Northern Illinois @ Ball State – Free NCAA Pick for Week 6

By College Football

Northern Illinois -2.5 @ Ball State (O/U 67)

Northern Illinois heads to Muncie, Indiana to take on Ball State in a game that should give the scoreboard operator a major workout.  Coming off a 55-24 thrashing of Central Michigan (who upset Iowa a week earlier), NIU is averaging 35.6 points per game.  What other MAC team is averaging 35+ points per game?  Yes, the Ball State Cardinals.  The Cardinals are coming off a 45-43 loss to Kent State, putting up 557 yards on one of the best defenses in the MAC.

Northern Illinois lost a fabulous quarterback due to graduation (Chandler Harnish) but hasn’t skipped a beat behind the legs of Jordan Lynch.  Lynch currently ranks 12th in the nation rushing and has also thrown 8 touchdowns this season.  Ball State certainly has its share of offensive weapons as well.  Cardinals QB Keith Wenning is coming off a 5 TD game and is complemented by a dynamic set of running backs – Jahwan Edwards and Horactio Banks who are combining for 152 yards on the ground.

What will happen:  This is a key game for both teams.  Northern Illinois looks to stay atop the MAC West division and Ball State cannot afford another loss in a division where undefeated Ohio sits alone at the top.  Both teams have shown they can put points on anyone at the competition level of the MAC.  Don’t expect any conservative play calling against two vulnerable defenses that have been scored on at will.  This will continue Saturday in what figures to be a back and forth shootout that sees a lot scoring, especially in the second half as both teams vie for the lead.  Don’t be surprised if this game goes to overtime and adds more points to the total in extended time.  The last 10 times these two teams have met they have gone over the total 7 times, including all 5 times the game has been played at Ball State. 

Prediction:  Northern Illinois 44  Ball State 37

The Play:  Over 67

2012 NCAA Picks Record: 2-2

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