Ball State Cardinals at Northern Illinois Huskies Odds & Free Pick
In a game that might decide a spot in the MAC championship bout Northern Illinois and Ball State battle for the Bronze Stalk Wednesday night in DeKalb. The Huskies lead the MAC West by a game over the Cardinals and others, so this is big for both teams.
Northern Illinois is lined as a short home dog, possibly because of some injury issues. Here’s our homework for this game, with our free college football betting pick.
Ball State-Northern Illinois Betting Odds
This week's college football betting lines opened Ball State as a 2.5-point road favorite in this spot, with an over/under of right around 62. Early betting action then edged that total to 62.5.
Ball State Betting Preview
The defending MAC champion Cardinals are 5-4 on the season after winning at Akron last Tuesday 31-25. Ball State drew first blood with a touchdown midway through the first quarter and led 21-10 at the half. The Cardinals then scored the first touchdown of the second half, which got them within a field goal of the cover at -20. But they then let the Zips get within a field goal early in the fourth quarter and needed a fumble recovery near their own goal line with 1:30 left just to hold on to the victory.
Ball State actually got out-gained by Akron 458-425. However, nearly half the yardage the Cardinals defense gave up came while protecting a 28-10 lead. BSU also ran the ball 42 times for 242 yards and won the turnover battle 1-0. Just enough to clinch the win.
The Cardinals have been out-gained eight times over their nine games this season and out-rushed six times. But somehow, following a 1-3 start, they’re 4-1 SU, 3-2 ATS over their last five games.
Northern Illinois Betting Preview
The Huskies, meanwhile, are 6-3 on the season after falling at Kent State last Wednesday 52-47. Northern Illinois took a 7-0 less than two minutes in but gave up a 31-point Golden Flashes second quarter to trail 31-21 into the half. The Huskies later fell down 45-27, got within five points with five minutes to go but couldn't get the ball back and came up just short ATS at +3.5.
Last week, Northern Illinois piled up 663 yards of total offense but gave up 682, including 360 on the ground!
Two weeks ago, the Huskies gave up 500 yards to Central Michigan, although they rallied to win that game 39-38. In fact, last week's loss snapped a five-game winning streak for Northern Illinois.
The Huskies have been out-gained by five of their nine opponents this season, but they've won the ground battles six times in nine games.
At 4-1 in conference play, Northern Illinois leads the MAC West by one game over Ball State, Eastern Michigan, and Central Michigan, all 3-2. And the Huskies already own victories over the Eagles and Chippewas.
However, early injury reports include NIU's starting quarterback Lombardi, second-leading rusher Waylee, and WR Richie. So bettors will want to consume some later injury updates before getting down on this game.
Ball State-Northern Illinois Recent History
The Huskies beat the Cardinals 10 times in a row from 2009-18, but Ball State's won the last two meetings, including a 31-25 decision in Muncie's previous season. Northern Illinois covered that night as a 14-point underdog, and the game played under a total of 59.
- Get more details: BALL/NIU 11/10/21 Match-up Stats
College Football Betting Trends
- The Huskies are only 6-6 SU, 5-6-1 ATS at home the last two-plus seasons.
- The Cardinals are only 11-21 SU but 17-15 ATS on the road over the last five-plus seasons.
Under are 6-3 in Ball State games this season, which are averaging 53 total points.
Overs are 5-4 in Northern Illinois games, which are averaging 65 points.
Under are 3-0 over the last three meetings between these teams.