The Ball State Cardinals (6-6) clash against the Portland Pilots (8-6) in the Diamond Head Classic at Stan Sheriff Center. The game will air on ESPNU at 1:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, December 25, 2019.
The Over/Under (O/U) for the game opened at 133.5 points with Ball State set as an 8.5-point favorite.
Portland Pilots vs. Ball State Cardinals Free Prediction
The Pilots are trying to rebound after their 85-69 loss to the Boise State Broncos in their last outing. Boise State out-rebounded Portland. The Broncos had more offensive rebounds (10 vs. four), defensive rebounds (28 vs. 21) and total rebounds (38 vs. 25). Chase Adams was Portland’s high scorer with 19 points on 7-for-14 shooting.
In the Cardinals’ last outing, they let one slip away to the UTEP Miners, 71-70. UTEP won the rebounding battle. The Miners had 12 offensive rebounds and 37 total rebounds, while the Cardinals had seven and 21, respectively. With 14 points and eight rebounds, Ball State’s Tahjai Teague had a good game.
Portland heads into the contest with records of 8-6 straight up (SU) and 6-6 against the spread (ATS). Oddsmakers are known to set the total low when the Pilots are playing, as seven of their 12 games have ended over the projected point total.
Meanwhile, Ball State is 6-6 SU and 5-5 ATS. Contrary to Portland, Cardinals games have typically finished under the total (60.0 percent).
Ball State may have trouble getting to the foul line in this contest. The Cardinals rank 264th in the country with a free throw attempt (FTA) rate of 0.195, while Portland ranks 50th in FTA rate allowed (0.161).
Portland Pilots vs. Ball State Cardinals Free Pick
Pick: ATS Winner – Ball State, O/U – Over
Ball State ranks 31st in three pointers attempted per game (27.3) while Portland ranks 182nd (20.2).
The Cardinals average 15.0 assists per game, which ranks 54th in the country. The Pilots rank 158th in assists allowed per game (13.8).
Ball State averages 36.2 rebounds per game, which ranks 125th in the NCAA. Portland ranks 196th in rebounds allowed per game (37.1).
The Cardinals rank 35th in steals allowed per game (5.4) while the Pilots rank 95th (6.5).
Portland ranks 12th in blocks allowed per game (2.1) while Ball State ranks 34th (2.5).
The Pilots have been outscored by an average of 4.6 points in their last five games. For the season, Portland has defeated opponents by an average of 4.1 points.
During their last five games, the Cardinals have scored an average of 71.8 points per game (1.2 below their season average) and allowed an average of 65.4 points per game (3.0 above their season average).