. If they don’t beat the Chippewas, they might be facing an elimination game for the postseason against Buffalo, where the winner is bowl eligible and the loser watches the bowls on television. Getting a win at home won’t be easy for the Cardinals, as things have never come easy for either side in this series. Out of the past seven meetings between these teams, five have been decided by three points or less.

How the Public is Betting the Northern Illinois/Buffalo Game

The public is riding with the Huskies in this one, as they’ve put 57 percent of tickets on Northern Illinois to cover the small margin. It hasn’t affected either the spread or the total.

Injury Concerns

Central Michigan:
Offensive lineman Luke Goedeke (undisclosed) is questionable. Defensive back Dishon McNary (undisclosed), quarterback John Keller (undisclosed), running back Kobe Lewis (knee), defensive back Willie Reid (personal), wide receiver Drayton Law (undisclosed), wide receiver Finn Hogan (collarbone), wide receiver Tyson Davis (knee) and defensive lineman Robi Stuart (undisclosed)

Ball State:
Tight end Dylan Koch (undisclosed) and offensive lineman Kaleb Slaven (undisclosed) are questionable. Running back Tye Evans (leg) is out.

When Central Michigan Has the Ball

In order to best the FlashFast offense, you’ve got to come prepared with a top quality offense of your own, and Central Michigan did exactly that in running away with its game against Kent State. Lew Nichols III ran all over the Kent State defense, rushing for 215 yards and four touchdowns, while Daniel Richardson threw for four scores of his own and the Chippewas came up with 54 points in the win.

What really made that offensive performance scary is that Central Michigan didn’t even get much from Kalil Pimpleton, its top returner and receiver who can change a game at a moment’s notice. Look for him to be a lot more involved this time, as Ball State doesn’t move as fast as Kent State, meaning there’s no reason for the Chippewas to not go for the quick score.

When Ball State Has the Ball

For whatever reason, Drew Plitt has just been off this season. The loss to Northern Illinois was another example, as he only threw for 126 yards and one touchdown on 26 pass attempts. The Cardinals were only in the game because they got strong running from Carson Steele and Justin Hall, but outside of those two, there wasn’t really much to speak of for Ball State.

The running game should again be strong, if only because Central Michigan really hasn’t shown any ability to play defense. As long as Steele and Hall get around 30 to 40 carries between them in this game, Ball State has a reasonable shot. Less than that, however, and this game is likely in a place Ball State doesn’t want.

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Betting Trends

These teams play every year, and usually, this is a very tight contest. Central Michigan has won on its past three trips to Muncie, but the Chippewas won two of those games by a combined three points. Two of the past three years have seen this game decided by exactly one point, so taking the underdog has historically been the right move. Overall, the underdog is 6-2 in the past eight meetings, and the road team has covered in 16 of 21 matchups.

That doesn’t even touch Wednesday night MACtion performances, as CMU has covered in 14 of its past 17 games on Wednesday nights. Wednesday has been a nightmare for Ball State, however, as the Cardinals have failed to cover in five straight on Wednesday. It’s also been a night for overs, as the over has gone 9-1 in CMU’s past 10 Wednesday games.

Weather Report

The good news is it should be warmer during the day for this one, with temperatures moving into the 60s before dropping to the 40s at night. The bad news is rain and wind will follow at night, producing 12 mile per hour winds and a wet evening in Muncie.

Dan’s Pick to Cover the Spread

The rain could neutralize CMU’s passing, but the Chippewas still do have Lew Nichols to run the ball, and Ball State doesn’t look like it will be able to stop him. Central has the better team and should do its part to stay in the race for the West. Whether it’s enough is debatable, but I think it’s enough for a win in Muncie. Give me the Chippewas. Note: If you are laying -110 odds when placing your bets YOU-ARE-OVERPAYING! Did you know that there are a couple sportsbooks out there where you lay -105 or less? Do yourself a favor and take 5 minutes to start saving yourself hundreds of dollars by reading this short article and making the switch to reduced odds sports betting.

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