College Football Mid-Major Betting Report: Akron Zips Week 2
by Aaron Smith - 9/4/2014
It's Week 2 of the college football mid-major report. For the past three years, Doc's Sports has been offering this weekly mid-major report. What's the goal of this weekly article? The goal here is to try to show bettors that specialization is a profitable betting strategy. It's a strategy many of the best bettors in the world use in many different sports. Since there are so many teams in college football, specialization is particularly relevant in this sport. This year, the team I'll be following is the Akron Zips. Akron went 1-11 for three straight years before bouncing back with a respectable 5-7 record last year. Can they keep things headed in the right direction in 2014?
All season long I'll be following the Zips in every way possible. I'll be following the team on Twitter, listening to press conferences, and reading reports from beat writers to try to find information that could help me become an expert on this team. At the end of each mid-major report I'll be making a selection on that game. Doc's Sports Unit Betting System will be used for every pick. This will allow readers to follow along and track the results closely.
Over the first two seasons of doing this weekly mid-major report, I went 13-7-1 with my selections, and $100 per-unit bettors were up $1,410. In last year's report, I went only 5-8 on the selections, but because my largest plays were winners, I did pull a profit of $180 on our $100-per-unit betting scale. On the whole, through three years the record for the mid-major betting report selections is 18-12, and the overall profit is $1,590.
Yes, it was against the Howard Bison, but there is no doubt that the Akron Zips were extremely impressive in Week 1. The Zips passing game really stood out. Akron had 396 yards through the air, and they had five touchdown passes and no picks. Six Zips receivers had at least three catches in the game. In all, the Akron offense put up 513 yards against the Bison.
Maybe even more impressive was the fact that the Akron defense pitched a shutout. Howard came in with an offense that was a veteran group led by a strong dual-threat quarterback, and the Zips totally shut them down. Greg McGhee is expected to put up big numbers for Howard this year, but Akron held him to just 12-for-26 throwing the football and 68 yards. He ran for only 29 yards on 13 carries.
It would obviously be a bad idea to take too much away from the 41-0 win over Howard, but Akron certainly has some positive momentum to start off the season. The task gets much tougher this week as they travel to Happy Valley to take on the Penn State Nittany Lions.
Notes of Interest
-Coach Bowden noted in his press conference that one thing he wasn't happy about from last week's game was the team's inability to get anything going running the football. He acknowledged that the Zips are a pass-first type of team but said they are going to have to "pop a few more" runs for five yards rather than two. Bowden did make it clear, though, that he isn't going to force running the football if it isn't working. The coach said, "I'm not going to beat my head into the ground (running the football)"
-Penn State beat writer Travis Johnson wrote about Penn State's irregular week. The Nittany Lions traveled nearly 8,000 miles for their season opener, and they logged 20 hours of travel time. Penn State exited Dublin quickly, arriving back in State College around 2:30 am Sunday morning. Johnson reported that Penn State did not practice on Sunday or Monday so that the team could get some more rest after their long trip. James Franklin and the coaching staff were spending that time preparing for Akron.
-The Zips coaching staff expects their players to be far less rattled because they are used to playing in big venues now. This senior class played at Ohio State in 2011, at Tennessee in 2012, and at Michigan in 2013. The Zips were inches away from pulling off an upset at Michigan last year, and Coach Bowden and his staff hope the tough scheduling over the past few years pays off for this program.
-Akron is 6-2 against the spread in their last eight nonconference games.
-Penn State is 6-2 ATS in their last eight nonconference games.
-The "under" is 10-1 in Penn State's last 11 games vs. a Mid-American Conference opponent.
-The under is 10-1 in the Zips last 11 road games.
Akron vs. Penn State College Football Odds
Akron opened as a 17.5 point underdog in this one, but there has been a lot of sharp money to come in on the Zips here. Most books are either Akron +14 or Akron +14.5 at this point in the week. The posted total opened at 52.5 points, and it has edged down to 51 points.
Akron vs. Penn State College Football Picks
Penn State is certainly in a difficult spot based on traveling to Ireland for a game just a week ago. That's unprecedented territory for a college team. I think the Nittany Lions travel spot is the primary reason we are seeing sharp money hit Akron in this one. I actually think Akron is the play here simply because they are better than most people believe right now. Akron should be able to throw it around against a subpar Penn State defense. The Zips defense is improving, and Penn State's offensive line is poor. I think this game stays closer than expected. I'll recommend a solid 3-Unit play here on Akron +14.5
Pick: #341- Take Akron +14.5 for 3-Units
Season Results: 0 Wins 0 Losses ($0)
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