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Kent State vs Ball State Odds, Prediction, Picks | How to Bet Tuesday’s MAC Game

Kent State vs Ball State Odds, Prediction, Picks | How to Bet Tuesday’s MAC Game article feature image
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Kent State Golden Flashes Running Back Marquez Cooper (1). (Photo by Jeffrey Vest/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Kent State vs Ball State Odds

Tuesday, Nov. 1
7 p.m. ET
ESPNU
Kent State Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-7
-110
62
-110o / -110u
-267
Ball State Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+7
-110
62
-110o / -110u
+215
Odds via Caesars. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

MACtion finally returns on Tuesday night when the Ball State Cardinals face the Kent State Golden Flashes. The Cardinals are looking to get back on track after dropping their last game to Eastern Michigan at home.

Kent State, meanwhile, is looking to get a winning streak rolling after taking down Akron, 33-27, its last time out and keeping its rivalry Wagon Wheel in Kent for a fourth straight season.

The Flashes are 3-5 on the year with all three wins coming at home, while they have yet to win a single game on the road.

Can they keep their perfect home record intact and kick off MACtion with a win?


Kent State Golden Flashes

The Golden Flashes run the ball more than almost any team in the country, opting for the rush on 62% of plays. This is a big reason why I have little concern regarding their questions at quarterback this week.

Collin Schlee missed the last game against Akron due to a lower-body injury and is questionable for this week’s matchup with Ball State. True freshman backup Devin Kargman led the Golden Flashes to a win over Akron while completing 14-of-25 pass attempts.

Kent State doesn’t pass the ball much, but regardless of who starts, the Golden Flashes could find success the few times they do throw the ball. The Cardinals rank 79th when it comes to Pass Play Success Rate.

The Golden Flashes have been challenged by injuries all year on the defensive side. They’ll hope to get some players back following the extra rest that comes with the MAC schedule flipping to weekdays.

But even then, I’m not confident in their ability to stop the Cardinals.

Only Ohio is worse than the Golden Flashes when it comes to defending the pass. Kent State allows opponents to complete 69.4% of passes and rack up 287 yards per game. Both are higher than what Ball State is averaging on the season.

Kent State has been OK at stopping opponents in the red zone, allowing teams to score on 81.3% of trips. Ball State, meanwhile, ranks third in the conference behind only Ohio and Toledo on the offensive side.

The Flashes managed to hold Ohio to just 24 points, but more recently, Toledo racked up a season-high 52 points on Kent State.


Ball State Cardinals

Junior quarterback John Paddock leads the Cardinals offense, and while he isn’t the most accurate, Ball State hasn’t shown any signs of limiting his passing.

Paddock ranks second among all MAC quarterbacks with 325 passing attempts on the year, racking up 1004 yards and 14 touchdowns. However, he’s completing just 61.8% of passes and has thrown nine interceptions.

Ball State ranks 40th in pass play rate and averages 248 passing yards per contest. It should take advantage of a Kent State pass defense that’s second-worst among MAC teams, allowing 287.9 passing yards per game.

On defense, the Cardinals will be faced with stopping the top rushing offense in the conference. Kent State ranks 12th in the nation in rush rate and averages 4.8 yards per rush and 209.6 yards per game on the ground.

Ball State has struggled to stop the run so far this year. The Cardinals rank second-worst in the MAC, giving up an average of 185.4 rush yards per contest. Outside of their struggles stopping the run, they haven’t been strong on the defensive end overall.

Ball State comes in at 72nd in Defensive Success Rate and 114th in rush play explosiveness.

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Kent State vs Ball State Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Kent State and Ball State match up statistically:

Ball State Offense vs Kent State Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 94 89
Line Yards 73 85
Pass Success 68 128
Pass Blocking** 50 75
Havoc 7 113
Finishing Drives 99 95
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Kent State Offense vs Ball State Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 64 71
Line Yards 42 70
Pass Success 33 79
Pass Blocking** 35 86
Havoc 94 70
Finishing Drives 75 63
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling 27 65
PFF Coverage 57 119
SP+ Special Teams 85 91
Seconds per Play 21.9 (8) 23.1 (13)
Rush Rate 46.7% (106) 62.0% (12)
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.

Kent State vs Ball State Betting Pick

The Golden Flashes are the better team, but given that they have yet to cover the spread in MAC play this season, I’m in no rush to back them here — especially after they moved from a 4.5-point favorite up to a 6.5-point favorite.

Instead, I’ll be backing these two to go over the total of 62.

Both defenses are matched up against units that can take advantage of their most significant weakness, with Kent State struggling to stop the passing attack and Ball State finding no success in stopping the run.

Both teams struggle with Finishing Drives on offense, but their opposing defensive units have been even worse.

The offenses have also been among the fastest in the country as well; Ball State ranks eighth in seconds per play, while Kent State comes in at 13th.

I would feel comfortable backing the over as high as 63.

Pick: Over 62 ⋅ Play to 63

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