We have Tuesday night MAC football this week, and it features the undefeated and number 14 ranked Ball State Cardinals taking on the Miami (OH) Redhawks.
It's another loaded week of college football, with one game Tuesday, 2 games Wednesday, Three games Thursday, 1 game Friday, and a full schedule of games on Saturday. Of course the free picking contest will only include Saturday games but of course that doesn't mean we aren't going to pick every weekday game which has been the case all season.
While Tuesday night's matchup isn't too attractive, the games get better as the week go on. Of course, they will be included in other articles as the week goes on. While we have the Tuesday game here, we also have 5 more games that are being played Saturday. So let's get to it.
Ball State -18 at Miami (OH) (Tuesday 11/11/08, 7 EST) 7 out of 10
Last week I tried to get "too cute" when I took Northern Illinois at +9 1/2 to cover against Ball State. Sure, Northern had a good chance to cover. And yes, I was covered because I knew Jordan was pounding the table to the readers that Ball State was the play. But I felt inclined to pick the Huskies to cover and give it a low confidence rating (4 out of 10) just to try and get my point across that NIU has been a decent cover team this year.
To be honest, I was on the fence. And while I said it was a game I wouldn't have normally played, maybe I should have just not played it. Instead, I figured Northern actually had a chance to control the ball and keep Nate Davis off the field long enough to keep him ineffective.
Well, my pick cost me. I am not going to make the same mistake this week. I can't even make a case why Miami (OH) comes withing 3 touchdowns of the undefeated Cardinals.
Miami (OH) comes into this contest at 2-7 and sporting the 95th ranked defense and the 109th ranked offense. Ball State comes in a perfect 9-0 and 11th in the country in points scored, and 9th in the country in points allowed. What we have here is a good old-fashioned statistical mismatch.
Ball State comes in at 7-1 against the spread. Their only non-cover came against Eastern Michigan on a late EMU touchdown as the Cardinals were laying 27 1/2 and ended up only winning by 22. The Redhawks come in at 3-4 against the spread and outscored by a combined 53 points in their last 2 games.
Also in Ball State's favor is the fact that the road team has covered each of the last 5 games in this series. Miami (OH) is 0-6 against the spread in their last 6 home games, 2-7 against the spread in their last 9 conference games, and 3-8 against the spread in their last 11 overall. Ball State is 4-1 against the spread in their last 5 conference games and 10-3 against the spread in their last 13 against a team with a losing record.
I hope the announcers have a lot of that "cradle of coaches" material ready, because this one may get out of hand in a hurry. Ball State will be looking to make a statement on national TV.
Go here for the rest of Mitch's week 12 college football picks and predictions against the spread.