College Football Odds & Pick for Akron vs. Kent State: Betting Value Remains on Golden Flashes Spread
Justin Casterline/Getty Images. Pictured: Akron Zips wide receiver Julian Hicks.
Akron vs. Kent State Odds
|Akron Odds||+26 [BET NOW]|
|Kent State Odds||-26 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||+1300/-5000 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||59.5 (-105/-117) [BET NOW]|
|Time||Tuesday, 8 p.m. ET|
As you might have heard, the Akron Zips failed to win a football game in 2019. Even worse, they went an astonishing 1-11-0 against the spread.
It was more of the same in its first game of this season, but Akron actually gave Ohio all it could handle last week. Does Kent State have what it takes to roll over its 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.
Needless to say, the game wasn’t close. Western Michigan earned a decisive 58-13 victory.
It looked like things would go in much the same direction last week in Athens, Ohio. The same Bobcats 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 Ohio 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, with the game ending with a 24-10 scoreline.
However, this might be a case of small, deceiving sample sizes. After moving ahead by two touchdowns, it would not be unlike college kids to lose intensity. They realized who they were matched up against, knowing what happened last 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 Teon Dollard, who keyed the comeback attempt. Dollard, a junior-college transfer, carried the ball 22 times for 165 scoreless rushing yards.
If Akron has any chance Tuesday, Dollard and his backup — former wide receiver Jeremiah Knight — have to repeat that 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, Kent State ranked 27th in the FBS in rush attempts per game, and it’s picked up right where it left off this season. In their opening two wins against Bowling Green and Eastern Michigan, the Golden Flashes averaged 52 rushing attempts, racking up an average of 253.5 rushing yards.
Much like last season, the ground success seems to be opening up the passing game for senior quarterback Dustin Crum, who has been efficient so far. Crum is averaging 8.8 yards per pass attempt, throwing a touchdown every seven attempts and tossing just one interception.
Not only have they gained yards in bunches, 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 his playmakers’ hands.
Look for Isaiah McKoy, one of those aforementioned playmakers, to have a field day in this game. McKoy led the MAC with eight touchdown receptions last season. Even more impressively, all eight scores were from at least 20 yards out.
Though only promised six games, McKoy is on pace to top his 2019 touchdown total, having already found the end zone three times in two games this season. It would be a major upset to not see McKoy score against one of the worst pass defenses among FBS teams.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Akron is coming off an admirable performance. However, this may have only grabbed Kent State’s attention.
Defensively, the Zips simply don’t have the linebackers and defensive backs to match up with the Golden Flashes’ stable of skill position players.
On a brisk night in Ohio where 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 Golden Flashes threw a 25-yard touchdown pass last week with only 1:35 remaining.
Also, it looks like the “Pros” and “Joes” agree with our analysis. The Action Network’s public betting report shows that 66 percent of wagers and 95% of the money are currently on Kent State.
I’d lay the lumber and take the Golden Flashes.
Pick: Kent State -23.5 (up to 25)