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Miami - OH Redhawks vs. Ball State Cardinals
Where and when: Worthen Arena, Muncie, Indiana, Saturday, 1 pm EST
The Redhawks of Miami, Ohio, will travel to Worthen Arena in Muncie, Indiana, for a Mid-Eastern Conference battle versus the Ball State Cardinals on Saturday afternoon at 1 pm EST. These two teams enter this contest on two different planes as the Redhawks are losers of 3 of their last 4 games while the Cardinals have picked up 4 wins in their last 5 matchups. Miami, Ohio, on the other hand, has picked up wins in their last 3 meetings, overall, 3 of the last 5 contests at Worthen Arena.
During this time, the Redhawks have covered the spread in 4 of those matchups. Important to note that Miami, Ohio, happens to be losers of 6 of their last 8 road games while the Cardinals have won 4-straight games at home, including 6 of 9 on the season.
Miami, Ohio gets monkey off their backs with a winAn awful start within the conference caused the Redhawks to begin winless at 0-3 only a week ago. However, they were able to pick up their first MAC win of the season at the expense of the Kent State Golden Flashes at home after getting a huge lift from leading scorer in junior guard Nike Sibande (15 ppg, 5 rebs), who posted 25 points while also grabbing 10 rebounds, as he was able to overcome 2-straight single digit performances in his 2 prior starts to go 8-14 from the field along with 2-5 from long-range.
Freshman guard Dae Dae Grant (9 ppg) has also risen to the occasion in recent games as he has posted double-digit lines in his last 5 games for the Redhawks with 11 on the night versus Kent State while junior forward Bam Bowman (8 ppg) has also posted double-figures in his last 2 games.
However, can this type of consistency continue for Miami, Ohio. On the season, the offense is making less than 44% of their shots from the floor, yet the team has certainly been putting the ball in the basket despite their losing ways most recently in averaging just over 80 points per game. The problem has been that their defense, which is allowing 43% shooting and 72 points for opponents in 2019, has suddenly loss it way.
Cardinals survive scare versus Kent StateDespite going up by 10-points at the half, the Cardinals allowed the Golden Flashes to get back into the game thanks to outscoring the home team 53-46 in the second half. Furthermore, the visitors shot 47% from the floor along with nailing 14 3-pointers to boot. This type of effort simply will not do, not even against an offense for Ball State that is shooting 44% from the floor while posting 72 points per game (even if they have failed to score 69+ points in 4 of their last 5 games).
Ball State began conference play on a high note in picking up victories in 2 of their first 3 contests. The Cardinals illustrated a huge defensive effort in their last time out versus the Eastern Michigan Eagles after atoning for a road loss to the Akron Zips in their prior outing as they allowed just 32% shooting for the visitors along with only 19% shooting from long-range, including forcing 14 turnovers.
For the season, the Cardinals are ranked 35th in the country in points allowed per game (62) and have certainly lived up to their reputation in holding opponents to under 70 points in 4 of their last 5 games, as pointed out earlier. In fact, to note the dominance that Ball State’s defense has illustrated, in their last 5 games at Worthen Arena, opponents have averaged just 59 points.
And while the team continues to hang their hats on the defense, the offense, led by senior forward Tahjai Teague (15 ppg, 9 rebs, 1.4 stls, 1.8 blks) has also shown flashes of improvement as Teague posted his 2nd straight double-double with 23 points and 17 boards in the win. The senior is not averaging a double-double in his last 3 games with 22 points and 12 rebounds while shooting an outstanding 54% from the floor on the season. Junior guard Ishmael El-Amin (15 ppg) provides a nice inside-outside punch for the Cardinals as he is coming off a 16-point, 7 rebound performance versus Eastern Michigan while going 4-8 from long-range.
Important to note that El-Amin is shooting 49% from the floor on the year in addition to connecting on a whopping 46% of his 3-pointers (43 made on the year). It will be interesting to see if they are able to repeat their most recent performances versus a Redhawks team that has struggled on the defensive end all season.
- Cardinals are 4-1 ATS in last 5 games
- Cardinals are 3-1 ATS in last 4 home games
- Redhawks are 3-7 ATS in last 10 games
- Redhawks are 1-3 ATS in last 4 road games
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I happen to believe that the Cardinals are the much better team in this instance as they will pull away from the visitors at some point. This also appears to be one of those contest to where you can, by and large, throw prior trends to the side as the home team happens to have much of the momentum entering this contest. Of course, look for this matchup to be an interesting one, yet one where Ball State will have the leg up at home versus a team that they have played well at home in recent outings.
Prediction: Ball State Cardinals
Full-Game Total Pick
These squads have had some low-scoring affairs in prior outings. In fact, the under has been the play in 4 of the last 5 matchups amongst these two teams as I expect this to be the case on Saturday. And while Miami, Ohio, can be a dangerous team offensively, look for the Cardinals and their solid defensive unit to cool them down in this contest, thus affecting the total. Important to note that the under has been the play in 4 of the last 5 home games for the Cardinals.