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Saturday, January 19 4:30 P.M. McGuirk Arena in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan
Two members of the MAC West will do battle in this one. Ball State will travel to take on Central Michigan who sits at the top of the conference. Central Michigan was victorious in their last game against Northern Illinois 78-69. Ball State dropped a close one to Bowling Green in their last game 79-78. This was their third loss in a row. Ball State comes into this game at 7-7 ATS this season while Central Michigan is 9-7. The Cardinals have won six of the last 10 meetings with Central Michigan. Ball State will be without Ishmael El-Amin and Brachen Hazen. They are both out with injuries and likely to return in the beginning of February.
Central Michigan Bounces Back
Central Michigan had a seven-game win streak snapped two games ago against Bowling Green. They were able to bounce back and pick up a win against Northern Illinois. They held a four-point lead at halftime and used a 47-point second half to extend their lead. The Chippewas were out rebounded in the game but were able to force 16 turnovers and gain an edge from the three-point line. Central Michigan finished 13-29 from beyond the arc compared to Northern Illinois who finished 6-18. Four of Central Michigan’s five starters finished the game in double-figures. Shawn Roundtree finished with 21 points on 6-11 from the field.
— CMU Men's Basketball (@CMUMensBBall) January 16, 2019
The Chippewas score 87.1 points per game which is good for seventh in the country. Roundtree is second on the team in scoring averaging 16 points per game. Larry Austin Jr. leads the team with 17.6 points per game but finished with just one point against Northern Illinois. He should his unselfishness during his off-night scoring and dished out nine assists. The Chippewas are excellent at drawing fouls and getting to the free throw line. They rank second in the country in total free throws attempted.
Ball State Falls Late
Ball State trailed by one at halftime in their last game. This had the feel of a game that would go right down to the wire and it sure did. With 1:16 left in the game, Ball State trailed 76-68 but they did not give up. They scored seven of the next nine points but strong free throw shooting out of Bowling Green sealed the deal. The Cardinals shot 48.1% from the field compared to Bowling Green’s 33.9%. They dominated from the field but the free throw line and turnovers did them in. Ball State was out scored by 10 at the free throw line and turned the ball over 16 times. Tayler Persons led Ball State with 28 points on 10-19 shooting and grabbed nine rebounds. Tahjai Teague was strong as well finishing with 19 points.
🚨 MILESTONE ALERT 🚨
With just one more assist, @TaylerPersons8 will join an exclusive club of active Division I players with at least 1,500 career points and 500 career assists.
— Ball State Basketball (@BallStateMBB) January 17, 2019
The Cardinals have lost three straight conference games after beating Toledo to start their MAC schedule. They have the offensive firepower to compete with a team like Central Michigan although it will be difficult on the road. They average 81.7 points per game led by Persons. The senior has scored 20 or more points six times this season and is averaging 16.9 on the season. As a team, they shoot 36.4% from the three-point line but they do not attempt many. When they put up three’s there is a good chance that they will be going in. This is a good chance for the Cardinals to shake up the MAC West with a road win in Michigan.
- Chippewas are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record
- Over is 12-3-1 in Chippewas last 16 home games
- Over is 20-6 in Chippewas last 26 Saturday games
- Cardinals are 2-7 ATS in their last 9 games following a ATS loss
- Cardinals are 2-11 ATS in their last 13 games following a straight up loss
- Cardinals are 1-8 ATS in their last 9 vs. Mid-American
- Over is 10-3 in Cardinals last 13 overall
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Central Michigan will be on the road in this one which they are very comfortable doing. Ball State is 8-1 at home but the statistic that stands out is they have lost three of their first four games in conference play. Central Michigan, on the other hand, has won three of their first four conference games and can take a strangle hold of the top spot in this one. Both teams have the ability to score the ball so this should be an entertaining match up. Central Michigan has covered the last two games against Ball State, one as a favorite and one as a dog. They will be looking to make it three covers in a row and they should be able to get the job done at home.
Prediction: Central Michigan
Full-Game Total Pick
These are two teams that average well in the 80’s in points per game. They have the ability to score at a high rate and big time players who can make all different types of plays throughout the game. If you are a fan of defense, this is not the game for you. these teams have combined to play 21 games that went over already this season. Three of the last four match ups have went over as well so the numbers are leaning that way. Two high-powered offenses who can shoot the lights out from deep squaring off. What can be more fun than that? Take the over in this game and enjoy.