Kent State Golden Flashes vs. Ball State Cardinals February 21 Betting Preview
The Kent State Golden Flashes will look to make it five consecutive victories on Tuesday evening when they take on the Ball State Cardinals in Muncie, IN.
The two Mid-American Conference programs have a rivalry that dates back to 1969 and have met 83 times over the years. Ball State dominated the series through the early 1990s, but it has taken a turn lately. The Flashes lead the all-time series by a 45-38 edge. Since the 2000-01 season, Kent State has dominated the series with a record of 23-6, though five of those six Ball State victories have come when the game was played in Muncie.
Ball State Cardinals Team Overview
The Ball State Cardinals are quietly having one of the best seasons in the MAC, with a 19-8 overall record and a 10-4 mark in league play. However, their recent loss to the Western Michigan Broncos is not a great look. Ball State has also played a horrendous schedule this season that ranks just 323rd in the nation, according to Warren Nolan.
The Cardinals have been mediocre against the spread this season, but it has been by a razor-thin margin. Mike Lewis’ club is 13-12 ATS on the season, but their performance against the number is barely negative at -0.1 points per ball game. Their margin of victory number is a positive at +6.6 points overall this season. The numbers take a dive at home, however, as they are just 4-6 against the spread with a spread performance number of -3.2 points.
Ball State is an unextraordinary team in almost every aspect, with the exception of one area, the three-point line. The Cardinals boast four players that are shooting at least 37.5 percent from beyond the arc and currently rank 23rd in the nation in three-point shooting percentage. However, they are equally as ineffective defending the arc, ranking 327th in the nation, as they allow opponents to shoot 37 percent.
Kent State Golden Flashes Team Overview
Kent State is one of the more intriguing mid-majors in college basketball this season. That intrigue doesn’t come solely from their 22-5 record but from the way in which they arrived at that success.
The Golden Flashes rank 249th in the nation in a three-point shooting offense but boast a margin of victory number of 11.9 points, which is three points better than the second-best mark in the MAC. Kent State makes fewer than eight triples per ball game but somehow manages to put opponents away with great effectiveness.
That ability spawns directly from their play on the defensive end of the court. The Flashes currently ranks 25th in the nation in adjusted defensive efficiency while holding opponents to just a shade over 32 percent from three-point range. They also turn their opponents over at a 23.8 percent rate which ranks 12th in the nation.
This senior-laden ball club is also experienced, and well-balanced, which is a characteristic often looked for while picking March Madness upsets. Five of the Flashes’ top six scorers are either juniors or seniors, with each of the six averaging at least seven points per game.
As a road favorite, Kent State has not performed as admirably this season. While they have a winning record of 5-4 ATS, they are underperforming the number by -3.4 points per contest and have a margin of victory of just +4.6 points per game. That said, when these two teams met earlier this season, the Flashes blasted the Cardinals by a 21-point margin.
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