NCAAF Odds, Picks for Akron vs Kentucky
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images. Pictured: Kentucky players Maxwell Hairston and Alex Afari Jr.
Akron vs Kentucky Odds
The Kentucky Wildcats host the Akron Zips in Lexington on Saturday. It’ll be the second all-time meeting between these two, with the Wildcats winning 47-10 back in 2010.
Akron is coming off of a close win against Morgan State (24-21). Historically, it’s a terrible program, given it's only reached .500 twice since 2006, including a 2-10 record last season.
The Wildcats are off to a hot start, with two opening wins against inter-state opponents. However, consistency is the key, as they began last season winning their first four before losing six of their final nine.
Akron is coming into this game in a similar position to Week 3 of last season. That is, 1-1 and taking on a Power Five team.
The Zips lost to a downtrodden Temple team in Week 1, which is concerning.
So far, the Zips have no idea what they’re doing under center. DJ Irons started the season, but was pulled midway through the Morgan State game for unknown reasons. Whether Irons comes back or Jeff Undercuffler Jr. starts is anyone’s guess.
Regardless of who’s under center, this offense is anemic. The Zips are near the bottom of every category, from Success Rate to Havoc to Explosiveness.
The aerial attack is also poor, although the Zips can create the occasional explosive play. They’re sixth nationally in Explosiveness, but it hardly makes a difference when they rank 101st in Success Rate.
I admit I like their receivers. Daniel George, Jasaiah Gathings and Alex Adams are legitimate threats, and all have over 85 yards this year. Even running back Lorenzo Lingard is second in receiving yards, making up for his lack of rushing yards.
Luckily, the Akron defense is carrying the water.
Akron’s defense can struggle against the pass, but it’s been incredible at stopping the run. It ranks 11th in Rush Success Rate Allowed and 23rd in Rush Explosiveness Allowed.
I can't wait to see how it fares against Kentucky, which airs it out often and efficiently.
There’s a lot to love about this Wildcats team.
Senior quarterback Devin Leary had a solid career at NC State before transferring to Lexington this past offseason. Leary has recorded 540 passing yards, five touchdowns and two picks through two games donning the blue and white, and it seems he's getting more comfortable with each passing play.
As alluded to, the passing game is thriving. Kentucky ranks 38th in Passing Success Rate and 36th in Passing Explosiveness.
Tayvion Robinson posted a breakout game last week against Eastern Kentucky, amassing 136 receiving yards and two scores. He and Dane Key are primed to be the two vertical threats, giving Leary several deep weapons.
The rushing game isn't too potent (90th in Rush Success Rate), but the run game can create explosive plays (10th in Rush Explosiveness). Ray Davis has been good as the bell-cow, averaging 6.3 yards per carry.
There’s also much to like on the defensive front. Kentucky has thumpers in Trevin Wallace and D'Eryk Jackson. Wallace has been the star of this defense, with 1.5 sacks, a forced fumble, an interception, three tackles for loss and 19 total tackles.
While the players are faring well, the metrics don’t favor the Wildcats much. They struggle to generate Havoc or prevent Explosiveness.
Ultimately, Kentucky's defense gets the job done, ranking 45th in Success Rate Allowed.
If this team can avoid a similar collapse to last season, I project this defense improving as the season progresses.
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Akron and Kentucky match up statistically:
Akron Offense vs. Kentucky Defense
Kentucky Offense vs. Akron Defense
Pace of Play / Other
|Special Teams SP+||112||2|
|Seconds per Play||29.8 (112)||29.0 (94)|
|Rush Rate||45.7% (123)||38.4% (130)|
Akron vs Kentucky
Betting Pick & Prediction
Kentucky is the superior team, and I’ve loved what I’ve seen in a small sample size. It looks like Robinson will be a star, and Wallace has been all over the field on defense.
Kentucky’s big playmakers are likely too much for Akron to handle.
Akron’s quarterback situation is also a big stumper. There’s no news on what happened with Irons, or if he’ll be ready to go.
Not only that, but Akron also has a horrible run game. If Kentucky expects a throw every time, it’ll be easy pickings for Big Blue.
I genuinely think 25.5 is a very generous number. I don’t think Kentucky is a powerhouse program, but Akron is that bad compared to the Wildcats.
I'm betting Kentucky covers 25, and I recommend grabbing it before the number becomes more inflated.
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