(NCAAF) NIU vs. Ball State, 11/18/2020 7:00 PM, Score: 25 - 31
Point Spread: -15.00 | -110.00 Ball State (Home)
Bookmaker: Bet365
Result: Loss
10* Ball State (7:00 ET): A case could be made that Northern Illinois actually outplayed Buffalo in a season opening 49-30 loss. After all, they outgained the Bulls 397-357. But they were undone by a -5 turnover margin in that game. Unfortunately, there was no “explaining away” the terrible 40-10 loss the Huskies suffered last week to Central Michigan. That game saw them get held to just 224 total yards. Making the 0-2 SU/ATS start even worse is the fact both losses were in DeKalb. Now NIU is set to hit the road for the 1st time in 2020.

Ball State is also 0-2 ATS, but they did win SU last week, defeating Eastern Michigan 38-31 in come from behind fashion. That was a stark contrast to the previous week’s result, also a 38-31 final, where they blew a 1st half lead and fell to Miami. Unlike Northern Illinois, the Cardinals have had the total yardage edge in both of their games this season. They rolled up well over 500 yards last week. They have a significant offensive edge in this matchup and I just don’t see how the underdog keeps up.

Northern Illinois used to be the standard-bearer in the MAC. But the Huskies have fallen on hard times and should now be considered one of the weaker teams in the entire country. Meanwhile, Ball State is a program on the rise under HC Mike Neu and is going to be one of the better MAC teams this season. Something that’s even more damning for Northern Illinois’ 0-2 start is that their defense leads the country in 3rd down conversion rate, which is highly unlikely to continue. Ball State’s offense will make them pay on third down and move the ball w/ ease, thus dropping NIU to 3-14-1 ATS off a DD loss at home. 10* Ball State