College Football Odds & Picks for Akron vs. Western Michigan: Expect a Slow Pace on Tuesday Night (Nov. 9)

College Football Odds & Picks for Akron vs. Western Michigan: Expect a Slow Pace on Tuesday Night (Nov. 9) article feature image
Credit:

Brett Carlsen/Getty Images. Pictured: Kaleb Eleby.

  • Akron travels to Kalamazoo on Tuesday night to take on Western Michigan in some MACtion.
  • Both teams play at a slow pace, meaning the under could be in play in this matchup.
  • Check out Kody Malstrom's best bet for the game.

Akron vs. Western Michigan Odds

Tuesday, Nov. 9
7 p.m. ET
CBS Sports Network
Akron Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+24.5
61.5
-110o / -110u
+1400
Western Michigan Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-24.5
61.5
-110o / -110u
-3300
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

A week ago, we were blessed with one of the best midweek celebrations in sports. MACtion made its glorious return with a three-game slate last Tuesday — one that included this Akron Zips team.

I had the pleasure to write about last week’s Tuesday Akron matchup, a game I boldly took the under in. I looked like a genius, as that was the only MAC under to hit all week.

As sports bettors, we need a short-term memory because now it’s a new week and a new matchup.

Coming into this matchup, Akron fired head coach Tom Arth and replaced him with interim linebacker coach Oscar Rodriguez. Hopefully for the Zips, he can spark a fire underneath the defense because that unit is still one of the worst in the country.

Western Michigan comes into this one disappointed after dropping a game to rival Central Michigan as 10-point favorites. Its special teams unit was exposed, giving up two punt return touchdowns to CMU en-route to the 42-30 defeat.

Do I have the stones to go with an Akron under for the second week in a row Let’s find out.


Akron Zips

Akron Offense

Akron was one fumbled dive into the end zone away from potentially securing a win last week. More importantly, it secured our under, but my heart goes out to the Zips for losing in that fashion.

Their ground game was the focal point last week, but it was the passing attack that really succeeded. Quarterback Zach Gibson had himself a game, throwing for 331 yards and two touchdowns.

Running may be a little more difficult this week, as Western Michigan nearly matches the Akron rushing metrics evenly. Akron currently ranks 65th in Rush Success and 23rd in Line Yards.

If last week’s fumbled dive in the end zone showed us anything, it’s that Akron needs to reinforce protecting the ball. It ranks near dead last in Havoc Allowed, a metric that WMU is top-10 in on defense. This may get ugly fast for the Zips if disruptions and turnovers plague them all game.

Akron Defense

It’s never easy writing about a unit that is as bad as Akron’s defense. Luckily, few squads are as bad as the Akron defense because this unit flat-out stinks.

Hopefully, interim head coach Rodriguez can inject some life into this unit after spending plenty of time with it earlier in the season.

The Zips still rank on the wrong side of 100 in every defensive metric, including Def. Rush Success (130th), Line Yards (129th), and Havoc (127th) — all metrics that WMU is above average in.

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Western Michigan Broncos

Western Michigan Offense

Watching the game with a Western Michigan season win total ticket in mind, I was pleasantly pleased with how the offense performed. Special teams? Different story.

The offense is an all-around solid unit, with respectable ranks in almost every category. It’s near top-50 in both passing metrics, Pass Success and pass blocking, relying on the arm of quarterback Kaleb Eleby.

Eleby is quietly having a fantastic season, throwing for 2,253 yards, 13 touchdowns, and three interceptions.

The Broncos also have a great running back duo, one that struggled against a top rush defense in Central Michigan. They will look to have a bounce-back game against the worst rush defense in college football.

The reason I said earlier that they have respectable ranks in nearly every category is because their Finishing Drives rank is in the bottom half of the nation. That’s particularly eye-popping as they have weapons all over the field. Currently ranking 77th, WMU will look to fix that success past the 40 against this Akron defense.

Western Michigan Defense

While the defense is rock-solid according to the defensive metrics, it’s been slacking of late. In its past four games, opposing offenses have been scoring 30+ on the WMU defense.

This could be in part due to its Def. Finishing Drives rate, which os 80th in the nation. Teams have been finding success, putting points on the board once they get past the 40.

This is one of the very few metrics that Akron has an advantage in, making this that matchup one to watch.

While the Broncos’ Def. Passing Success sits near the top of the nation, their run defense is mediocre. They rank 65th in Def. Rush Success — identical to Akron’s Off. Rush Success ranking — so they will need to bottle up the backfield to avoid any potential upset.


Akron vs. Western Michigan Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Akron and Western Michigan match up statistically:

Akron Offense vs. Western Michigan Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 65 65
Line Yards 23 31
Pass Success 115 14
Pass Blocking** 126 13
Big Play 39 36
Havoc 126 10
Finishing Drives 63 80
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Western Michigan Offense vs. Akron Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 28 130
Line Yards 36 129
Pass Success 53 128
Pass Blocking** 45 104
Big Play 49 125
Havoc 19 127
Finishing Drives 77 130
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling 49 116
Coverage 124 107
Middle 8 122 53
SP+ Special Teams 124 130
Plays per Minute 114 113
Rush Rate 56.2% (57) 59.2% (38)

Data via College Football Data, FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF and SportSource Analytics.


Akron vs. Western Michigan Betting Pick

Last week, I seemed like the smartest man in college football by writing about the under in the Akron vs. Ball State game while every other game went over.

I’m here to tell you that lightning will strike twice.

Akron’s passing success was perplexing to me, to say the least. That’s a point of its game that I don’t believe it will replicate again, especially against this WMU secondary.

With a run-heavy game plan in mind for both squads at two of the slowest paces in college football, this is every under bettor’s dream scenario.

My only fear going into this game is how many points WMU will need to score in a bounce-back effort before it calls off the troops. This Akron defense is that bad, although it’s worth remembering that WMU is not the best at Finishing Drives.

With that thought in mind, I will be playing under 62 for small, which is still widely available. Then, I’ll have a potential add on WMU if it starts out slow and hits -21 or better.

Pick: Under 62

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