NCAA Basketball Pick: Ball State -4 over Central Michigan

LT Profits Sports Group

Wednesday, February 27, 2013 5:00 AM UTC

Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013 5:00 AM UTC

Ball State is seeking revenge at home after losing at Central Michigan earlier, and should get it vs. a Chippewas team that has lost nine straight games since beating the Cardinals last time.

The home team should be able to get revenge on the slumping visitors in MAC action Wednesday night when the Central Michigan Chippewas (9-17, 1-9 away) pay a visit to the Ball State Cardinals (11-14, 6-8 home) at John E Worthen Arena in Muncie, IN at 7:00 ET.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Ball State as a moderate favorite for this contest with the current line at -4 with odds of -106.

Central Michigan defeated Ball State at home 71-57 on January 19th, but the Chippewas have not won a game since then while losing nine straight games and falling to 2-10 in Mid American Conference play, good for dead last in the West Division, so the Cardinals should be primed from some revenge at home in Muncie.

The problem for Central Michigan all year has been defense, as they are ranked 325th in defensive efficiency and 339th out of 347 Division I teams in effective field goal percentage allowed at an atrocious 55.2 percent! That is what happens when you rank 339th in two-point defense at 54.3 percent and 322nd in three-point defense at 37.9 percent.

The picture is not any rosier during conference games, as the Chippewas rank 11th out of 12 conference teams in efficiency, 11th in two-point defense and dead last in three-point defense. As bad as the CMU defense is overall, it has been even worse on the road where the Chips are allowing a whopping 78.2 points per game on an ungodly 51.6 percent shooting!

That helps explain Central Michigan’s 1-9 road record and why it is getting outscored by -10.2 points per game away from home. Furthermore the Chippewas are 0-5 on the road inside the MAC while losing by an average of -10.6 points.

Now Ball State is obviously not a powerhouse to be only a four-point favorite over this team, but at least the Cardinals have won three of their last four games both straight up and against the spread. Two of those wins came in MAC play to improve the Cardinals to 4-8 inside the conference, and the other win came in their last game Saturday on the road at SE Missouri State 70-67 on BracketBuster Saturday.

Two things that Ball State does well are rebound the basketball and get to the foul line, as the Cardinals are ranked 65th nationally in offensive rebounding percentage, 67th in defensive rebounding percentage and an excellent 15th in FTA/FGA ratio. Considering the quality of their opponent tonight (or lack thereof), the Cardinals should win this game rather safely just by continuing to excel in those areas.

Thus, look for Ball State to get its revenge at home on Wednesday.


NCAA Basketball Pick: Ball State -4 (-106)

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