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Kent State vs. Ball State Betting Odds & Pick from Matt Fargo: October 12th 2013

October 12th, 2013

Kent State vs. Ball State
Betting Pick: Kent State +14.5 -117 (October 12th 2013)
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We are catching a better than expected number with Kent St. for a few reasons. The Golden Flashes are off to a 2-4 start to the season which comes as a surprise after going 11-3 last year while going to its first bowl game since 1972. They did lose a few notable starters as well as head coach Darrell Hazell who went to Purdue but they were eying their second straight bowl game. After defeating Liberty in its opener, Kent St. has gone 1-4 over its last five games and it has been dominated in those losses which is a big reason for the size of this line. A big piece of the offense is back as Dri Archer looks to finally be back to 100 percent. Last week, the tailback displayed flashes of the brilliance, running back a kickoff 100 yards for a score, and catching a 66-yard touchdown pass. He was limited in rushing attempts but his role will be expanded this week. Ball St. is 5-1 and feasible could be at 6-0 if not for a meltdown against North Texas early in the season. The Cardinals are coming off a win at Virginia last week and even though it was a nonconference victory, it is going to be hard for the Cardinals not to feel a letdown after that as it was one of the biggest wins in school history, at least according to head coach Pete Lembo. “I’m not usually speechless, but I’m pretty darn close,” Lembo said. “It’s going to take a while for this one to really sink in. But this has to be the biggest win in the history of Ball State football in 90 years.” That certainly confirms it. Of their five wins, Ball St. has outgained its opponent by 64 yards or fewer four times so while winning, it has not been as dominating as some of the final scores have looked. The key here is the Golden Flashes defense as they have struggled for the most part and had a horrible game last week against Northern Illinois. They do not have to stop the Cardinals offense but slow it down enough to allow the offense to keep up which it should be able to do. Ball St.’s defense has definitely been the weakness as it is 89th overall including 105th in rushing defense, allowing 208.2 ypg. That is a big reason we should see a heavy dose of Archer who had 176 total yards as well as a kickoff return for a touchdown in last year’s meeting. The Golden Flashes are 5-1 ATS in their last six games following an ATS loss while the Cardinals are 2-5 ATS in their last seven games following a win of more than 20 points. Play (137) Kent St. Golden Flashes