Akron Zips vs. Miami-OH Redhawks
Date and Time: Tuesday, November 7, 2017, 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Fred Yager Stadium, Oxford, OH
Opening College Football Odds: Miami-OH -4
Akron vs. Miami-OH TV Coverage: ESPN2
Terry Bowden's Zips might be 5-4 and in the driver's seat in the MAC East, but they certainly have to be careful. Akron was a 3-point dog at home to Buffalo last week and pulled out a 21-20 triumph. That came on the heels of a 14-13 upset of Western Michigan on a sloppy field a few weeks back and a 31-3 win over Ball State the week prior in which the Zips were only -4.5.
Though this team is almost certainly going to end up in a bowl game this year, it's hard to say that it's the best team in this division. Akron is playing without its leading rusher, Warren Ball, who is out for the season with a leg injury. As a result, this offense is averaging just 331.1 yards and 22.7 points per game, numbers which rank in the bottom 25 in America.
The Zips are also awful on defense. They're surrendering 444.2 yards game and are fortunate to be conceding a disproportionate 25.0 points per game.
Miami is sort of the antithesis of Akron. The Redhawks have badly underachieved this season, losing games to Kent State, Bowling Green, Cincinnati and Marshall as favorites. Last week's 45-28 loss to Ohio ended any chance of winning the MAC East, and it made this game a must-win to get into a bowl game.
The good news for the Redhawks? Should they happen to win this game, they'll be favored over both Eastern Michigan and Ball State and should get into a bowl game at 6-6.
It's been a month since Gus Ragland injured his leg for the Redhawks, and it's amazing they've been able to keep their head above water ever since.
Ragland was the man who sparked last season's six-game winning streak to get into a bowl game at the end of the campaign against all odds, picking up the pieces from what Billy Bahl left behind at 0-6.
Bahl is back at quarterback, though, and it's hard to say that he's anywhere near the answer this team really needs. Bahl threw for 350 yards and three touchdowns in last week's loss to Ohio, but he really only did so because the team was behind by a mile the whole way. In his previous three games, Bahl threw for 177, 174 and 119 yards, barely completing half of his passes along the way.
With Ragland like out one more week at minimum with that leg injury, it's Bahl's ball for the Redhawks regardless, and that isn't the best news in the world for Miami supporters.
Akron vs. Miami-OH Free Picks
The Redhawks were amongst the favorites to win the MAC East this year, and they've wildly underachieved. If Ragland was to play in this game, we'd be all over Miami.
That said, the Zips just have this knack about them and this way to find ways to win games. Thomas Woodson is really coming on strong in his third season as Akron's starter, and we think he's going to be able to come on the road and get the job done to guarantee the Zips the MAC East title if they win next week against Ohio.
College Football ATS Pick: Akron +4 at BookMaker.eu
College Football Score Prediction: Akron 27, Miami-OH 20