Ball State at Northern Illinois -2.5 O/U 141.5
Ball State has been a dead nuts "over" team for much of the MAC season. On the year the Cardinals are 10-2 O/U in league play with the lowest closing total coming in at 146. Tonight, they travel to Northern Illinois who has also played "over" basketball with a record of 9-3 O/U vs. the MAC. The Huskies however don't play at a particularly fast pace and currently own the league's top defensive efficiency mark. But dig a little and you'll notice that NIU's defense, while solid, is far from elite thanks to a very favorable schedule. In games against the top five offenses in the MAC, Northern Illinois allowed 72, 76, 83, 76, and 78. All five of those games topped tonight's total of 141.5. Ball State has the sixth-ranked offense but also averages nearly 75 possessions per game. And they've been very consistent with that pace. Of BSU's 12 league games, all but two had 72 possessions or more. On the flip side, NIU should be sitting on a solid offensive performance after two clunkers on the road. Ball State grades out as average at best defensively. The Cardinals have allowed 83, 79, 80, 78, 80, 96, 65, and 79 over their last eight games. Both teams also rank near the top of the MAC in free throw attempts at over 23 per game. We played NIU-Akron over a similar number to success two weeks ago and will make the same play for tonight's matchup.