The Ball State Cardinals are laying -9 to the Arkansas State Red Wolves in what might end up being an entertaining game between two explosive offenses. The Red Wolves will be an interesting animal in this one, as former coach Bryan Harsin recently resigned so he could accept the Boise State job.
Defensive coordinator John Thompson will be the Red Wolves’ interim head coach against a BSU team that has lost four straight bowls.
Point spread: Cardinals opened as 7.5-point favorites on the GoDaddy.com betting line; the total was 63.5. (Line updates and matchup report)
Odds Shark computer prediction: 42.1-30.8 Cardinals
Why Arkansas State can cover the GoDaddy Bowl spread
The Red Wolves (7-5) offer us a chance to see dual-threat quarterback Adam Kennedy, a senior who is with his third school. Kennedy played one year at San Joaquin Delta and then transferred to Utah State, where he spent two seasons.
This past season for Arkansas State, Kennedy completed 215 of 310 pass attempts for 2,349 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also rushed for 514 yards on 147 attempts with four rushing touchdowns. Arkansas State, which has split out the last two years in the GoDaddy Bowl odds history, was 5-7 against the line in 2013 but finished the season on a 4-1 ATS run.
Why Ball State can cover the GoDaddy Bowl spread
The Cardinals (10-2) have become accustomed to winning, compiling 19 wins over the last two seasons, and will be gunning for this game to avenge the one game they wish they could have back this season—a loss to Northern Illinois.
They'd also love to deliver the program's first-ever bowl victory. Ball State, which is mired in a 0-4 slide both SU and ATS in bowl games spanning the last seven years, is on a 13-4 ATS run playing away from Muncie, Ind., and is on an 11-4 ATS run as the installed favorite.
And favorites have dominated this bowl game lately with an 8-1-2 ATS run.
Because the Cardinals have already faced one of the most talented dual-threat quarterbacks in the nation—Northern Illinois' Jordan Lynch—they will prepare better for this game and should be able to slow Ark State's Kennedy.
Besides, Ball State has its own potent offense, which includes the Mid-American Conference's top-ranked passing game, which ranked ninth nationally. Cardinals quarterback Keith Wenning threw for 3,933 yards and 34 touchdowns and has one more game to go.
The favorite is on an 8-1-2 ATS run in this bowl game, while six of the last eight have played UNDER.
- Favorites are 8-1-2 ATS past 11 GoDaddy/GMAC Bowls
- Six of past eight GoDaddy Bowls played UNDER the total
- Ball State played four bowls past seven seasons, 0-4 SU and ATS
- Third straight GoDaddy Bowl for Arkansas State (1-1), they finished season on 4-1 ATS run
- Ball State 13-4 ATS past 17 games away from home