Miami - OH vs. Ball State, 01/10/17 - Preview & Prediction

Game Snapshot

#524 Ball State University Cardinals
vs.
#523 Miami University Redhawks

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Image licensed from USA Today Sports

Miami (Ohio) Red Hawks 8-7 (7-5 ATS) at Ball State Cardinals 9-6 (3-7 ATS)

When and Where: Tuesday, Jan. 10, Worthern Arena, Muncie, Ind. 7:00pm EST (ESPN3)

Spread: Ball State -7.5; Total: 146,5

Only three teams remain undefeated in Mid-American Conference play heading into Tuesday night, and neither one of these squads are one of them.  Miami dropped their last contest 91-76 at Toledo to fall to .500 in conference play while Ball State fell at home to Bowling Green by five points to drop to 0-2 in league play.  The Red Hawks lead the all-time series 62-39 and won the last meeting back in March, 49-47.

Red Hawks Ready to Bounce Back

Miami’s season has been up and down to this point and the team has suffered some losses that probably were not expected like setbacks to Delaware, Northern Kentucky, and Fort Wayne. If we are being honest, none of their wins are anything to write home about with perhaps the best one coming against Austin Peay. That said, they did take down Northern Illinois in the conference opener prior to 15-point setback to Toledo.

Junior guard Abdoulaye Harouna scored a career-high 18 points in teh win over NIU last Tuesday and two more juniors had career highs against the Rockets on Saturday. Forward Logan McLane dropped 25 points on Toledo while adding eight rebounds two assists, a steal, and a block in 34 minutes of action while Rod Mills Jr. scores 20 in 28 minutes of play.

Cardinals Craving a Win

After losing two of three to start the season, Ball State started to put togehter some wins. As a matter of fact, after the slow start, the team won eight of 10, and five straight heading into conference play. While none of the non-conference victories were particularly impressive, all of the losses were probably expected as well (save the six-point loss at home to in-state rival Indiana State). Any momentum the squad had coming into MAC play was quickly halted with a 100-90 loss at Kent State, followed by a five point loss at home to Bowling Green.

The Cards took down Miami twice last year, both times in the regular season, before dropping their last contest to them in the opening round of the MAC Tourney. Taylor Persons scored a game-high 21 points against the Falcons and Franko House had a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds, but BGSU outscored BSU 41-33 in the second half after heading into the locker rooms down by three. The Cardinals did however, win the battle of the boards, 47-33. Persons leads the team with 18.5 points and 5.5 assists through two leagues games and has scored 15 of his 37 total points from the charity stripe.

Trends:

Miami (OH) is:

  • 5-0 ATS in their last 5 vs. Ohio Valley.-1-1 ATS in their last 7 home games vs. a team with a losing road record
  • 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400
  • 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 Tuesday games
  • 5-2-1 ATS in their last 8 home games

Frankly, neither team is particularly impressive to this point, and even with the Cardinals getting the Red Hawks at home, they just do not seem good enough to be giving up 7.5 points to anybody, much less a conference foe.  Ball State could still easily win this game, but you should not expect it to be a double-digit affair.

Pick: Miami (OH) +7.5

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Chuck D

Chuck Dowling is a 30-something University of Florida J-School alum that lives in his mother’s basement. Just kidding... there are no basements in Florida (the ground is too moist). He has been in the “biz” for his entire adult life and specializes in NCAA football and basketball, as well as soccer, boxing, and MMA. When not writing, Chuck moonlights as a high school athletics radio and internet-television broadcaster.