College Football Mid-Major Betting Report: Akron Zips Week 4
by Aaron Smith - 9/17/2014
It's time for Week 3 of the weekly mid-major college football betting report. For the past three years, Doc's Sports has been offering this report. What's the goal of this article? The goal 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. 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 is off to a 1-1 start to the year. They annihilated Howard 41-0 before losing 21-3 in Happy Valley two weeks ago.
I'm following the Zips every way possible this year. 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 make 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.
Over the first three years of doing this report, the record for the mid-major betting report selections is 18-12, and the overall profit is $1,590.
The Zips were off last weekend, but two weeks ago they lost 21-3 against Penn State. Penn State led by a score of only 7-0 at halftime, and it was 7-3 late in the third quarter. The Nittany Lions wore down the Akron defensive front late in the game and eventually pulled away to win by a comfortable margin. There were plenty of things to be encouraged about if you are an Akron fan. Akron hung with a Big Ten team in a hostile environment for a very long time. The Zips defense was great against the run for three quarters. Penn State finished with only 106 rushing yards in the game. Akron didn't turn the ball over all game, and they won the turnover battle 3-0.
On the other hand, Akron was 5-for-17 on third-down conversion attempts. They were also 0-for-2 on fourth-down attempts. The Zips had 17 first downs in the game, but they were only able to muster three points on the scoreboard. The Akron running game was unable to get anything going, which forced Kyle Pohl to throw it 46 times.
My 3-Unit selection of Akron +14.5 was a loser. Based on the fact that the game was so tight all the way through, I still believe it was a solid value, but in the end the Zips inability to finish off drives ended up costing us.
Notes of Interest
-Akron's schedule gave them a bye week very early in the year this year. Coach Terry Bowden said the quirky schedule wasn't ideal. On the other hand, Pohl said, "It was good because we took some shots at Penn State. I know my body was hurting a little bit. It was nice to get back to full health before we play a team like this (Marshall)."
-George Thomas, Zips beat writer for The Akron Beacon Journal, touched on Bowden's ties to Marshall. Terry's father, Bobby, was portrayed in the film "We Are Marshall," and Terry once applied for the Marshall head coaching position back in 1985. Terry didn't receive the job, likely at least in part because he was considered too young.
-Akron has zero turnovers through their first two games. Taking care of the football was a huge point of emphasis for Coach Bowden before the season, so he has to be excited about the Zips ability to take of the ball early on this year.
-Quarterback Kyle Pohl is Akron's leading rusher through two games with 56 yards on 17 carries. While Akron is expected to be a team that airs it out fairly often, the Zips need to find someone to take the pressure off Pohl and the passing game.
-Through three games, Marshall is ranked second in the nation in total offense. The Thundering Herd are averaging 620 yards per game.
-Marshall is 8-2 against the spread in their last 10 nonconference games.
-The Thundering Herd are 2-5 ATS in their last seven road games.
-Akron is 4-1 ATS in their last five following an ATS loss.
-The Zips are 11-4 ATS in their last 15 following a bye week.
-The home team is 6-0 ATS in the last six meetings between these teams.
Marshall vs. Akron College Football Odds
This line opened at Akron +12.5 and was quickly bet down. The Zips are currently a nine-point underdog at most books. It's quite evident that there has been some very sharp money coming in on the home underdog in this game. The posted total has been steady at 62 points.
Marshall vs. Akron College Football Picks
Marshall is a much better football team than Akron, but the Thundering Herd have struggled on the road in a big way in recent years. They often let teams hang around far more than they truly should. Coach Bowden is doing a good job with this Zips team, and if the line were still at more than 10 points I would recommend a play on the Zips, but at nine there isn't enough value for me. Instead, I'll recommend a 2-Unit play on the "under" in this one. Akron is likely to take their time and try to keep Marshall's high-octane offense off the field. Both of these defenses are much improved in 2014. A 2-Unit play on the under.
Pick: #341- Take Akron/Marshall under 62 for Two Units
Season Results: 0 Wins 1 Loss ($-330)
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