The Tuesday night (8:00pm ET) game for week 12 of the 2011 college football season features two Mid-American Conference contenders with the Ball St. Cardinals (6-4) traveling to DeKalb, IL to take on the Northern Illinois Huskies (7-3). Ball St. won their last time out on November 5, on the road against Eastern Michigan by a score of 33-31 as a 2.5 point underdog. NIU has won five straight, all against MAC teams, including a 45-14 shellacking at Bowling Green in which they covered a 6 point line with ease. Ball St. is 6-4 ATS this season while NIU is 5-5 ATS.
The Cardinals feature a passing-oriented offense with quarterback Keith Wenning (2,233 yards passing, 15 touchdowns and 9 interceptions) that averages 23.8 points per game (87th nationally) and 376.2 yards per contest (73rd nationally). The defense for the Cardinals has been among the worst in the nation, ranking 118th out of 120 FBS teams in total defense with 493.9 YPG allowed and 98th in scoring defense with 33 PPG allowed on the season. The Huskies offense has been rolling like a well-oiled machine under dual-threat QB Chandler Harnish, averaging 41.6 PPG (9th in the nation) and 486.1 YPG (11th nationally) with a balanced run-pass attack. The NIU defense has been as explosive as the offense, allowing 33.4 PPG (100th in the nation) and 438.5 YPG (99th nationally) on the season.
Ball St. vs. Northern Illinois Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Ball St. Cardinals +17
@Northern Illinois Huskies -17
Over 71.5 (-110)
Under 71.5 (-110)
Betting odds taken from Bodog.com
Ball St. vs. Northern Illinois Pick:
Ball St. is 30-11 ATS in their last 41 road games and 4-0 ATS in their last 4 MAC games. NIU is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 MAC games and 12-5-1 in their last 18 games as a favorite. The under is 15-7-1 in Ball State’s last 23 road games and the over is 10-3 in their last 13 MAC games. The over is 4-1 in NIU’s last 5 home games and 9-4 in their last 13 games as a favorite. In head-to-head play, NIU has won two straight and three of the last five contests against the Cardinals. Last season NIU rolled to a 59-21 victory in Muncie, easily covering the 15.5 point line. The over has come in for three of the last five meetings between the two teams.
The Huskies have been on a serious roll on offense, failing to score over 40 points only once in their last seven games. With a pair of atrocious defenses facing off against each other in this game, this will be a great game to watch if you like high-scoring football. The over/under number of 71.5 is definitely reachable with these two defenses on the field, the only thing keeping me from recommending the over as the play to make is the lack of big-play potential from the Ball St. offense, which could make the scoring in this one very one-sided in favor of NIU. The Huskies have not allowed anyone to stop their offense of late, and Harnish and company have to be salivating at the prospect of facing maybe the worst defense they will come across all season. NIU should score and score often in this one, and could quite possibly top the 59 points and 444 yards of total offense they accumulated in their win last season playing at home this year. Ball St. is even more pathetic on defense this season, allowing more that those 444 yards on AVERAGE this season. Ball St. does not have the weapons to keep up in a shoot-out, and the Huskies will cover the 17 point line.
PICK = NIU -17 **Make sure you enter your details in the form at the top of this page to get updated with all of our winning college and NFL football plays**