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Eastern Michigan vs Kent State Odds, Picks: Bet the Eagles & Under

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Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Eastern Michigan running back Samson Evans.

Eastern Michigan vs Kent State Odds

Wednesday, Nov. 16
6 p.m. ET
ESPN2
Eastern Michigan Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+7.5
-110
60
-110o / -110u
+240
Kent State Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-7.5
-110
60
-110o / -110u
-285
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Kent State’s chances of winning the MAC East Division are low, but it can still make a bowl game if it wins out win out.

The Golden Flashes own a victory over Ohio, but a brutal nonconference schedule has head coach Sean Lewis at just four wins. A victory over Eastern Michigan and an upset of Buffalo will get Kent State back to the postseason.

Eastern Michigan has already qualified for bowl season, securing its sixth win over Akron during Week 11 MACtion. The Eagles have been comfortable on the road, winning four of their last five.

Head coach Chris Creighton is famous for playing in one-score games, as each of his past three conference games finished within six points.

Eastern Michigan doesn’t have a chance to catch Toledo in the standings, but a victory here moves the Eagles up when bowl selections are announced.


Eastern Michigan Eagles

Eastern Michigan’s surge is directly related to senior running back Samson Evans. After posting nearly 400 yards combined in nonconference efforts against UMass and Arizona State, Evans cooled in conference play.

The Eagles’ lead back then had another game with 24 rushing attempts against Akron in Week 11 and posted an average of nearly six yards a carry and three yards after contact.

Samson Evans 23 yard TD run! #EMU pic.twitter.com/hd4JEJpbBN

— 𝗙𝗢𝗟𝗟𝗢𝗪 @𝗙𝗧𝗕𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗱𝟳 (@FTBeard7) November 9, 2022

Eastern Michigan has been heavy on the rush attack in conference play, and it has found success. The Eagles grade out 27th nationally in Rushing Success Rate and have an advantage over Kent State’s defense in Line Yards and Stuff Rate.

A poor rank in Havoc Allowed comes with 11 fumbles and 11 interceptions on the season.

Creighton has struggled to find a rhythm for the defense, posting near-dead last ranks in Finishing Drives and third-down efficiency.

If there’s a saving grace for the Eagles on the defensive side of the ball, their tackle grade tanks in the top 10 of all FBS teams. EMU doesn’t have a single defensive player who has missed more than nine tackles this season, contributing to a high rank of limiting explosives in standard downs.

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Kent State Golden Flashes

The Golden Flashes are on the ropes of the East Division after losing as a favorite against Ball State and Miami (Ohio).

Quarterback Collin Schlee took his frustrations out in an offensive clinic against Bowling Green in Week 11. The junior connected with eight different targets, totaling three touchdowns in the blowout.

An absolute 🎯 from @collin_schlee to @DevontezWalker makes it a three score lead on @CBSSportsNet #TheHUNT🐺 | #BeTheA1pha🦅 pic.twitter.com/1scVUTfNX1

— Kent State Football (@KentStFootball) November 10, 2022

But for defenses, the book is out on Schlee: Apply pressure, and the quarterback will look for high-risk explosives downfield. In 68 pressured dropbacks, the quarterback nearly doubles his average depth of target while his turnover-worthy play rate jumps 4%.

Luckily for Schlee, Kent State boasts a top-25 offensive line in pass protection, per PFF.

Running back Marquez Cooper has been the workhorse of the offense, generating 15 explosive runs and creating 70 missed tackles on the season.

Eastern Michigan will be tasked with getting Kent State behind the chains, as the Golden Flashes are one of the most successful teams nationally in standard downs.

Like Eastern Michigan, there’s plenty to be desired on the Golden Flashes defense.

Kent State struggles, in particular, against the pass in standard downs. It ranks 115th in Standard Downs Success Rate, allowing almost every opponent to gain handfuls of first downs.

The biggest reason seven of Kent’s 10 games have gone under the total is a red-zone defense that forces field goals. Kent State has posted a top-20 rate in holding opponents to just three points, keeping scores lower than oddsmaker’s expectations.


Eastern Michigan vs Kent State Matchup Analysis

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

Eastern Michigan Offense vs. Kent State Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 27 76
Line Yards 31 90
Pass Success 58 125
Pass Blocking** 64 73
Havoc 105 97
Finishing Drives 42 78
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Kent State Offense vs. Eastern Michigan Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 37 92
Line Yards 38 107
Pass Success 44 92
Pass Blocking** 22 98
Havoc 62 100
Finishing Drives 100 125
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling 7 73
PFF Coverage 107 98
SP+ Special Teams 24 83
Seconds per Play 27.0 (78) 22.5 (10)
Rush Rate 56.8% (47) 60.7% (17)
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.

Eastern Michigan vs Kent State Betting Pick

The biggest advantage in this game is the Eastern Michigan offense on third downs. The Eagles rank top-20 in third-down conversions and will now face a Flashes defense that’s 93rd.

Evans will power Eastern Michigan to plenty of first downs, but Kent State’s history in forcing opponents into field goals is on the table against the Eagles offense.

Creighton has a long history of playing in one-score games, and the Action Network projection for this game is Kent State -4.5.

The Eagles defense has been good in only two areas: tackling and limiting explosiveness. Those advantages will be on display against Schlee and the Kent State offense, with double-digit play drives expected despite Lewis’ uptempo offense.

Weather will be a factor in a number of midweek MACtion games for Week 12, but Kent may avoid this with only wind projected to be in the double digits.

Because the Golden Flashes force field goals and the Eagles limit explosive plays, I’ll take the points with the underdog in a low-scoring affair.

Pick: Under 59 or BetterEMU +7 or Better

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