After last weekend's 14-5 run against the spread, including 7-2 in my highest-rated games, I'm ready to get back at it.
While Jordan and I don't agree on the Tuesday night games, I don't think either of us really like those games, and I know I wouldn't be anywhere near them if it wasn't that they were being played on a Tuesday. At least at this point of the season we really know a lot about all of the teams, and this should help us close it out as we usually do—with style.
I will be sending out the free picking contest games tomorrow, and I am going to give you the option to include the Friday games or not. If you want to include the Friday games, I am going to need your picks back by Friday morning. If not, Saturday is fine as is normal. Just remember if I don't get your picks in time and you have Friday games, those games will be scored as losses.
We'll be having live chats during all of the games once again this week. Feel free to pop in and say hi or ask questions and discuss any upcoming games. In any event, let's get on with the games.
Western Michigan +11 at Ball State (Tuesday, Nov. 25, 7 EST): 4 out of 10
This game sets up to be a high-scoring contest, and while I'm not convinced WMU can do enough to walk away with the win, I think they have a solid chance at a cover.
When we watched Ball State last week against Central Michigan, for most of the game they just didn't seem to be able to defend against the pass. Ball State also had no trouble moving through the air, and I expect them to move equally as effectively this week. While Western Michigan ranks ninth in the country in passing offense, they are 90th against the pass.
As we have seen the past few weeks, Ball State also has a bend but don't break style of defense, which ranks in the middle of the pack where yardage is involved but is ninth in the country in points allowed. This is Ball State's biggest edge.
Ball State is an impressive 8-2 against the spread this season, while Western Michigan is 5-5. Ball State hasn't really been involved in many close games at all this season, and last week was the first time they were really tested. Western has been in tough games all season long and has prevailed in most of them.
While Ball State is 4-1 against the spread in their last five home games and 5-2 against the spread in their last seven conference games, the Cardinals are just 1-4 against the spread at home when playing teams with a winning road record.
Aside from being 5-1 against the spread on the road against a team with a winning home record, the Broncos traditionally finish strong, going 5-2-1 against the spread in their last eight games in November.
I expect it to be a vocal home crowd and an emotional night as Ball State looks to finish the regular season perfect, but I don't think Western Michigan just lies down, and they should have the guns to cover a double-digit spread.
See the rest of Mitch's Part One of his Week 14 college football picks and predictions against the spread.