The Akron Zips (12-3, 2-0 MAC) will try to lengthen their nine-game home winning streak in a matchup against the Ball State Cardinals (9-6, 2-0 MAC) at James A. Rhodes Arena. The game starts at 9 p.m. ET on Friday, January 10, 2020, and will air on CBS Sports Network.
Akron is a 4-point favorite on the opening line, while the game’s Over/Under (O/U) opened at 135.5 points.
Ball State Cardinals at Akron Zips Betting Prediction
The Cardinals will be looking for a similar result after comfortably covering the 4-point spread against the Buffalo Bulls in their last matchup, 88-68. The game’s combined points (156) finished over the O/U total of 147. The Cardinals had an extraordinarily low turnover percentage of 8.5 (better than their season average of 16.9), while the Bulls had a free throw rate of 0.076 (below their season average of 0.185). Ball State was lifted by Tahjai Teague, who was the game’s leading scorer with 25 points on 11-for-16 shooting.
In the Zips’ last game, they defeated the Western Michigan Broncos, 84-69, covering as 11.5-point favorites. The combined points for the game (153) were over the O/U total of 139.5. Akron’s 13.6 turnover percentage was their biggest advantage over Western Michigan, who had a rate of 28.8. The Zips’ mark was better than their season average of 17.5, while the Broncos’ was above their season average of 14.2. With 25 points and five rebounds, Akron’s Tyler Cheese played well.
After the Cardinals won the lone contest against the Zips last season, 57-56, this will be the first matchup of the year between these two teams. The Cardinals’ 29.3 offensive rebounding percentage was their largest advantage over the Zips, who had a mark of 17.8.
Ball State comes into the game with records of 9-6 straight up (SU) and 8-5 against the spread (ATS). Of the Cardinals’ 13 games that accepted bets, eight have finished under the total.
Meanwhile, Akron owns records of 12-3 SU and 8-5 ATS. Contrary to Ball State, Zips games have a slight tendency to finish over the total (53.8 percent).
Points could be at a premium in this matchup between two of the NCAA’s top defenses. Akron ranks 26th in defensive efficiency (88.9) and Ball State is 25th (88.6).
Ball State Cardinals vs. Akron Zips Odds Pick
Prediction: ATS Winner – Ball State, O/U – Under
On the road, Ball State is 4-2 ATS with 4 unders and 2 overs.
Akron is 4-3 ATS at home with 4 unders and 3 overs.
Ball State ranks 50th in steals allowed per game (5.7) while Akron ranks 140th (7.1).
The Zips are sixth in the nation with 8.8 assists allowed per game while the Cardinals are 43rd with 10.7 assists allowed per game.
Akron averages 38.7 rebounds per game, which ranks 62nd in the nation. Ball State ranks 98th in rebounds allowed per game (34.0).
The Cardinals take the 22nd-most three pointers per game (27.8) while the Zips rank 49th (25.8).
Akron is 50th in the NCAA with 2.8 blocks allowed per game while Ball State is 54th with 2.9 blocks allowed per game.
In its last five games, Ball State is 3-1 ATS with 2 overs and 2 unders.
Akron is 2-3 ATS with 3 overs and 2 unders over its last five games.
The Cardinals’ average margin of victory in their last five games has been 3.4, down from 11.1 for the season.
During their last five games, the Zips have scored an average of 73.4 points per game (2.9 below their season average) and allowed an average of 66.8 points per game (3.3 above their season average).