The Ohio Bobcats (8-6 / 0-2 MAC) will arrive to Worthen Arena on Saturday as 11-point underdogs when they visit the Ball State Cardinals (10-5 / 1-1 MAC) at 12 p.m ET.
The Bobcats have been consistently inconsistent on offense this season, and yes I mean to say it like that. Ohio has not scored 70 points but once in their last 7 games, although they still average 72.9 PPG because of a good start to the year. Just don’t ask anyone to step behind the arc please, because the Bobcats rank 33nd in the nation from distance (29.4%), and free throws? Yeah, don’t ask about those, and we’ll just move on.
Ball State isn’t having any of those shooting issues this season, as they carry the nation’s 8th ranked field goal percentage (50.6%), and are putting up nearly 84 PPG.
The Bobcats Look To Find Their Offense Again In Muncie
The Bobcats were having no scoring issues as they navigated their way to an 8 – 4 non-conference record that included wins over Marshall and FIU as their relative big wins before kicking off MAC play.
Ohio has now started their MAC docket 0 – 2, and the offense has sputtered over the last 7 games in which they have gone 3 – 4 and will face 12 – 3 Kent State and 12 – 3 Toledo after leaving Muncie, IN today.
That could potentially have the Bobcats falling under the .500 mark as they will be underdogs in 3 straight games, including getting +11 tonight from the odds makers.
Last time out against Bowling Green, the Bobcats lost 82 – 63 and only got to the free throw line 4 times, two of which came from junior guard James Gollon off the bench. Gollon scored the first 6 points of his season in only his 3rd appearance of the year.
Sophomore forward Jason Carter found his way to a 22-point night with 6 boards in the loss, as he brought his team-leading average up to 17.6 PPG with the effort. Carter has hit the 20-point mark on 6 occasions this year, with two double-doubles to his credit.
Sophomore guard Teyvion Kirk did what he has been doing basically all season, as he grabbed 17 points which landed him right about at is 16.4 PPG average.
1-3 Start? What 1-3 Start? You Must Have Us Mistaken
Remember back when as the 2018/19 campaign kicked off and the Cardinals were 1 – 3 wondering what type of disaster they might be facing after such a harsh finish to last season.
It's an early tipoff Saturday at Worthen Arena as the Cardinals host Ohio at Noon. BSU won its final four regular season games against MAC East Division teams last season and is set for its first look at one this year.
— Ball State Basketball (@BallStateMBB) January 11, 2019
Ball State let a golden opportunity to end up in a post-season tournament slip away last year, as they were 19 – 12 overall and 10 – 5 in MAC play with 3 games left to play. The 0 – 3 finish on top of the early exit at the MAC Tourney was a tough way to finish head coach James Whitford‘s 5th season, especially after back-to-back 21-win campaigns.
The Cardinals ran off a 9 – 1 record before their recent MAC loss to Eastern Michigan in overtime, 84 – 82. Injuries and a thin bench could cause some issues over the next month.
Junior forward Tahjai Teague led all Cardinals in scoring on the night with 28 points to bring his average up to 15.8 PPG, which only trails team-leading Taylor Persons and his 16.2 PPG by a slim margin.
Persons struggled big-time against Eastern Michigan coming up with only 4 points on a 1 of 11 shooting night in 43 minutes of action.
• Cardinals are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 Saturday games.
• Cardinals are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
• Over is 9-2 in Cardinals last 11 overall.
• Bobcats are 5-15-1 ATS in their last 21 road games.
• Bobcats are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
• Over is 5-2 in Bobcats last 7 Saturday games.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I will grab this double-digit home favorite and expect the Cardinals to go out and do what they do at home, which is win and win nicely.
This is 86 – 70 game waiting to happen as far as I see it, and it will point me towards this total to go over the number as well.
Ball State 10.5 is your 3* Play on the Side.
Prediction: Ball State -10.5
Full-Game Total Pick
I just told you it will be 86 – 70, which gives us about a 10pount cushion towards this early line of 146.5.
Ball State should be just find tonight, and a 15-point win with plenty of points should be what we see here.
The Over 146.5 is your 3* Play on the Total.
Prediction: Over 146.5