The Toledo Rockets (8-5) travel to Ball State to take on the Cardinals (7-6) in a matchup that pits phenomenal offense against stifling defense. The game can be seen on CBS Sports Network at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, January 3, 2020.
Toledo Rockets vs. Ball State Cardinals Free Prediction
The Rockets are hoping for a better outcome after their 78-66 loss to the Bradley Braves in their last game. Bradley made good use of their 32 trips to the free throw line, making 27 of them (84.4 percent). Toledo, meanwhile, was just 11-19 (57.9 percent). Toledo’s Luke Knapke played well, contributing 13 points and nine rebounds.
In the Cardinals’ previous outing, they beat the Portland Pilots, 61-46. The Cardinals, who came into the game averaging an offensive rebounding percentage of 28.2, had a ridiculous mark of 40.5, while the Pilots had a free throw rate of 0.113 (below their season average of 0.253). Ishmael El-Amin was the top scorer from either team with 18 points on 5-for-13 shooting from the field.
Points at the line might be hard to come by for Ball State in this showdown. The Cardinals currently rank 274th in the NCAA with a free throw attempt (FTA) rate of 0.191, while Toledo ranks 82nd in FTA rate allowed (0.179). Also, the Rockets’ 54th-ranked offense (offensive efficiency of 110.0) will go head-to-head against the Cardinals’ 31st-ranked defense (defensive efficiency of 88.7).
After splitting two games last season, this will be the first matchup of the year between these two teams. The Rockets won the most recent matchup 80-72. Toledo had a much better offensive rebounding percentage (36.7 vs. 14.8). Ball State, meanwhile, had a better free throw rate (0.333 vs. 0.263).
Toledo Rockets vs. Ball State Cardinals ATS Pick
Free College Basketball Pick: ATS Winner – Ball State, O/U – Under
Ball State averages 28.0 three pointers per game, which ranks 19th in the nation. Toledo ranks 160th in three pointers allowed per game (23.0).
The Rockets rank 19th in rebounds per game (41.3) while the Cardinals rank 119th (36.5).
Ball State ranks 44th in steals allowed per game (5.6) while Toledo ranks 143rd (7.2).
The Cardinals rank 31st in blocks allowed per game (2.5) while the Rockets rank 130th (3.9).
Ball State averages 14.8 assists per game, which ranks 65th in the country. Toledo ranks 119th in assists allowed per game (12.5).
The Rockets have been outscored by an average of 3.2 points in their last five games. For the season, Toledo has defeated opponents by an average of 10.8 points.
During their last five games, the Cardinals have scored an average of 72.4 points per game (0.3 above their season average) and allowed an average of 60.6 points per game (0.6 below their season average).