Ohio Vs. Ball State Odds, Picks, Predictions (11/15/22)

Continuing on with MACtion, we kick things off with a battle of MAC titans as Ohio travels to Ball State with serious post season implications on the line. While Ohio looks to lock up their side of the division for the conference championship, Ball State will look to claim a bowl berth as the season starts to wind down while sitting at a record of 5-5.

Ohio Vs. Ball State Odds

Ohio comes into this game as a slight favorite, currently hovering around -4. They opened at -4.5, with Ball State immediately taking money as the spread dips closer to a key football number. With projections around -3.5, it will be interesting to see if this spread hits the key number of -3 as we near kickoff.

The total opened at 54.5, dropping to as low as 53 as Tuesday night kickoff draws near. With Ball State being able to limit opposing quarterback Kurtis Rourke pass success, we may see a heavy dose of the run which will help bleed out the clock.

Ohio Vs. Ball State Prediction & Pick

The Pick: Under 54 (Play down to 52)

While some may be surprised to see the number move away from Ohio, especially after cruising to an easy 16 point victory in their last showing against Miami OH, Ball State’s defense will be more than ready to defend against the Rourke led offense.

Ohio is more than capable of sustained offensive drives but success may be hard to come by once they get past the 40. Ball State has clear advantages in Def Finishing Drives, a key factor to taking the under as they will need to limit points on the board throughout the game should they want any chance of punching their ticket to a bowl game before the last week of the season. 

Ball State’s defense also excels in limiting opposing offensive explosiveness, another big factor in cashing in on an under as we can potentially avoid busted plays for fluke scores. While Ohio will be more than capable of moving the ball down the field, it will most likely have to be done with conservative small gains at a time. We need every continued clock running play we can get when it comes to taking an under in MACtion.

Ohio Vs. Ball State Key Matchups

Can Ball State’s defense limit NFL QB prospect Kurtis Rourke? Who’s going to stop RB Carson Steele from running wild?  

Kurtis Rourke vs the Ball State Secondary

The key factor in cashing in our under ticket will be the Ball State defense limiting Ohio’s scoring output. Easier said than done as Ohio’s quarterback Kurtis Rourke possesses serious next level talent and has been a major factor in Ohio’s success as they near a date with the conference championship game.

Rourke has been electric under center, so far throwing for 3,087 yards, 24 touchdowns, and four interceptions. He has also contributed 237 yards on the ground with another four rushing touchdowns. As elite as they come.

Ball State has advantages in Def Finishing Drives and Def EPA/Play and will need to continue to find that same success on their back end if they want to generate the upset.

Carson Steele Running Rampant

While Ball State’s defensive success is the key metric to watch, their offense will also need to show up in order to stamp their ticket to bowl season. Limiting Rourke will go a long way in getting the win, but they will need to put up points themselves as well. In order for them to do that, they will once again need to lean on the success of star running back Carson Steele. 

Steele has been one of the best running backs in the conference, currently running for 1,280 yards, 12 touchdowns, at an average of 5.1 yards per carry. He has shown no signs of slowing down as he finished his last outing against Toledo with 198 yards, three touchdowns, at an unreal average of 7.1 yards per carry.

Ohio ranks around average in the nation in limiting the run in terms of Def EPA, a metric that Steele should be able to exploit on the ground.

Verdict

With Ball State’s defense being more than capable of limiting Ohio’s offensive success and expecting a heavy dose of the run on their end, take the under at no lower than 52 for Tuesday night MACtion.

Kody is a sports betting writer here at Lineups. He specializes in college sports as well as the NFL and NBA. He won’t quit believing in the Lions Super Bowl chances even when they are eliminated.

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