Ohio Bobcats vs. Akron Zips
Date and Time: Tuesday, November 13, 2017, 7 p.m. ET
Location: InfoCision Stadium, Akron, OH
Opening College Football Odds: Check Back Later
Ohio vs. Akron TV Coverage: ESPN2
What's on the line in this game can't be understated. Ohio will win the MAC East with a victory while Akron would win the East with a win and a win next week over woeful Kent State. The Zips also need one more win to reach bowl eligibility. They're a good bet to go bowling anyway with Kent State coming to Akron, but Terry Bowden wants to win this division and have a shot at a conference title, not just earn the right to play in a no-name bowl game.
The Zips did themselves no favors last week by getting blown out by Miami-OH. The Redhawks were dominant in a 24-14 victory that was nowhere near this close to the final score in actuality. Akron did cover the spread, but just the mere fact that all of the top online sportsbooks agreed that it should be a double-digit underdog to a 3-6 team that was merely clinging to dim hopes for a bowl game was telling.
Ohio, meanwhile, tallied at least 38 points for the fourth-consecutive game in a 38-10 victory over Toledo. The win capped off the home portion of the schedule for the Bobcats puts them in a position where they could get a second shot at the Rockets in the MAC Championship Game with a win.
Nathan Rourke did himself a huge favor last week in his quest to win MAC Player of the Year honors. He rushed for 115 yards and a touchdown while throwing for 139 yards and a score. Though those stats aren't exactly Heisman Trophy worthy, Rourke's presence as one of the best dual-threats in the MAC is terrifying defenses and is causing the Bobcats to put points on the board in bunches.
6.97 – The number of yards per carry Ohio has averaged in its last four games.
Rourke is a crucial part of that, of course, but A.J. Ouelette and Dorian Brown have been fantastic, too. These two men have rushed for 364 and 336 yards respectively over the course of their last four games, and both are proving to be explosive out of the spread.
Akron's rush defense is suspect, allowing 186.0 yards per game. The most devastating part of all of this is that the one team that is best-compared to Ohio on the Zips' schedule to date, Toledo, racked up 303 yards on the ground on 43 carries in a 48-21 romp.
Ohio vs. Akron Free Picks
Akron's offense simply doesn't have the ability to keep up if its defense can't put up a good fight. The Zips are averaging just 325.3 yards per game and rank in the bottom-10 in America on the ground. Thomas Woodson sat out last week's game against Miami, and freshman Kato Nelson definitely looked the part of a young frosh.
The Bobcats are rolling at the moment, and there's no reason to believe they're going to stop. Even if they don't get into the high-30s or the 40s once again, a game in the low-30s should be good enough. Akron's offense hasn't scored more than 34 points against an FBS team since last October, and there aren't enough points being given here by the oddsmakers to consider anything else.
A letdown after the win over Toledo could be predictable, but there's too much on the line for Ohio to suffer a similar fate to what Ohio State suffered at Iowa a week after its biggest win of the season.
College Football ATS Pick: Give the Points with Ohio at BookMaker.eu
College Football Score Prediction: Ohio 37, Akron 20