|Akron Odds||+23.5 [BET NOW]|
|Kent State Odds||-23.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||+1050/-2500 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||60.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||Tuesday, 7 p.m. ET|
As you might have heard, the Akron Zips failed to win a football game in 2019. Even worse, they also went an astonishing 1-11-0 ATS. It was more of the same in their first game of this season, but the Zips actually did give Ohio all it could handle last week. Does Kent State have what it takes to roll over this overmatched foe?
Hope springs eternal.
After one of the all-time worst seasons in college football history, coach Tom Arth’s Zips looked to turn the page in 2020 — while also turning to a freshman quarterback.
Week 1 went as you might have expected. Zach Gibson threw for 125 yards on 30 attempts while Akron’s secondary allowed 262 yards on only 16 attempts. If you’re keeping score, that’s an eye-popping 16.4 yards per pass attempt.
It wasn’t close. Western Michigan won decisively, 58-13.
It looked like things would go in much the same directions last week in Athens, Ohio. The same Ohio team that boat raced the Zips 52-3 a year prior had just taken a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter.
To Akron’s credit, however, it clearly outplayed the Bobcats the rest of the way. In fact, the Zips outgained the Bobcats, 435-307. More importantly to sports bettors, they actually covered the 27.5-point spread, as the game ended 24-10.
However, this might be a case of small sample sizes being deceiving. After getting up by two touchdowns, it would not be unlike college kids to lose intensity. They knew who they were matched up against, and they knew what happened the previous season. This also isn’t one of the better Ohio football teams of recent vintage. Frank Solich’s guys have an SP+ ranking of 83rd. But we’re all falling over ourselves to give Akron credit for losing by 14 points.
That being said, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the Akron running back who keyed the comeback attempt. JUCO transfer Teon Dollard had 22 carries for 165 scoreless yards. If Akron has any chance on Tuesday, Dollard — and his backup, former wide receiver Jeremiah Knight — will have to repeat this performance against a Kent State defense that gave up a few big plays on the ground in last week’s win.
Kent State Golden Flashes
The Golden Flashes are a team that wants to run the football.
Last season, they ranked 27th in FBS in rush attempts per game, and they’ve picked up right where they left off this season. In their opening two wins against Bowling Green and Eastern Michigan, Kent State averaged 52 rushing attempts while racking up an average of 253.5 rushing yards.
Again, much like last season, the ground success also seems to be opening up the passing game for senior QB Dustin Crum, who has been very efficient this season. Crum is averaging 8.8 yards per pass attempt and has thrown a touchdown every seven attempts while tossing only one interception.
Not only have they gained yards in bunches up to this point, but the Golden Flashes also rank fourth in FBS in plays per game. Third-year head coach Sean Lewis is doing a good job of rebuilding this squad by playing an exciting brand of football and getting the ball in the hands of his playmakers.
Look for one of these playmakers, Isaiah McKoy, to have a field day on Tuesday. McKoy led the MAC with eight touchdown receptions in 2019. Even more impressively, all eight were from at least 20 yards out. Though only promised six games, McKoy is on pace to top his 2019 touchdown total, as he has already found the end zone three times in two games this season. It would be a major upset to not see McKoy score on Tuesday against one of the worst pass defenses in FBS.
Betting Analysis & Pick
The Akron Zips are coming off an admirable performance. However, this may have only grabbed the Golden Flashes’ attention.
Defensively, Akron simply doesn’t have the linebackers and defensive backs to match up with Kent State’s stable of skill position players. On a brisk night in Ohio where the wind won’t be a problem, Kent State is going to score points. After his team falls behind, can Gibson keep Akron close? I wouldn’t bet on it.
This is especially true since we’re backing a favorite that isn’t afraid to pour it on. These Flashes threw a 25-yard touchdown pass last week with only 1:35 remaining.
It also looks like both the “Pros” and “Joes” agree with our analysis. The Action Network’s public betting report shows that 66% of the wagers and 95% of the money is currently on Kent State.
I’d lay the lumber and take the Golden Flashes.
Pick: Kent State -23.5 (up to 25)