Ball State Cardinals vs Western Michigan Broncos Game Preview and Prediction - 10/09/2021

by Amedeus Mastrangelo

Game Time: 3:30 pm ET, Saturday, October 9, 2021
Venue:  Waldo Stadium, Kalamazoo, MI
Where to Watch:  ESPNU

 

Opening NCAAF Odds at USA Sportsbooks

DraftKings:  Point Spread:  Ball +11, WMU -11; Over/Under:  57.5 points
Bet365:  Point Spread:  Ball +11, WMU -11; Over/Under:  57.5 points
BetMGM:  Point Spread:  Ball +11, WMU -11; Over/Under:  57.5 points
 

Season Record

Ball State Cardinals:  2-3 (6th place, MAC West)
Western Michigan Broncos:  4-1 (1st place, MAC West)
 
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Ball State Cardinals vs Western Michigan Broncos Preview and Analysis

 
Recent Form
Ball State Cardinals:  won at home on Oct. 2 against the Army Black Knights 28-16.
Western Michigan Broncos:  won on the road on Oct. 2 against the Buffalo Bulls 24-17.
 
 
 

Ball State Cardinals Analysis

Ball State is coming into this game with a 2-3 record overall and they are 0-2 in their road games this season where they will be in this game. This will be their 2nd conference matchup of the year and they are already behind a bit with a 0-1 record in their conference games this season. After winning their season opener against the Western Illinois Leathernecks, they went on a 3 game losing streak losing to the Penn State Nittany Lions, the Wyoming Cowboys, and the Toledo Rockets in that span. They have recently snapped that losing streak with a win over Army in their last game. Drew Plitt played well in that game as he completed 17/28 passes for 233 yards and 2 touchdowns. Carson Steele led the team in rushing with 17 yards and 1 touchdown on 8 carries but they really had no running game at all in that one. Yo'Heinz Tyler led the receivers with 85 yards and 1 touchdown on 5 receptions while Justin Hall led the team in receptions with 7 for 78 yards receiving. Cole Pearce led the defense with 9 solo tackles and 5 assisted ones in that game. Clayton Coll also played well with 7 solo tackles and 5 assisted ones while Jaylin Thomas was right behind him with 7 solo tackles and 4 assisted ones. Bryce Cosby and Trenton Hatfield both came away with 1 interception each in that game but no one on the defense was able to record a sack. They have scored 96 points in their first 5 games and they have allowed their opponents to score 148 against them. Their offense is averaging 308.6 YPG while their defense is allowing 406.2 YPG.
 
 

Western Michigan Broncos Analysis

WMU is coming into this game with a 4-1 record overall and they are 2-0 in their home games this season where they will be in this game. This will be their 2nd conference matchup on their schedule and they are already off to a good start with a 1-0 record in their conference games this season. Their season started off on the wrong foot with a loss to the Michigan Wolverines but they have since then come back much stronger going on a 4 game winning streak with wins over the Illinois State Redbirds, the Pittsburgh Panthers, the San Jose State Spartans, and against Buffalo in their last game. Kaleb Eleby played a good game in their last one as he completed 21/33 passes for 279 yards and 2 touchdowns. La'Darius Jefferson led the team in rushing with 96 yards and 1 touchdown on 23 carries while Sean Tyler also had a nice day rushing for 80 yards on 14 carries. Skyy Moore had a massive day as he led the receivers with 163 yards and 2 touchdowns on 11 receptions. Corvin Moment led the defense with 5 solo tackles and 2 assisted ones. Delano Ware also played well with 4 solo tackles and 2 assisted ones while Ryan Selig and Zaire Barnes were both right behind him with 4 solo tackles and 1 assisted one each but oit was Barnes who recorded the only sack in the game for his team. No one on the defense came away with an interception in that game. They have scored 133 points in their first 5 games and they have allowed their opponents to score 108 points against them. Their offense is averaging 407.6 YPG while their defense is allowing 299.8 YPG.
 

 

Ball State vs Western Michigan Prediction

WMU has played very well to start this season. They are finding ways to win games whether it be in low scoring defensive games or in high scoring shootouts, they are getting the job done. They have also played some tough competition going against Michigan and losing but they managed to knock off Pittsburgh in the ACC with a 44-41 win. Ball State has been struggling on their offense all year and they have played some lesser quality opponents too. They scored 28 points in their last game but had not scored more than 13 points in their 3 games prior to that one. WMU is a much better team here on both offense and defense and they will likely win in a blowout here at home. The best wager for a bettor to place in this game is on WMU to cover the spread in this one.
 
Ball State Western Michigan Prediction:  Our NCAAF Pick for Saturday, October 9, 2021 (3:30 pm ET start time) is WMU 31 Ball 17.
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NCAAF Betting Trends

 
Ball State Cardinals: 91-84 ATS as an underdog. 65-49 ATS as a road underdog. 80-61 ATS in road games. 
Western Michigan Broncos: 126-135 ATS in all games. 51-58 ATS in home games. 104-93 O/U in all games. 56-47 O/U as a favorite.
 

Key Injuries

 
Ball State Cardinals:  B. Martin (LB) Ques Sat - Knee injury. T. Evans (RB) Ques Sat - Leg injury. D. Koch (TE) Ques Sat - Undisclosed injury.
Western Michigan Broncos:  J. Gideon (OL) Ques Sat - Knee injury. D. Bussell (CB) out for season - Shoulder injury.
 

Players to Watch

 
Ball State Cardinals: Carson Steele is one player to watch in this game. He has a team-high in rushing yards and in touchdowns scored this season. He was quiet in their last game so he will be looking to have a bigger impact in this important conference game. Look for him to get a lot of work here as his team uses him to try and control the run game in this one.
 
Western Michigan Broncos: Skyy Moore is one player to watch here. He leads his team in receiving yards this season. He is coming off of a massive day where he had over 150 receiving yards. He is a big key piece in this offense and as to why his team is off to such a good start this year so look for him to catch some big passes down the field in this game.
 

Notable Quotes

 
"It is unbelievable for this young man. He started in our program as a walk-on. He has worked so hard. For him to step up. He was all over that field tonight making tackles. He was ready for his role. He stayed patient. For him to step in against a team like Army, I am so proud of Cole [Pearce]." - Mike Neu on his thoughts on the way Cole Pearce has played this season.
 
 
“I think they’re running to the ball better than they ever have. …We got better. We were a little slow early on, and they had quite a speech at halftime, and I think they came out with a little bit of juice in the second half, and I was proud of those guys.” - Tim Lester on the way his team has performed and their great start to the season.
 
 

Starting Lineups

 
Ball State Cardinals
WR Tyler, Yo'Heinz 
WR Hall, Justin 
WR Jackson, Jayshon 
TE Koch, Dylan 
QB Plitt, Drew 
RB Jones, Will 
FB Rudy, Cody 
 
Western Michigan Broncos
WR Moore, Skyy 
WR Crooms, Corey 
WR Nunnelly, Bryce 
TE Torres, Anthony 
QB Eleby, Kaleb 
RB Tyler, Sean 

Statistical Leaders

 
Ball State Cardinals
Passing: D. Plitt (847)
Rushing: C. Steele (200)
Receiving: J. Hall (367)
Touchdowns: C. Steele (4)
Sacks: T. Woodard (2.5)
Tackles: B. Cosby (24)
 
Western Michigan Broncos
Passing: K. Eleby (1181)
Rushing: L. Jefferson (370)
Receiving: S. Moore (404)
Touchdowns: L. Jefferson (7)
Sacks: A. Fayad (4.5)
Tackles: C. Moment (20)
 
Coaches:
Ball State Cardinals: Mike Neu (6th season)
Western Michigan Broncos: Tim Lester (5th season)
 

Weather Forecast

78 degrees F partly cloudy, 77% humidity, 0% chance of rain, up to 11 mph wind speeds S.


Amedeus Mastrangelo

About the Author:

Amedeus Mastrangelo has been heavily wagering on all sports for years and plays just about everything, including sides, totals, favorites, underdogs, against the spread, alternative spreads, first half, second half, player props, and futures. The bottom line is, if Mastrangelo can see an edge in any way shape or form, then he's going to take advantage.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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