Central Michigan Chippewas at Ball State Cardinals (-20.5, 55.5)
The Ball State Cardinals face the Northern Illinois Huskies next week in a game that could very well decide who finishes atop the Mid-American Conference's West Division. But the Cardinals can't afford to look past this week's matchup as they bring their unbeaten conference mark into Wednesday night's showdown with the visiting Central Michigan Chippewas. Ball State has reeled off six consecutive wins, while Central Michigan is coming off a 38-17 loss to the Huskies.
Ball State's fortunes rest on the cannon arm of senior quarterback Keith Wenning, who is well on his way to locking up conference Player of the Year honors. Wenning leads the MAC in passing yards (2,865) and touchdowns (28), and is coming off an impressive five-TD performance in a 42-24 victory over the Akron Zips back on Oct. 26. The Chippewas will be in tough against the Cardinals' high-powered offense, having surrendered a whopping 33.4 points per game.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, ESPN2
LINE: Ball State opened as a 19.5-point favorite and has since been bet up to 20.5. The total has come down from 58 to 55.5 points.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the high-50s with showers expected and wind blowing north across the length of the field at 8 mph.
ABOUT CENTRAL MICHIGAN (3-5, 2-2 MAC): For Chippewas fans seeking reason for optimism, Cooper Rush has provided plenty over the past two games. The freshman quarterback struggled following an impressive three-touchdown debut Sept. 7 against New Hampshire, but has returned to form with five TD passes against just two interceptions over his previous two games. Starting running back Saylor Lavallii has racked up 388 yards over his last three games.
ABOUT BALL STATE (8-1, 5-0 MAC): A trio of receivers have benefited the most from Wenning's outstanding senior campaign. Willie Snead leads the conference in receptions (65), receiving yards (1,057) and touchdowns (10) while teammate Jordan Williams ranks second in yardage (792) and scores (seven). Senior wideout Jamill Smith has also been solid so far this season, ranking seventh in the conference with 592 receiving yards and adding four TDs.
* Chippewas are 8-2-1 ATS in their last 11 games following a bye week.
* Cardinals are 15-5 ATS in their last 20 games following an ATS win.
* Under is 6-0-1 in Ball State's last seven games after scoring 40 or more points in their previous contest.