The surprising Northwestern Wildcats and their NCAAF betting fans will look to remain unbeaten when they play host to the Ball State Cardinals when the two rivals square off in their Week 4 showdown at Ryan Field. Now, let’s find out which team will bring home the bacon in this matchup.
Northwestern moved to 3-0 on the season by beating Duke 19-10 in Week 3 and cash in as 3.5-point road underdog despite getting just 70 passing yards – and two interceptions – from quarterback Clayton Thorson. Kick returner Solomon Vault took the second-half kickoff 98 yards to the house to lift Northwestern to victory. The Wildcats also used a standout effort from their defense to man-handle the Blue Devils in the second half. “I thought we looked every bit as fast (as Duke),” Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said. “I don’t know what the thing is about the Big Ten can’t run. I think we can run pretty good.”
Ball State picked off Eastern Michigan quarterback Brogan Roback twice en route to a solid 28-17 Week 3 win and ATS cover as a 4-point road favorite. Freshman quarterback Riley Neal completed 24 of 48 passes for 194 yards with one touchdown while Running back Darian Green added 164 yards on 25 carries and fellow back James Gilbert scored two touchdowns on 15 carries.
Game Analysis: While I’ve been very impressed with Northwestern’s perfect start through three games, I’m thinking the point spread is a bit too high for the Wildcats to cover. I know 60 percent of the betting public like Northwestern to win and cash in against Ball State in this one, but I believe the Cardinals are going to narrowly cover, even if they don’t have a real shot to get the outright road win.
Ball State is 5-1 ATS in their last six games against Big Ten ballclubs and a consistent 45-18 ATS in their last 63 road games. Conversely, Northwestern is just 4-11 ATS in their last 15 home games and a discouraging 0-6 ATS in their last half-dozen games against teams from the MAC. I’m going with the underdogs in this one!
The Pick: Ball State +18.5 Points
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