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Where: Memorial Stadium, Bloomington, IN
When: Saturday, September 15, 12:00 PM ET.
The Indiana Hoosiers will put their two-game winning streak on the line when they host the Ball State Cardinals on Saturday afternoon.
Cardinals Trying To Bounce Back From Tough Loss To Notre Dame
The Cardinals are coming off a tough road loss to #8 Notre Dame, in a game that was closer than the Irish would have liked. Despite the loss, the Cardinals looked good and will go into their game against the Hoosiers with a lot of confidence.
Offensively, the Cardinals did a great job running the ball, finishing the game with 169 yards on the ground. Their passing game wasn’t as effective with quarterback Riley Neal completing 23 of 50 passes for 180 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions.
Defensively, the Cardinals did a great job against the run, holding the Irish to 117 yards on 41 carries, but they gave up three rushing touchdowns as well. Irish quarterback Brandon Wimbush completed 17 of 31 passes for 297 yards and three interceptions.
The Cardinals will likely try to capitalize on the fact that the Hoosiers haven’t played very well against the run, giving up 358 yards and three touchdowns on the ground in their last two games. If they can run the ball as well as they have in their first two games, they will have a decent chance to get the win over the Hoosiers.
Ball State will likely struggle to throw the ball against this week because the Hoosiers have done a great job against the pass in their first two games, giving up 307 yards through the air in those games.
Hoosiers Looking For First 3-0 Start Since 2015
The Hoosiers haven’t won more than six games in a season since 2007, and they are hoping to change the trend this season with their first 3-0 start since 2015. They will have their work cut out against a Ball State team that isn’t going to be intimidated by the Hoosiers.
The Hoosiers were able to win their first two games of the season on the strength of their running game, which has been very good so far. The Hoosiers ran for 213 yards in the first game of the season and added another 237 yards and a touchdown against Virginia on Saturday. They will be trying to go over 200 rushing yards for the third consecutive game when they face the Cardinals.
Despite their strong running game, the Hoosiers will struggle to get to 200 yards against the Cardinals because their run defense has been pretty good this season, and held the Irish to 117 yards on 41 carries.
Indiana threw the ball very well in their first game of the season, scoring five touchdowns through the air. However, they struggled against Virginia on Saturday, finishing the game with 150 passing yards and two touchdowns. After watching the Cardinals give up 297 yards to the Irish, the Hoosiers will likely try to attack Ball State’s secondary on Saturday.
- 1-9-1 ATS in their last 11 games overall.
- 1-5-1 ATS in their last 7 games following an ATS loss.
- 2-5 ATS in their last 7 vs. MAC.
Ball State is:
- 9-1 ATS in their last 10 non-conference games.
- 12-2 ATS in their last 14 vs. Big Ten.
- 55-26 ATS in their last 81 road games.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Hoosiers are favored at home because they have won their last two games, but the Cardinals are the smart bet here because they have been great in their last 10 non-conference games and have also done well in their last 14 games against Big Ten schools, and won’t be intimidated by the Hoosiers, especially after they almost pulled off the upset over Notre Dame in their last game.
Prediction: Ball State Cardinals +13
Full-Game Total Pick
The Cardinals and Hoosiers love to run the ball, which means they will have plenty of time-consuming drives, which tends to help keep the score low. The fact that Ball State averages 16 points a game and Indiana averages 29 points a game bolsters the case to take the under in this game.
Prediction: Under 59
Half-Time Side Pick
The Cardinals played very well against a good Notre Dame defense last week while the Hoosiers struggled to put Virginia away. Since both teams prefer to run the ball, and this is an in-state rivalry, it has the makings of a very close game so take the Cardinals +7.5 in the first half.
Prediction: Ball State +7.5
Half-Time Total Bet
As previously mentioned, the two teams combine for less than 50 points per game. The Cardinals’ defense is giving up an average of 14 points in the first half, while the Hoosiers are giving up 11.5 points, so don’t expect the teams to go over 30.5 in the first half.
Prediction: Under 30.5