Ball State Cardinals vs. Western Michigan Broncos Pick-Odds-Prediction 2/26/14
Western Michigan Broncos (18-8) at Ball State Cardinals (4-21)
College Basketball: Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 7:00 pm (Worthen Arena)
The Line: Ball State Cardinals +5.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
Storyline: Western Michigan eyes sole possession of first place in the MAC-West and an eighth consecutive victory when they visit Ball State Wednesday.
The Breakdown: The Broncos sit atop the conference in a tie with Toledo, improving to 11-3 behind a 75-67 victory over Eastern Michigan Sunday. Senior C Shayne Whittington had a game-high 22 points and 11 rebounds, senior G David Brown scored 20 points and grabbed 7 boards, and junior G Austin Richie added 10 points. WMU shot 40.9 percent from the floor and connected on 5 of 16 from outside the arc to the Eagles’ 39.7 percent from the field and 9 of 22 from distance. The Broncos also finished with a 39-32 advantage on the boards and converted 34 of 44 from the free throw line. Through 26 games, WMU is averaging 71.0 ppg on 45.7 percent shooting. Brown leads the team with 18.7 ppg, followed by Whittington at 15.1 ppg.
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Meanwhile, Ball State fell to 1-13 in the conference after an 85-74 loss to Toledo Sunday. The Cardinals were outdone from the field 56.1 percent to 45.9 percent and from beyond the arc 43.8 percent to 36.4 percent. Ball State came away with a 35-30 rebounding edge and converted 10 of 17 from the foul. Senior F Chris Bond had a game-high 22 points and 8 rebounds, senior G Jesse Berry scored 17 points, including 5 of 12 from downtown and freshman C Madding Thok added 12 points and 5 boards off the bench. On the season, the Cardinals are averaging 65.4 ppg on 40.3 percent shooting. Bond leads the team with 12.7 ppg, followed by freshman G Zavier Turner at 12.2 ppg.
Rick’s Pick: The line in this one is set at -5.5 for W. Michigan. The Broncos scored a 9-point home victory over Ball State a month ago and home court won’t matter here. Ball State is in the midst of an epic slide and doesn’t appear to have the firepower to end it. Look for W. Michigan to cover.