Kent State vs. Akron Odds & Picks: How to Bet Saturday’s MAC Game (November 20)

Kent State vs. Akron Odds & Picks: How to Bet Saturday’s MAC Game (November 20) article feature image
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  • Kent State faces Akron in MAC action on Saturday — not on a Tuesday or Wednesday.
  • The Golden Flashes are -14 favorites, according to updated odds from DraftKings.
  • Check out Kyle Remillard's full betting guide and pick for the game below.

Kent State vs. Akron Odds

Saturday, Nov. 20
12 p.m. ET
ESPN+
Kent State Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-14
+100
72.5
-110o / -110u
-575
Akron Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+14
-120
72.5
-110o / -110u
+410
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Many people across the nation rely on mid-week MACtion to get them through the work week. But let’s not forget that this conference still plays games on the weekend, and there is still value to be had. On Saturday, Kent State will travel to Akron for some weekend MACtion.

Kent State is destined for a matchup with Miami of Ohio next week to determine who will win the MAC East Division regardless of the outcome of this game. But this contest still has meaning for the Golden Flashes, who are 5-5 and will need this victory to become bowl eligible.

Head Coach Sean Lewis will want to avoid an upset here as that would make next week’s game not only one that determines whether Kent State will play in a conference championship, but whether Kent State makes it to bowl season.

Akron is 2-8 on the season and now under the helm of interim head coach Oscar Rodriguez Jr after firing Tom Arth and his 3-24 record with the program. Though the Zips are the 126th ranked team according to Collin Wilson’s power ratings, they have shown some fight over the last two weeks.

It’s unlikely that Akron can spoil Kent State’s chances of going to bowl season, but whether they can cover as nearly two-touchdown underdogs remains to be seen.


Kent State Golden Flashes

Kent State opened with a brutal schedule to start the season that included Texas A&M, Iowa, and Maryland. After starting the season 1-3, the Golden Flashes have won four of their six MAC games behind a dominant rushing attack.

They rank fourth in the nation in rushing Success Rate and Line Yards. The offense runs the ball on 60.3% of its plays and averages 4.9 yards per carry and over 225 rushing yards per game.

Marquez Cooper has averaged 5.0 yards per carry and punched in nine touchdowns. Quarterback Dustin Crum has complemented him, averaging 4.0 yards per carry with another eight touchdowns on the ground.

Crum has turned up the heat on opposing defenses with his arm since entering MAC play.

The offense averaged 32 points per game and leads the conference in rushing yards and total yards per contest. It should have its way against an Akron defense that ranks outside the top-125 in nearly all defensive categories.

For as good as Kent State’s offense has been, the defense has proven to be just as bad this season. The Golden Flashes rank outside the top-100 in rushing and passing Success Rates and have proven vulnerable against Explosive Plays.

They have allowed 37 points per game and nearly 500 yards of total offense per game. But the unit has thrived in forcing turnovers and should cash in often against a lackluster Akron offense.


Akron Zips

Akron is 2-8 on the season with its only victories coming over FCS opponent Bryant and Bowling Green. In its eight losses, the Zips have been outscored by an average margin of 25 points.

The offense has woken up in the last two weeks behind redshirt freshman Zach Gibson, who has thrown for over 300 yards and two touchdowns in both games. He nearly completed the upset over Ball State before fumbling the go-ahead touchdown in the final minute of play.

The Zips’ offense averages 4.7 yards per play, which ranks 114th in the nation. The run game has been non-existent, averaging 3.1 yards per carry against FBS competition. Akron will need to rely on the arm of its true freshman quarterback to move the chains in this matchup.

At times it appears Akron takes the field with only 10-players with how bad its defensive unit has been. Akron has allowed 7.4 yards per play and just shy of 500 yards of total offense per game. It has allowed over 41 points per game in its FBS matchups and the ‘Zips are second to last in the nation at stopping opponents on third down (54%).

They’ve allowed 6.4 yards per carry and 9.5 yards per pass attempt, both ranking outside the top-120. If Akron is to stay competitive in this game, the Zips will need to score a boatload of points, as the defense will rarely be able to slow down the Kent State offense.

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Kent State vs. Akron Matchup Analysis

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

Kent State Offense vs. Akron Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 4 130
Line Yards 4 128
Pass Success 83 126
Pass Blocking** 68 100
Big Play 58 128
Havoc 63 127
Finishing Drives 62 130
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Akron Offense vs. Kent State Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 74 103
Line Yards 53 105
Pass Success 90 120
Pass Blocking** 127 122
Big Play 61 110
Havoc 126 98
Finishing Drives 61 115
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling 95 41
Coverage 93 129
Middle 8 95 126
SP+ Special Teams 115 104
Plays per Minute 2 112
Rush Rate 60.3% (26) 54.4% (66)

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


Kent State vs. Akron Betting Pick

Kent State’s offense has run through the MAC conference, and it’s highly unlikely that Akron will be the team to finally slow them down. The Zips have allowed 6.4 yards per rush attempt and 9.5 yards per pass attempt. Kent State will have a massive advantage offensively, and it will be rare when its drives don’t end with an extra point.

Although Kent State’s defense has also been suspect at best, it owns the top turnover differential in the nation. The ‘Zips own a plus-13 turnover differential after forcing 20 turnovers this season. Akron is minus-three in that same department and has turned the ball over on 15 occasions.

Kent State needs this game to become bowl eligible while Akron is looking forward to the 2022 season already.

Pick: Kent State -13 (play up to -14)

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