There were two exciting matchups in the MAC before Thanksgiving Weekend. The Miami (OH) RedHawks will take on the Ball State Cardinals.
Both teams have 5 wins and will be looking for their 6th win. Which team will earn a bowl bid at the best sportsbooks?
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Ball State Cardinals vs. Miami (OH) RedHawks
Tuesday, November 22, 2022 – 07:00 PM EST at Fred C. Yager Stadium
The Ball State Cardinals and Miami (OH) RedHawks will play their final game of the regular season on Tuesday. Both teams are 5-6. That means the winner will head to a bowl game and play another. Meanwhile, the loser will watch their season finish early, on November 22.
Ball State Cardinals
Ball State lost 3 of their last 4 games. The Cardinals haven’t made it easy on themselves. The Cardinals have scored 23.8 points per game while allowing 27.7 points per game. The offense averaged 382.6 yards, with 145.7 yards on the ground.
They’re led by John Paddock, who has thrown for over 2,600 yards with 18 touchdowns. However, he also has 12 interceptions and a QBR of 30.2. The run game is elite, with Carson Steele at running back. He’s carried Ball State with 12 touchdowns on 263 attempts, rushing an average of 5.2 yards per carry.
Defensively, Ball State has allowed over 400 yards of offense. But despite that, the Cardinals should have the better defense in this game. The run defense has allowed 188 yards per game, but it isn’t as bad as it looks. The coverage also has some solid playmakers.
Miami (OH) RedHawks
On the other hand, Miami (OH) has scored 20.5 points per game while allowing 23 points. The offense has only averaged 305 yards per game.
Aveon Smith has been starting for Miami. He’s thrown for under 1,000 yards this season and has 8 touchdowns with 4 interceptions. Smith also has a QBR of 37.7.
The RedHawks have earned 144.6 yards per game on the ground but have only gained 161.2 yards per game in the air. Recently, the defense has stepped up, holding their last 5 teams to 23 points or fewer in 4 of those 5 games. But it’s unlikely that the offense will find a rhythm against Ball State’s defense.
Prediction and Pick
Therefore, I’m grabbing Ball State +3 on the road for our NCAAF picks.
Bowling Green Falcons vs. Ohio Bobcats
Tuesday, November 22, 2022 - 07:00 PM EST at Frank Solich Field at Peden Stadium
Fortunately for both teams, this won’t be the last game for either of them.
The Bowling Green Falcons clinched a bowl game last week with a win over Toledo. They’ve now won 4 of their last 5 games to earn 6 wins. Meanwhile, Ohio hasn’t lost in over a month, scratching and clawing out victories left and right.
The Ohio Bobcats score 33.6 points per game while allowing 30.7 points per game. The offense is elite in the passing game, with Kurtis Rourke leading the charge.
He was injured against Ball State last week and didn’t play in the second half due to a knee injury. It’s unclear how serious this injury is. Rourke has a QBR of 72.8 and is easily the best quarterback in the conference with 3,256 yards, 25 touchdowns, and just 4 interceptions.
Ohio has struggled in pass protection for Rourke this season. If there’s a backup quarterback playing, that needs to be known.
On defense, Ohio has allowed 456.1 yards per game. They missed so many tackles this season and look weak in coverage. The pass rush and run defense are still good enough up front. They’ll hold their own there. But the coverage will struggle if the defensive line doesn’t add pressure.
Bowling Green Falcons
On the other hand, Bowling Green is averaging just 342.9 yards per game while scoring 24.2 points per game. The offense has averaged just 105.5 yards per game on the ground, which is truly weak for this conference.
Matt McDonald has led the Falcons with 21 touchdowns in the air. He’s also thrown just 5 picks with 2,422 yards this season. His QBR is still low at 46.1, but he’s been able to do some good things despite having a weak pass protection unit.
The defense has given up 424 yards per game with close to 33 points per game. The Falcons have allowed teams to earn over 260 yards in the air and over 160 yards on the ground.
They’ve struggled to get stops. However, I should point out that the pass rush is stellar, and the run defense has performed better than Ohio’s has this season. The Falcons should also end up playing better in coverage.
Bowling Green is easily the better defense in this game. But I still don’t believe they’ll be able to stop Rourke, a top-25 quarterback in all of college football.
Prediction and Pick
Bowling Green and Ohio have allowed more than 30 points per game this season. On top of that, each starting quarterback has already thrown for over 20 touchdowns this season.
Following the NCAAF odds, let’s back the Over 56 in this one.
NCAAF Pick: Over 56 (-110) at BetOnline
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