Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#627 Miami - OH 139 vs.
#628 Ball State -9
Saturday, January 18, 2020 at 1:00pm EST
Written by Blake V.



#627 Miami University
#628 Ball State University


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Miami (Ohio) and Ball State will both be looking to build on wins when the two teams square off on Saturday afternoon. The Redhawks are coming off a 77-74 win against Kent State on Tuesday night. Ball State picked up a 69-52 victory against Eastern Michigan on the road on Tuesday.

Redhawks snapped losing skid

Miami snapped a three-game losing skid with Tuesday’s win. The Redhawks lost consecutive road games to Central Michigan and Bowling Green. They followed those performances up with a narrow home loss to Buffalo last Friday. Their losing skid came to an end with a 77-74 win against Kent State on Tuesday. Miami jumped out to a 31-21 lead at halftime and held off the Golden Flashes in the second half. Kent State tied the game with 2:09 to play, but Miami responded to grab the late win.

The Redhawks are led by junior guard Nike Sibande, who is scoring 14.5 points per game, grabbing 5.8 rebounds per game and dishing out 2.1 assists per game. He has been decent from beyond the arc, making 19 of 58 attempts for a 32.8 percent clip. Junior forward Dalonte Brown is the only other scorer in double figures, adding 12.9 points per game and a team-high 6.5 rebounds per game. He has been good from deep, making 22 of 64 from downtown. Sophomore guard Mekhi Lairy has been the best outside shooter, draining 38.5 percent of his 52 attempts.

Ball State winners of four out of five

Ball State has been playing well, winning four of its last five games. The Cardinals picked up wins against Portland, Toledo and Buffalo before losing to Akron last Friday. They bounced back with a convincing performance against Eastern Michigan, grabbing a 69-52 win on the road in Tuesday’s bout. Ball State left no doubt, jumping out to a 32-14 lead at halftime. The second half was fairly even, as Eastern Michigan outscored the Cardinals by one point. For the Eagles, it was their fourth loss in a row.

The Cardinals are led by senior forward Tahjai Teague, who is scoring 14.7 points per game and is nearly averaging a double-double with 8.6 rebounds per game. He has struggled to find his stroke from beyond the arc, making just 8 of 33 from downtown. Junior guard Ishmael El-Amin has also been a serious scoring threat, pouring in 14.6 points per game. He is dishing out 2.7 assists per contest. El-Amin is an excellent 3-point shooter, making 43 of 93 from beyond the arc for a 46.2 percent clip. Senior forward Kyle Mallers is also in double figures, scoring 10.2 points per game and grabbing 4.1 rebounds per game.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

Insiders Status:


These teams represent a severe contrast in momentum. Miami has not been a good team to bet on this season, covering three of its last 11 games. Ball State has been an excellent team to bet on, going 4-1 against-the-spread in its last five contests. The Cardinals have also won four of their last five games and are playing well overall. Miami lacks the scoring options it is going to take to keep this game close. The Ball State tempo is also going to frustrate the Redhawks and limit their already-mediocre offense. I like the Cardinals to win and cover at home in this one.

Prediction: Ball State -9.5

Full-Game Total Pick

Insiders Status:


These teams represent a contrast in styles and a contrast in total results this season. Miami has been an over team, while Ball State has been an under team. The Cardinals have had four of their last five games go under the total and 10 of their 16 games overall. They are even more emphatic on slowing the ball down in conference play, with 12 of their last 15 games against a Mid-American opponent going under. Ball State comes into Saturday’s game at No. 218 in KenPom’s adjusted tempo ratings. The home team tends to win the tempo battle, so I am taking the under in this game.

Prediction: Under 139

Written By Blake V.

Blake is a lifelong sports fan and hoops junkie. Prior to joining our team at Winners & Whiners and StatSalt, Blake worked for several newspapers and websites. He enjoys combining his beat writing expertise with the knack for finding the winning edge in a matchup. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.