Ball State vs. Kent State Odds, Picks, Predictions (11/1/22)

Midweek MACtion is here! 3-5 Kent State will play host to 4-4 Ball State in some Tuesday night football as both programs aim to get over .500 in conference play. Both Kent State and Ball State are 2-2 against MAC competition, and both are going to have to fight hard down the stretch to reach six wins and become bowl-eligible.

Let’s take a look at the odds and make some picks and predictions for this Tuesday night matchup in Ohio.

Ball State vs. Kent State Odds

Kent State enters as a 7-point home favorite at -260 on the moneyline. The over/under is set at 62 points.

Even at 3-5, it’s not tough to see why Kent State is a solid favorite here. The Golden Flashes are 3-0 at home this season, including an impressive win over Ohio. At the same time, Ball State has won three of its last four, including a victory over UConn. Can Kent State defend its home turf against a rising, well-balanced MAC team?

Ball State vs. Kent State Prediction & Pick

After losses to Tennessee and Western Michigan to open the season, Ball State has played very well. There’s no shame in losing to a Georgia Southern team that beat Nebraska, and the loss to Eastern Michigan two weeks ago was a deviation from the Cardinals’ previous stretch of games in October.

Ball State beat Central Michigan and UConn without bringing its best on offense. Kent State’s defense should allow the Cardinals some more room to produce on the offensive side of the ball, and this Ball State defense that has held its last three opponents to a combined 57 points is capable of at least keeping this game close on the road. Ball State +7 looks like the safer option.

Ball State vs. Kent State Key Matchups

Kent State will attempt to win this game behind its powerful rushing attack. Ball State ranks 114th out of 131 FBS programs with nearly 200 rushing yards allowed per game, which could be a major issue against one of the best running games in the MAC.

Marquez Cooper has run for an average of 144 yards per game over his last four games, tearing up the defenses of Ohio, Akron, and Toledo. QB Collin Schlee has flashed some mobility as well and will keep Ball State’s defense on its toes.

Kent State certainly doesn’t have the advantage through the air. Schlee has only two games with more than 200 passing yards this season. While both came in October, including a 398-yard outburst against Ohio, Ball State has a competent pass defense that ranks above-average among all FBS teams. Schlee has notably only thrown two interceptions over his last six starts. If turnovers stay limited and the ground game continues to produce, Kent State is on a path to victory.

Kent State’s pass defense ranks 124th out of all FBS schools as one of eight teams to allow more than 300 passing yards per game. The game may come down to whether Ball State QB John Paddock shows some signs of life against a less than impressive unit. Paddock is averaging more than an interception per start this season and is coming off three mostly inaccurate games.

However, earlier this season he threw for 338 yards against a Georgia Southern pass defense that ranks one spot above Kent State. Between that performance and a 403-yard display against Northern Illinois, it looks like Paddock can take advantage of weaker defenses.

RB Carson Steele should also see plenty of work for Ball State. Steele has 890 yards and 8 touchdowns on the ground this season, with six 100+ yard rushing performances in his last seven games. Ball State doesn’t have much in its backfield outside of Steele, though, so their rushing numbers as a team are solid but nothing more.

Dan is a lifelong sports fan and graduate of Boston University. He’s covered several sports on Instagram since he was 12 and now writes about everything from betting trends to breaking news for Lineups.

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