Last Updated Oct 31, 2022, 3:30 AM

Central Michigan Chippewas vs. Ball State Cardinals Predictions, Odds, Picks

Nov. 17, 2021
Dan Dobish
VI Betting Expert

The Central Michigan Chippewas (6-4, 4-2) travel to meet the Ball State Cardinals (5-5, 3-3) in a Mid-American Conference West Division matchup on Wednesday night at Scheumann Stadium in Muncie, Ind. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m., and the game will be televised on ESPNU.

Score Prediction

Central Michigan 44, Ball State 29

Best Bets

Central Michigan -115 ML

Over 59.5 (-110)

First-half CMU -0.5 (-105)

First-half Over 30 (-105)

Central Michigan Chippewas vs. Ball State Cardinals Predictions

The Chippewas have posted some big offensive numbers lately, and they're technically still alive for a trip to the MAC Championship Game, although they must win out, while Northern Illinois must lose the final two. Still, you're saying there's a chance...

Central Michigan's offense has been hot lately, going for 54, 42, 38, 27 and 30 across the past five games. The defense has been very giving, too, allowing at least 30 points in each of the past three, so it's no surprise the OVER has connected in each. Central went for 221 rushing yards and 284 passing yards last week against Kent State in a 54-30 win. The Chips took advantage of three lost fumbles by the Golden Flashes, while winning turnover battle by a 3-0 count. That's a winning formula more often than not.

While the pass game has been impressive for QB Daniel Richardson this season, and he tossed for 268 yards and four touchdowns against Kent State, it was RB Lew Nichols stealing the show against the Flashes. He had 43 totes for 215 yards and four rushing touchdowns against Kent State. He'll be the one to watch for the Ball State defense.

Ball State was a challenger for the MAC West, but it has fallen off quite a bit. The Cardinals are just 1-2 SU/0-3 ATS across the past three games with three UNDER results. The offense is averaging just 25.7 PPG during the three-game run.

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Central Michigan Chippewas vs. Ball State Cardinals Betting Odds

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Central Michigan Chippewas vs. Ball State Cardinals Betting Resources

  • Matchup: MAC
  • Date: Wednesday, November 17, 2021
  • Venue: Scheumann Stadium
  • Location: Muchie, Indiana
  • TV-Time: ESPNU - 7:00 p.m. ET

Central Michigan Chippewas Betting Analysis

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 6-4
  • ATS: 5-5
  • O/U: 5-5
  • ATS - Home: 3-2
  • ATS - Away: 2-3

Central Michigan has gotten off to quick starts across the past five games, so you'll want to focus on the first-half spread and/or money line, as well as the first-half total. Last week, CMU led 26-17 at half time, and the Chips led 21-14 at Western Michigan at the break on Nov. 3. Prior to that, CMU led 28-18 against NIU at half, and they were up 17-3 on Toledo after 30 minutes on Oct. 16. At Ohio on Oct. 9, the Chips led the Bobcats 13-10. You'll want to dip your toe in the first-half betting pool and take the Chips either straight up, or laying a half-point, while going over 30. Central Michigan is averaging 25.0 PPG in the first half across the past three games, while yielding 16.3 PPG.

There is something about Hump Day that scratches the itch for CMU, too. The Chips are a gaudy 14-2-1 ATS in the past 17 games played on a Wednesday, while going 21-8-2 ATS in the past 31 as a road favorite, too. As far as totals, the OVER is 7-3 in their past 10 games in the month of November, while going 9-1 in the past 10 appearances on a Wednesday.

The Chips haven't fared terribly well overall against the Cardinals, going just 3-8 ATS in the past 11 meetings. However, CMU is 6-2 ATS in the past eight trips to Muncie, while the road team has cashed in 16 of the past 21 in this series. The OVER is also 4-1 in the past five meetings at Scheumann Stadium, so that'll make trend bettors happy.

Ball State Cardinals Betting Analysis

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

Ball State piled up 246 yards on the ground last week in its 30-29 loss at Northern Illinois. The Cardinals were denied a win, and they saw their MAC Championship Game aspirations go up in smoke with a last-second game-winning field with zeroes on the clock. Ball State's M.O. is running the ball, but they'll face a lot of resistance from a Central Michigan rush defense which allows 141.6 yards per game, a respectable 56th in the nation. In fact, that's the best facet of the Chips defense, as they're very giving through the air with 276.2 yards per game allowed.

The Cardinals just aren't a high-octane offense. Ball State ranks 106th with 347.7 total yards per game, while posting just 206.0 passing yards per outing. The Cardinals are also just so-so on the defensive side of the ball, so that's not good news for their prospects in this game. Ball State is allowed 27.8 PPG, good for just 79th in the nation, and they allow 408.9 total yards per game, checking in 88th overall.

Ball State is 1-5 ATS in the past six games in the month of November, while going 0-5 ATS in the past five appearances on a Wednesday, quite the opposite of CMU's success on the day. Ball State is just 2-5 ATS in the past seven games at home, while going 3-7 ATS in the past 10 games overall. For Ball, the UNDER is 6-0 in the past six at home, and 10-3 in the past 13 games overall. The UNDER is 6-2 in the past eight MAC games for the Cardinals, too, although with powerful CMU on the other side, that's not a trend likely to continue.

  • SU: 5-5
  • ATS: 3-7
  • O/U: 3-7
  • ATS - Home: 1-3
  • ATS - Away: 2-4

Ball State enters on an 0-3 ATS skid, while hitting the Under in three in a row. (AP)

Inside the Stats - Central Michigan Chippewas

  • Record: 6-4
  • VI Ranking: 84
  • Points Scored: 328
  • Points Allowed: 287
  • PS/G: 32.8
  • PA/G: 28.7

Inside the Stats - Ball State Cardinals

  • Record: 5-5
  • VI Ranking: 86
  • Points Scored: 256
  • Points Allowed: 278
  • PS/G: 25.6
  • PA/G: 27.8

Key Players to Watch

  • CMU: Daniel Richardson - QB (140/232, 1,979 yards, 19 TD, 2 INT)
  • CMU: Lew Nichols - RB (235 rushes, 1,295 yards, 11 TD)
  • BALL: Drew Plitt - QB (181/295, 1,902 yards, 15 TD, 4 INT)
  • BALL: Carson Steele - RB (132 rushes, 691 yards, 5 TD)

Central Michigan Chippewas vs. Ball State Cardinals Betting Conclusion

This isn't Ball State's kind of game. Central Michigan is going to want to start quick, and score big, while Ball State has been more methodical on offense, and prefers a ground-and-pound attack with a bend-don't-break defense.

Lately, the Chippewas have been playing their type of wide-open style, and no one has been able to slow them down. It will be interesting to see how the Cardinals respond after such a gut-wrenching loss last week. While Ball State still has a shot at a bowl game, it might have to wait until next week against skidding Buffalo to finally attain bowl eligibility.

I really like Central Michigan's offense. Richardson can sling it, WR/KR Kalil Pimpleton is a threat in the offense, as well as on special teams, and Nichols is a touchdown machine who can really tenderize a defense, helping open things up downfield for the kill-shot. This isn't a team which would challenge a Power 5 team, but they're a very good MAC team, especially on offense. Enjoy the show!

Central Michigan Chippewas vs. Ball State Cardinals Betting Trends

  • Central Michigan is 14-2-1 ATS in its past 17 Wednesday games.
  • Central Michigan is 23-9 in the past 32 November games.
  • Ball State is 0-5 ATS in its past five Wednesday games.
  • Ball State is 1-5 ATS in the past six November games.
  • The OVER is 7-3 in the past 10 meetings in this series.
  • The road team is 16-5 ATS in the past 21 meetings in this series.
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