College Football Odds & Picks for Akron vs. Ohio State: Why To Make A First-Half Bet

College Football Odds & Picks for Akron vs. Ohio State: Why To Make A First-Half Bet article feature image

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  • With C.J. Stroud likely out this week, No. 10 Ohio State hosts Akron in college football's Week 4.
  • The Buckeyes cruised past Tulsa last week, while the Zips pounded Bryant
  • Alex Kolodziej breaks down this matchup and provides his best bet.

Akron vs. Ohio State Odds

Akron Odds+48.5 (-110)
Ohio State Odds-48.5 (-110)
Over/Under66.5 (-115 / -105)
Time7:30 p.m. ET
TVBig Ten Network
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

The largest spread of the weekend features the Akron Zips and Ohio State Buckeyes.

The Big Ten powerhouse is laying 49.5 points over the MAC punching bag –four more than top-ranked Alabama is giving to lowly Southern Miss.

Saturday marks the third-consecutive home game for Ohio State, which opened the season on the road at Minnesota. The Buckeyes are 2-1 in 2021, with the lone blemish being a loss to Oregon as 14.5-point favorites.

After losing to Auburn by 50 in Week 1, Akron is playing its second Power 5 opponent in four weeks. The Zips beat Bryant last weekend, 35-14, covering as 13-point chalk.

Akron vs. Ohio State Betting Preview

Saturday, Sept. 25
7:30 p.m. ET
Big Ten Network

Akron Zips

Akron Offense

Buckeyes head coach Ryan Day wasn't happy with his defense after the Oregon game. He was critical of the unit, notably coordinator Kerry Coombs.

Although Ohio State beat Tulsa by three touchdowns in Week 3, it was far from perfect defensively.

A bland Golden Hurricane offense that scored just 17 points in a loss to UC Davis in Week 1 racked up 428 yards through the air over the Buckeyes secondary, which currently ranks 103rd nationally in yards per completion allowed.

If Ohio State can't get it going this weekend, it's officially time to hit the panic button.

Akron has struggled to consistently move the ball under head coach Tom Arth. The Zips finished 121nd in scoring last year (17.2 PPG) and can't for the life of them rip off explosive chunk plays, ranking 122nd in big play rate.

Akron Defense

Akron is undersized and won't get much of a push up front. Among the important metrics we analyze, the Zips' best position right now is in line yards, where they currently rank 104th.

It's been that bad.

Akron clocked out of the 2020 season dead last in yards per play allowed (7.4). Naturally, through three weeks, the Zips are on pace to finish in the basement again (9.0).

Welcome to Columbus, where that yards-per-play clip could balloon to double digits.

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Ohio State Buckeyes

Ohio State Offense

It's admittedly taken some time for the offense to get going. The Buckeyes are averaging 38 points per game, but only manufacturing 10 in the first half.

Otherwise, all the pieces are in place for Ohio State to outscore every opponent it draws from here on out.

Quarterback C.J. Stroud, unlikely to play this week (if that gives you any indication of how this matchup will play out), will continue to improve as the season progresses, especially with two future first-round wide receivers (Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson) on the outside.

The passing game might not be needed as seven-score favorites.

Enter the running game, which has put on a clinic this fall.

TreVeyon Henderson and Miyan Williams have been home-run hitters, combining to average roughly 9.0 yards per carry, along with six total touchdowns this season.

Those two are running amok behind a stout offensive line. The front's helped the offense rank 12th in line yards and top 10 in big plays.

Ohio State Defense

Day might clean house on the defensive staff if Akron finds the end zone.

Ohio State's oddly struggled for a program that consistently produces pros on every level. The Buckeyes enter Week 4 surrendering the second-highest explosive pass rate in the nation.

OSU's allowed each of its last four opponents to coast past the team total, coughing up close to 33 points per game over that span.

If there's any week to figure out if this is fixable, it's Saturday against an offense averaging fewer than 4.0 yards per play against two FBS opponents.

Akron vs. Ohio State Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Akron and Ohio State match up statistically:

Akron Offense vs. Ohio State Defense




Rush Success
Line Yards
Pass Success
Pass Blocking**
Big Play
Finishing Drives
**Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Ohio State Offense vs. Akron Defense




Rush Success
Line Yards
Pass Success
Pass Blocking**
Big Play
Finishing Drives
**Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling
PFF Coverage
Middle 8
SP+ Special Teams
Plays per Minute
Rush Rate
58.% (48)
49.2% (98)

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

The Ohio State offense versus the Akron defense. Tattoo that chart across my entire back.

Akron vs. Ohio State Betting Pick

Every single team in the country has issues right now. Ohio State has two: scoring in the first half and stopping the pass.

It should patch up both areas Saturday against one of the nation's worst FBS teams.

Stroud or not, it doesn't matter. This is simply a get-right spot for a team that still plans on busting down the CFP doors.

If Ohio State can't get off to a fast start against a defense that allowed the seventh-most first-half points per game last season, then I'll happily eat crow.

Pick: Ohio State 1H -31

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