College Football Mid-Major Betting Report: Akron Zips Week 5
by Aaron Smith - 9/24/2014
Week 4 of the college football mid-major report is here. 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 area.
This year I'm following the Akron Zips in every way possible. I'll be following the team on Twitter, listening to their press conferences, and reading reports from Zips 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. Akron loaded up their nonconference schedule this year, and the Zips have been beaten soundly now in two straight games. They'll face another tough test this weekend at Pittsburgh.
The Marshall Thundering Herd rolled into Summa Field and thumped the Akron Zips last weekend. Marshall has had some difficulties on the road in the past, which made Akron a popular play with the sharps last weekend, but this game or the cover were never in doubt. Marshall jumped out to a 17-0 lead in the first quarter and never looked back. The Thundering Herd led 41-3 with eight minutes left in the fourth quarter. At that point, last week's selection of 'under' 62 looked terrific, but we ended up taking a rough beat. Marshall sat back in a prevent defense and allowed Akron to score two touchdowns in the final eight minutes. The Thundering Herd also added one more of their own. The 21 points in the final eight minutes pushed this one just past the posted total and gave us a difficult loss.
Akron turned the ball over four times in this game. The Zips fumbled it twice, and quarterback Kyle Pohl threw two interceptions. Pohl is generally one of the Zips most consistent players, but the Thundering Herd defense gave him lots of problems. Marshall came in known as a high-flying passing attack, but the Herd gained 284 yards on the ground in this one. Rakeem Cato also threw for 210 yards. There were 30 penalties between the two teams, so this was really a sloppy game.
This game was a bit of a measuring stick for Akron. And it proved that while the Zips are much improved, they have a long way to go to be competitive against the best teams.
Notes of Interest
-The Zips will face Pittsburgh this week, and the Panthers star is running back James Conner. Connor leads the nation with 699 rushing yards. Marshall exposed the Akron run defense last week, and the Zips will have to clean up a lot of their issues quickly before they go to Pittsburgh. Paul Chryst is the Panthers coach, and he is a great offensive line coach. Chryst believes in running the football early and often, so Akron knows to be ready for a steady dose of Conner. Conner's 699 yards is the most in Pittsburgh history by a rusher in the team's first four games.
-George Thomas, Akron beat writer for The Akron Beacon Journal, wrote about Terry Bowden withholding judgment on his team at this point in the season. Bowden said, "I'm not going to try to read too much, right now, after Penn State and Marshall and the games they played." He went on to say that both of those teams have been very impressive in their games this year. Akron will attempt to use their early-season tests to help them be well prepared for Mid American Conference play.
-Zips starting running back Jawon Chisholm missed last week's game with an injury, and he will be a game-time decision this week. Conor Hundley was slated to be Chisholm's backup, but he was out with an injury last weekend as well. Sophomore Hakeem Lawrence started in the backfield against Marshall, and he averaged 6.2 yards per carry. However, he also fumbled the ball twice.
-Akron is 2-5 against the spread in their last seven games against a team with a winning record.
-The under is a perfect 11-0 in Akron's last 11 road games.
-Pittsburgh is 22-6 ATS in their last 28 games following a loss. They lost to Iowa last weekend.
-The Panthers are 10-3-2 ATS in their last 15 against a team with a losing record.
Akron vs. Pittsburgh College Football Odds
The Pittsburgh Panthers opened as 17-point favorites, but the number has been bet up to 20 points at most books. It appears both the sharp and public money are backing Pittsburgh so far in this one. The posted total opened at 47.5 points, but has been bet up to 49.5 points.
Akron vs. Pittsburgh College Football Picks
The Panthers are the better team here, but I'm not sure I feel comfortable laying nearly three touchdowns with a team that likes to run the ball and use up the clock. As mentioned in the betting trends section, the under has cashed in 11 straight times for Akron on the road. Neither team will be in a hurry throughout this game. At 49.5, I believe the under is the best play on the board for this game. A 2-Unit play on the under in this contest is this week's selection.
Pick: #129- Take Akron/Pittsburgh under 49.5 for Two Units
Season Results: 0 Wins 2 Losses ($-550)
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