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Akron vs. Tennessee Betting Odds, Picks: Can Zips Cover Huge Spread?

Akron vs. Tennessee Betting Odds, Picks: Can Zips Cover Huge Spread? article feature image
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Adam Ruff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Akron quarterback Jeff Undercuffler.

  • The Akron Zips head to Knoxville on Saturday to face the Tennessee Volunteers.
  • The Vols enter as monster favorites over the lowly Zips, who are getting used to a coaching change.
  • Alex Kolodziej breaks this Week 3 game down below and shares his top betting pick.

Akron vs. Tennessee Odds

Saturday, Sept. 17
7 p.m. ET
ESPN+
Akron Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+47.5
-110
67.5
-110o / -110u
N/A
Tennessee Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-47.5
-110
67.5
-110o / -110u
N/A
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Consider Week 3’s Akron vs. Tennessee matchup an absolutly brutal scheduling spot — for both teams.

The Zips, fresh off a trip to Michigan State, are playing their second straight road game against a formidable Power Five opponent.

The Volunteers aren’t nearly as behind the eight ball as the MAC bottom-dwellers, but after playing an overtime stunner at Pittsburgh and with SEC play on deck in Week 4, you better believe motivation will play a role Saturday at Neyland Stadium.

And it takes at least some to cover a seven-touchdown betting spread.

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Akron Zips

Akron was hit with a reality check in East Lansing last Saturday, just as we expected. We recommended laying the points with the Spartans, and all they did was clean up the Zips, 52-0.

There were glaring red flags from the road side, including four turnovers and 10 penalties for nearly 100 yards. However, it wasn’t a completely hopeless effort.

Akron’s defense forced a pair of interceptions and held Michigan State to 6.0 yards per play after the Spartans rang up 7.5 on MAC opponent Western Michigan in the opener.

Quarterback D.J. Irons notably suffered an injury and was replaced by Jeff Undercuffler. The former University of Albany product has plenty of experience and earned time as early as his 2018 redshirt freshman season.

The Zips have admittedly been tough to trust both early in the year and against non-MAC teams. Akron is just 1-9 against the spread in its past 10 games both in the month of September and against nonconference opponents.


Tennessee Volunteers

Tennessee was lucky to come out of its Week 2 clash against Pitt with a cover (-6), let alone a win.

The Volunteers were nearly dead-even in total yards (416-415) in a game that Pitt starting quarterback Kedon Slovis left early with an injury.

Tennessee was also outgained by one more yard per rush, lost the time of possession battle by nearly 10 minutes and committed two more penalties than the Panthers.

Josh Heupel’s high-powered offense can often be more breakneck than efficient — the Volunteers operate at the fifth-fastest pace nationally — but we’ll likely see the latter against an Akron secondary that ranks 103rd nationally in Pass Success.


Akron vs. Tennessee Matchup Analysis

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

Akron Offense vs. Tennessee Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 98 44
Line Yards 71 16
Pass Success 97 54
Pass Blocking** 77 83
Havoc 122 70
Finishing Drives 128 18
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Tennessee Offense vs. Akron Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 69 82
Line Yards 111 92
Pass Success 12 103
Pass Blocking** 55 113
Havoc 27 100
Finishing Drives 16 116
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling 104 58
PFF Coverage 98 65
SP+ Special Teams 115 24
Seconds per Play 24.8 (38) 20.2 (5)
Rush Rate 44.8% (101) 52.8% (65)
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.

Akron vs. Tennessee Betting Pick

If you’re truly utilizing the college football market and treating teams like assets, then this feels like the perfect time to buy Akron — a week after selling the Zips against Michigan State.

Akron’s offense shouldn’t see much of a downgrade going from Irons to Undercuffler and all it takes is one, maybe two scoring drives to feel comfortable.

Plus, if head coach Joe Moorhead can whip up another pristine game script out the gates — Akron was on the cusp of the red zone before fumbling on its first drive last week — in a game where his club’s catching 47.5 points, it’ll go a long way.

I’m not sure who would be rushing to lay this many points with Tennessee gearing up for Florida in Week 4.

The Volunteers closed as 37-point favorites over Ball State in Week 1, and this spread is 10 points higher. However, after looking at Collin Wilson’s 2022 Betting Power Ratings, the gap between Ball State and Akron certainly doesn’t warrant this large of an adjustment.

I thought the fair betting spread for Akron vs. Tennessee was closer to -44, and I’m fine with taking the points all the way up to 45.

Pick: Akron +47.5

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