MAC Betting Preview Week Twelve: Ohio Bobcats at Ball State Cardinals

Ohio Bobcats at Ball State Cardinals
Wednesday, November 14, 2012, 8:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPNU
Scheumann Stadium – Muncie, Indiana
Opening Line: Ball State -3 1/2
Current Line: Ball State -6
Opening Total: 59
Current Total: 63
Opening Money Line: Ball State -250 / Ohio +210
Current Money Line: Ball State -250 / Ohio +210

Ball State is a 6 point favorite at home Wednesday night in a key MAC clash with Ohio.

It has been a banner year for the Mid-American Conference with 6 teams with at least 7 wins. Only the Pac 12 and SEC have that many 7 win teams. The MAC has more bowl eligible teams than every conference except those two conferences and the Big 12. That includes more than Big East, ACC, and Big Ten.

Two of those bowl eligible teams meet Wednesday night in Muncie as the 8-2 Ohio Bobcats take on the 7-3 Ball State Cardinals. Both teams are 4-2 in conference and are in third place in their respective divisions. Both have outside shots of going to the MAC Championship game, but have to win out and need a lot of help as well. Ball State leads the series 14-8 against Ohio, including 7-3 in Muncie. The Cardinals have won 9 of the last 12 meetings including 23-20 in Athens last year.

Ohio is coached by Frank Solich. The Bobcats have losses at Miami-(OH) 23-20 and at home against Bowling Green last week 26-14. After a 7-0 start, Ohio has lost 2 of 3. Ohio has road wins over Penn St 24-14, Marshall 27-24, and Massachusetts 37-34, along with home wins against New Mexico St 51-24, Norfolk St 44-10, Buffalo 38-31, Akron 34-28 and against Eastern Michigan 45-14. The Bobcats are 4-6 ATS and the total is 4-5 this season. Ohio was a 2.5 point favorite against Bowling Green and the total was 48.

Ohio is averaging 440.4 yards per game on offense, including 231.48 passing yards and 208.6 rushing yards. The Bobcats are outscoring teams 33-23 this season. Ohio is +15 in turnovers with only 5 turnovers. The Bobcats are averaging 49 penalty yards and have allowed 15 sacks. Ohio is 76/172 on third and fourth down conversions and 39/47 scoring in the red zone with 26 touchdowns. On defense, the Bobcats are allowing 377.5 yards per game, including 235.7 passing yards and 141.8 rushing yards. The Bobcats have forced 20 turnovers and 19 sacks this season. Ohio opponents are 87/186 on third and fourth down conversions, and 27/30 scoring in the red zone with 20 touchdowns.

Ohio quarterback Tyler Tettleton has completed 171 of 278 passes (61.5%) for 2,045 yards with 15 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, along with 84 carries, 198 yards and 4 touchdowns. Running back Beau Blankenship has 243 carries, 1,194 yards and 8 touchdowns, along with 18 catches, 170 yards and a touchdown. Ryan Boykin has 74 carries, 445 yards and 4 touchdowns. Daz’mond Patterson has only 155 combined rushing and receiving yards but he does have a rushing touchdown and a 100 yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Receiver Donte Foster has 42 catches, 518 yards and 7 touchdowns. Bakari Bussey has 30 catches, 266 yards and no touchdowns. Landon Smith has 8 catches, 198 yards and 2 touchdowns He is out with an ankle injury. Troy Hill has 14 catches, 169 yards and 3 touchdowns. Not counting Blankenship, 5 other Bobcats have at least 8 catches. Twelve Bobcats are listed at questionable or out for Wednesday’s game including 4 receivers and 4 defensive players.

Ball State is coached by Pete Lembo. The Cardinals are in third place in the division, but are behind 6-0 Northern Illinois and 5-1 Toledo. Ball State has losses at Clemson 52-27, and Kent St 45-43 along with a home loss to Northern Illinois 35-23. The Cardinals have home wins over Eastern Michigan 37-26, South Florida 31-27, and Western Michigan 30-24 in overtime, along with road wins at Indiana 41-39, Central Michigan 41-30, Army 30-22 and last week at Toledo 34-27. Ball State has won four straight games. The Cardinals are 8-2 ATS and the total is 5-4-1 this season. Ball State was a 6 point underdog against Toledo and the total was 70.5.

Ball State is averaging 470.5 yards per game on offense, including 271.7 passing yards and 198.8 rushing yards. The Cardinals are outscoring teams 34-33 this season. Ball St is 37th or higher in all offensive categories nationally. The Cardinals are -4 in turnovers, with 16 giveaways. Ball State has allowed 8 sacks this season and is averaging 51 penalty yards per game. Ball State is 79/166 on third and fourth down conversions, and 47/56 scoring in the red zone with 32 touchdowns. On defense, Ball State is allowing 471.3 yards per game including 257.7 passing yards and 213.6. The Cardinals are #94 out of 124 FBS teams in all defensive categories including points allowed. Ball State has forced 14 sacks and 12 turnovers. Cardinal opponents are 68/156 on third and fourth down conversions, and 32/37 scoring in the red zone with 26 touchdowns.

Ball State quarterback Keith Wenning has completed 263 of 406 passes (64.8%) for 2,705 yards with 20 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, along with 50 carries, 120 yards and 3 touchdowns. Wenning also has a touchdown catch. Running back Jahwan Edwards has 183 carries, 1,054 yards and 10 touchdowns, along with 8 catches for 45 yards. Barrington Scott has 93 carries, 373 yards and a touchdown, along with a receiving touchdown Horactio Banks has 72 carries, 370 yards and 3 touchdowns. Receiver Willie Snead has  73 catches, 946 yards and 6 touchdowns. Jamill Smith has 64 catches, 670 and 4 touchdowns, along with 8 carries for 55 yards. Smith also threw a touchdown pass. Tight end Zane Fakes has 44 catches, 346 yards and 3 touchdowns. Connor Ryan has 39 catches, 306 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Ohio is 5-1 ATS against teams with winning records, 10-4 in November, 2-5 in road games against teams with winning home records,  after passing for less than 170 passing yards, and after a double digit home loss, 11-29 after scoring less than 20 points, 1-5 in MAC games, overall, and on fieldturf.

Ball State is 5-0 ATS after gaining 450 yards or more, 4-0 on fieldturf, 8-1 after a straight up win, 6-1 after a cover, 13-3 overall, 4-1 after allowing more than 200 rushing yards, 9-3 in MAC  games, 7-3 against teams with winning records, 17-8 in November, 6-16 at home, including 1-5 against teams with winning road records.

Ohio is struggling right now, mainly because of a rash of injuries. Ball State meanwhile has won 4 straight games. The Cardinals have a few injuries, but not nearly as many as the Bobcats. Bettors love Ball St as the line opened at -3.5 and has been bet up to -6. I think Ball St wins in a shootout.

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