Ball State vs. Wyoming Betting Odds, Pick, Prediction: Cowboys Look to Stay Perfect Against Reigning MAC Champs

Ball State vs. Wyoming Betting Odds, Pick, Prediction: Cowboys Look to Stay Perfect Against Reigning MAC Champs article feature image
Credit:

Scott Taetsch/Getty Images. Pictured: Drew Plitt.

  • Ball State is a seven-point underdog on Saturday in Wyoming.
  • The Cardinals are coming off a blowout loss at Penn State, while the Cowboys are fortunate to be 2-0.
  • Kyle Remillard breaks down the matchup and delivers his pick below.

Ball State vs. Wyoming Odds

Saturday, Sept. 18
4 p.m. ET
Stadium
Ball State Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+7
-115
53.5
-110o / -110u
+210
Wyoming Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-7
-105
53.5
-110o / -110u
-260
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

The Wyoming Cowboys look to stay perfect as they welcome in the defending MAC champion Ball State Cardinals on Saturday.

The Cowboys have started the season 2-0, but it has not been smooth sailing through two weeks. Wyoming has trailed in both games with less than two minutes remaining. Quarterback Sean Chambers has proven he has the clutch gene leading the offense to two game-winning touchdown drives.

Wyoming returns the majority of its production on both sides of the ball and is emerging as a dark-horse contender in the Mountain West.

Ball State hasn’t looked like the defending MAC champions through its first two weeks. The Cardinals only defeated Western Illinois 31-21 in a game they were 31.5-point favorites, and they followed that performance up by getting creamed by 31 points to Penn State.

The line in this game looks to be inflated based on recent results and provides value to the betting market.


Ball State Cardinals

Ball State is in the middle of its toughest stretch of the season. After losing by 31 to Penn State, the Cardinals will now face off against Wyoming, Toledo and then Army.

The defending MAC champion has not looked like the team of last year and will need to put the pieces together quickly if it’s going to have a chance of repeating.


Cardinals Offense

The Cardinals showed an inability to consistently move the chains against Penn State. Eight of their first 10 offensive drives failed to pick up a first down. Two of those led to interceptions and one of them resulted in a pick-six.

Ball State has been using a running back committee which was solid in its first game against Western Illinois, averaging 5.4 yards per carry and two touchdowns.

The offense currently ranks outside the top 100 in Rushing Success Rate and Passing Success Rate so far this season, but in 2020 the Cardinals averaged nearly 450 yards per game. They return 10 starters from a unit that put up 34.2 points per game.

Ball State faced off against a buzzsaw in Penn State week two, but this is a perfect opportunity for it to return to its 2020 form.


Cardinals Defense

The defense returns nine starters to a unit that ranked fourth in the MAC allowing 25.8 points per game.

The Cardinals were solid against the run, allowing just 4.0 yards per rush attempt, which will be an important factor against the Wyoming rushing attack.

Brandon Martin is the leader of this defense and is out with a knee injury. Luckily, the Cardinals have plenty of depth at the position with four all-conference linebackers.

The Ball State defense, though, had no answers for Penn State’s offense. Of the 11 drives for the Nittany Lions, they amassed 40 or more yards in eight of them.

Fortunately for Ball State, the Wyoming offense has proven to be one-dimensional and doesn’t contain the same talent level as Penn State.

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Wyoming Cowboys

The offense has been the bottleneck that’s held Wyoming from challenging the top of the Mountain West.

With starting quarterback Sean Chambers returning after missing last season, the offense has looked strong through two games. The defense returns most of its production and should be a top unit in the conference.

But the Cowboys have already been tested by two unlikely opponents in the first two weeks.


Cowboys Offense

Chambers is back at quarterback after breaking his leg on the third play of the 2020 season. He’s been solid under center, averaging 8.1 yards per pass attempt in his career. Chambers has constructed two game-winning 75-yard touchdown drives with less than two minutes remaining to keep the Cowboys undefeated.

The Cowboys have found most of their offensive success through the ground game in recent years. They return all five offensive linemen and have run the ball on 64.2% of their offensive plays this season, which is on brand.

Xazavian Valladay has been the workhorse running back averaging over 5.0 yards per carry over the last two seasons.

Wyoming will need Chambers to have a strong game since Ball State is going to focus on slowing down the rushing attack.


Cowboys Defense

The Wyoming defense has been the backbone for the program over the last few years. They return 82% of its production from last season, including all five key players in the secondary. That unit ranked 19th in Passing Success Rate, giving up an average of 6.8 yards per attempt.

The Cowboys defense ranked in the top 25 in defensive Havoc, Line Yards, and Sack Rate in 2020.

That same defense hasn’t shown up through two games of the season, though, including having allowed 43 points to Northern Illinois. Wyoming was lucky to survive allowing 6.4 yards per carry and 60% third-down conversions.


Ball State vs. Wyoming Matchup Analysis

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

Ball State Offense vs. Wyoming Defense

Offense

Defense

Edge

Rush Success 116 69
Line Yards 85 73
Pass Success 100 95
Pass Blocking* 48 62
Big Play 123 82
Havoc 34 77
Finishing Drives 76 39
* Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Wyoming Offense vs. Ball State Defense

Offense

Defense

Edge

Rush Success 35 119
Line Yards 44 104
Pass Success 65 115
Pass Blocking* 84 79
Big Play 98 96
Havoc 36 110
Finishing Drives 8 76
* Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling 95 39
PFF Coverage 99 17
Middle 8 119
SP+ Special Teams 36 44
Plays per Minute 26 89
Rush Rate 47.5% (103) 64.2% (20)

Data via College Football Data (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF & SportSource Analytics.


Ball State vs. Wyoming Betting Pick

Wyoming has been fortunate to survive against Montana State and Northern Illinois. The Cowboys were trailing in both and needed a touchdown in the final drive to secure victories. Both final drive wins have the Cowboys a bit overvalued in this spot.

The Cowboys defense was exposed last game and was fortunate to survive after being outgained by 85 yards.

Ball State’s run defense is going to be able to slow down the rushing attack of Wyoming and put them in uncomfortable third-and-long situations.

According to Collin Wilson’s Power Ratings, these teams are separated by just one point. I make this line closer to a field goal than a touchdown and see Ball State as a live underdog in this spot.

Pick: Ball State +7 

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