Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#849 Ball State -2.5 vs.
#850 Indiana State 143.5
Sunday, November 17, 2019 at 4:30pm EST
Written by Nick Raffoul

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#849 Ball State University
#850 Indiana State University
2-1
0-2
13-19
14-15
16-16
14-14-1
75
69
71
71

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The Ball State Cardinals will head on the road to Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana on Sunday afternoon for an in-state rivalry game against the Indiana State Sycamores.

Ball State will try to keep its momentum alive after earning its first D-I victory of the season on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the Sycamores are still searching for their first win of the year after a challenging schedule to open the season. Indiana State played Tier-A games in each of its first two non-conference contests, including a matchup against the No. 4-ranked Louisville Cardinals earlier this week. Can Indiana State get back on the winning track in this in-state rivalry game against Ball State on Sunday?

Teague leads Cardinals to win over UIC

The Cardinals are fresh off their first D-I victory of the season after defeating Illinois-Chicago 67-48 on Wednesday night. Tahjai Teague scored 18 points and hauled in nine rebounds for Ball State while Ishmael El-Amin added 14 for the Cardinals, who turned the ball over only five times and limited UIC to just 31.5 percent shooting from the field in the win.

James Whitford’s squad comes into Sunday’s matchup ranked No. 112 in the latest KenPom rankings after winning two of their first three games. The Cardinals do a good job of taking care of the basketball and crashing the offensive glass, but they’ve left far too many points at the free-throw line already this season. Ball State has turned the ball over on only 10.9 percent of their offensive possessions (4th in the NCAA) and they also sport an offensive rebounding rate of 32.9 percent (85th in the NCAA). The problem for the Cardinals has been getting to the free-throw line and capitalizing on their opportunities when they get there. Ball State sports a paltry free-throw rate of only 20.3 percent (319th in the NCAA) and they have shot a dismal 44.4 percent from the charity stripe as a team through their first three games (352nd in the NCAA).

On defense, Ball State has surrendered only 95.5 points per 100 possessions (108th in the NCAA) while forcing their opponents to turn the ball over 21.9 percent of the time (106th in the NCAA). They have also limited teams to an effective field goal percentage of only 45.7 percent (100th in the NCAA), including just 42.9 percent shooting from inside the arc (69th in the NCAA).

Sycamores hope to bounce back after tough schedule

Indiana State stood little chance against No.4 Louisville on Wednesday night, losing to the Cardinals 91-62. Tyreke Key was the lone Sycamores’ player in double-figures on the night with 20 points, as Indiana State was unable to create momentum on either end of the floor. The Sycamores shot just 33.9 percent from the field and allowed Louisville to connect on 58.5 percent of their attempts from the floor, including 52.9 percent from 3-point range in the loss.

Greg Lansing’s squad comes into the weekend slotted at No. 155 in the latest KenPom rankings following their 0-2 start. Through two games, the Sycamores have scored 100.7 points per 100 possessions (116th in the NCAA) despite shooting just 41.7 percent from 2-point range (305th in the NCAA). Instead, Indiana State has managed to stay afloat by staying disciplined with the basketball and getting to the free-throw line at a high rate. The Sycamores have turned the ball over on only 16.3 percent of their offensive possessions (57th in the NCAA) and have connected on a healthy 39 percent of their attempts from 3-point range (52nd in the NCAA). They also sport a free-throw rate of 38.9 percent (80th in the NCAA) and have shot 79.5 percent from the charity stripe as a team (25th in the NCAA) so far this year.

Getting stops on the defensive end of the floor has proved to be a difficult challenge for the Sycamores through two games. Indiana State has allowed 100.3 points per 100 possessions (207th in the NCAA) while ranking outside the top-250 in nearly every major defensive category. The Sycamores have given up an effective field goal percentage of 60.2 percent (338th in the NCAA) and an offensive rebounding rate of 33.3 percent (277th in the NCAA). Through two games, opposing teams have shot 63.8 percent from inside the arc (347th in the NCAA) and 36.4 percent from 3-point range (256th in the NCAA) against the Sycamores’ defense.

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This will be a good litmus test for the Sycamores, who have played one of the toughest schedules in the country to this point in the year. Ball State’s only loss of the season came against what we now know as a very strong Evansville team. The Cardinals have a legitimate star in Tahjai Teague, who will be tough to handle inside for Indiana State. Ball State should be able to control the glass, which should give them an edge in this game. Take the Cardinals to cover the spread on neutral floor in this in-state rivalry game on Sunday. 

Prediction: Ball State Cardinals -2

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Neither of these teams turn the ball over at a high rate, which means there will be plenty of shots hoisted in this game. Ball State does a good job of crashing the offensive glass too, which should create some extra possessions for them on offense. Meanwhile, Indiana State should flash some improvement offensively after games against Dayton and Louisville to start the year. Take this game to go over the projected total on Sunday.

Prediction: Over 143.5
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Written By Nick Raffoul

Shortly after graduating with an Honors in Business Administration, Nick turned his attention from traditional stocks and bonds to investing in the performance of sports teams. And has now joined our team here at Winners & Whiners. Nick uses a combination of advanced stats and historical data to create sports investment models to identify value and generate consistent profits. Let Nick win for you.