Kent State 2018 Betting Preview: New Offense Could Be Fun, But Don’t Expect Wins
Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Justin Rankin
Kent State 2018 Betting Odds
- To win the National Title: +999999
- To win the MAC: +12500
- Win Total: 2.5 (over +100, under -130)
All lines taken from 5Dimes on Aug 3. Always shop for the best line.
Kent State 2018 Schedule, Betting Odds
The Action Network Projected Wins: 3.1
Bet To Watch
Kent State Under 2.5 wins (-130)
Looking for positives for the Golden Flashes in 2018? after they’ve won 10 total games in the last four years? Kent State ranks 16th in returning production and has an eager new head coach (Sean Lewis, formerly Syracuse’s offensive coordinator). Lewis is FBS’ youngest head coach at 31 years old. Expect plenty of what Dino Babers did at Baylor, Bowling Green and Syracuse: four-wide and empty sets with stretch concepts in the passing game. He’s from the Art Briles school of offense.
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There are some defensive pieces that Lewis will get help from immediately — an adjusted sack rate of fourth in the nation along with 19th against power success rate. The new defensive coordinator is Tom Kaufman from Chattanooga. Kaufman comes from the Manny Diaz (Miami defensive coordinator) school of havoc, so there is a tiny bit of hope after last year.
Akron and Ball State are conference games Kent State can win. Sometimes you assume that an FCS game will result in a win, but Howard (which Kent State faces in the second game of the season) may be trouble. Howard quarterback and MEAC Player of the Year Caylin Newton (Cam’s younger brother) comes to Kent State on Sept. 8, and may flash some of that 2017 magic.
Lewis is recruiting well and making the right moves, but this offense is dreadful, ranking no higher than 122nd in S&P+ in the past three years. Howard will be no cake walk, and Ball State comes as a third straight road game for the Golden Flashes. Take under 2.5 -140 and look for minor improvement before a step forward in 2019.
What else you need to know about Kent State
Adding to the case for the under, Kent State has not won back-to-back games since 2013. Victories in consecutive weeks would be impressive, but the season starts with two dual-threat quarterbacks and a Heisman contender in Penn State’s Trace McSorley.