Northern Illinois vs. Ball State, 10/1/16 - Prediction

Game Snapshot

#146 Ball State University Cardinals
vs.
#145 Northern Illinois University Huskies

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Image licensed from USA Today Sports
Northern Illinois Huskies (0-4) at Ball State Cardinals (3-1)

NCAAF: Saturday, October 1, 2016, at 3:30 p.m. ET

Line: Ball State -4

Over/Under: 58

The Northern Illinois Huskies hit the road to take on the Ball State Cardinals for a Saturday afternoon contest. Northern Illinois is looking to pick up their first win of the season after a set of some difficult losses to Wyoming and Western Illinois. The Huskies are led by Jordan Huff who has 272 rushing yards on the season. Ball State on the other hand have impressed and are the superior team at the moment. The Cardinals have been led by running back James Gilbert as he has 330 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Will the Huskies pull off the road upset or will the Cardinals keep rolling?

Huskies fall to Leathernecks

The Huskies lost 28-23 to the FCS Western Illinois Leathernecks on Saturday. Northern Illinois fell in the contest despite out-gaining the Leathernecks 552-446 total yards. Anthony Maddie had 142 passing yards and a touchdown while quarterback Ryan Graham added 109 yards and a touchdown. The difference in the contest was a Graham interception early in the third quarter which led to a Leathernecks touchdown. The Huskies had their chance to win the game but they turned the ball over on downs inside Western Illinois’ 10-yard line with under a minute to play. Huff led Northern Illinois with 130 rushing yards and a touchdown on only nine carries. This was a low moment for a Northern Illinois program that has been one of the elite teams in the MAC for many years. The loss of quarterback Drew Hare to an ankle and knee injury at South Florida has set the team back again this season.

Cardinals top Owls in thriller

The Ball State Cardinals beat the Florida Atlantic Owls 31-27 on Saturday. Quarterback Riley Neal led the Cardinals with 252 passing yards and two touchdowns. The FAU Owls had a shot to win the game with the ball with under two minutes to play but Zack Ryan intercepted a pass to seal the victory for the Cardinals. Neal added 74 rushing yards and a touchdown in the win. Running back Darian Green added 66 rushing yards on only eight carries. It wasn’t pretty for the Cardinals who trailed 14-0 early in the second quarter before storming back to win the game. The game was delayed several times due to lightning.

Trends:

The Northern Illinois Huskies are:

  • 5-15-1 ATS in their last 21 games following a straight up loss.
  • 0-6 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
  • 0-7 ATS in their last 7 games overall.
  • 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games on fieldturf.

The Ball State Cardinals are:

  • 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games overall.
  • 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS win.
  • 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.

The Cardinals have an edge with Gilbert at running back. Despite losing a few heartbreakers Northern Illinois is not ready to win a road game against a better team. Take the Cardinals in a convincing home win.

The pick: Ball State -4

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George Middleton

George has his Bachelor’s Degree from Cal State Long Beach in Communication Studies, minored in Journalism. He is an editor at Fansided powered network Air Alamo (San Antonio Spurs) and an NBA writer at RantSports. Plays in multiple basketball leagues. Has placed bets since the age of 15. Love watching basketball, baseball, and football games. Also loves Hip-Hop.