Featured Video from Scott Reichel
Northern Kentucky Norse vs. Ball State Cardinals
NCAAB: Wednesday, November 20, 2019, at 7:00 PM EST
Northern Kentucky has gotten off to a good start on the season winning three of their first four games including their last two. Their defense has been key in their wins and in their last two games they gave up 68 and 70 points respectively. This is the Norse’s 3rd road game of the season and they are 1-1 so far on the young season.
Ball State is just like NKU in that they are 3-1 and have won their last two games. While the Norse have played good defense in their last two games the Cardinals have played great defense holding their last two opponents to 48 and 55 points respectively. Ball State has won both of their home games this season.
This is the first-ever meeting between these teams.
Defense gets the job doneIn their last game, Northern Kentucky beat Coppin State holding them under 40% shooting and in their previous game. they beat Coastal Carolina holding them to 38.9% shooting. In the win over Coppin State, Dantez Walton scored a career-high 24 points and also pulled nine rebounds and Tyler Sharp had 23 points and five boards.
Sharpe leads four players for the Norse that are averaging at least 12 ppg averaging 16.2 ppg. He has scored at least 18 points in three of four games but had a bomb in the win over Coastal Carolina in the game before the Coppin State win only scoring five points on 20% shooting. Walton leads the team averaging seven rebounds per game and he had failed to score over nine points in his first three games before blowing up for 24 points in the Coppin State win.
Three blowouts, one close gameAll three of Ball State’s wins this season have been by at least 14 points while they lost by only four points on the road against Evansville, who pulled off the biggest shocker so far this season beating top-ranked Kentucky. In the Cardinals' last game, they beat Indiana State 69-55 where they outscored the Sycamores by 13 points in the 2nd half and held them to 40.7% shooting.
Defense ➡️ Offense pic.twitter.com/T4dVfg8CLs— Ball State Basketball (@BallStateMBB) November 17, 2019
The Ball State won handily even though they missed 17 of their 23 3-pointers.
Tahjai Teague (17.8 ppg) leads for Cardinals that are averaging in double figures and he is also averaging 7.8 rpg. He went big in the win over Indiana State with a double-double with 22 points and 10 rebounds and shot a scorching 76.9% from the floor. the team’s 2nd leading scorer in Ishmael El-Amin (12 ppg) had 11 points in the win over Indiana State but only shot 25% from the floor.
According to the betting trends from Covers.com, the Ball State Cardinals are:
- 6-0 ATS in their last 6 vs. Horizon League
- 5-1 ATS in their last 6 non-conference games
- 6-2-1 ATS in their last 9 Wednesday games
According to the betting trends from Covers.com, the Northern Kentucky Norse are:
- 3-7 ATS in their last 10 road games
- 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games overall
- 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games following a straight-up win
- 5-16 ATS in their last 21 games against a team with a winning straight up record
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Cardinals have failed to cover in nine of their last 12 games but will face a Northern Kentucky team that has failed to cover the spread in 15 of their last 16 games facing a team with a winning record. The Cardinals have not lost at home this season and they will keep that streak alive facing the Norse. They will turn it up a notch on defense and keep NKU’s offense in check. Ball State will not have a great shooting game but they will do just enough to win and cover the spread moving to four wins on the season.
Prediction: Ball State
Full-Game Total Pick
In six of Northern Kentucky's last seven non-conference games, the total has gone Under and the total has gone Under in four of the last five home games for Ball State. The Cardinals have played great defense in each of their last two games and they will play solid defense at home in this game. The Norse will struggle with their shot and come far from lighting up the scoreboard. Add that to the fact that Ball State is not a high scoring team and you get the Under for this non-conference affair.