With a couple of college football games on Tuesday night taking place, and a MAC matchup tonight, we will have football every day of the week. I don’t care much for football on Tuesday nights and with the World Series on my attention was elsewhere. One day without football, though, has my appetite hungry for some action on the gridiron. The 6-2 Toledo Rockets who are alive and well in the race for the MAC Championship will stay in-state this week against Akron on the road. A win tonight would make the Zips bowl eligible with a record of 6-4. That in itself is a successful season for Akron, who would make their third bowl in school history, including second in a row after going to the Potato Bowl a year ago, a game in which they won against a decent Utah State team.
Akron returns home after an awful appearance against Buffalo on the road. The Zips went in as 19.5 favorites, but lost 41-20 in a lazy showing. Buffalo ran all over Akron for 382 yards. Note that Buffalo is in the bottom-five of worst teams in the FBS. It appeared like that was going to be the bowl clincher for Akron, but they’re going to have it tougher this week against a better team. These two haven’t played since 2013, which resulted in a 31-29 win for the Zips. Akron’s best game came on a 65-38 win against Marshall. They also had what I would consider a “good” loss against Appalachian State, 45-38. However, Western Michigan made quick work of them on October 15th in a 41-0 shellacking.
There has been the good Zips and the bad Zips this season. We’ll see what kind of Akron team we get tonight. If they come out like they did last week against Buffalo, this will be a blowout in the highest order. Under second-year starter, Thomas Woodson, quarterback play has not been an issue at Akron. Woodson has improved even, passing for 16 touchdowns and 5 interceptions in 2016 with a completion percentage of 62%. The problems for Akron falls within their defense. They will need a much better effort defending the run tonight if they want to hang around against Toledo, forget about winning if they only improve minimally from last week.
Toledo Rockets vs. Akron Zips NCAAF Betting Odds:
vs. Akron +9.5(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Toledo vs. Akron Pick:
Akron are ranked 118th in total yards allowed per game, with 483 yards allowed. On the ground they’re allowing 228.7 yards a game. Toledo should be able to find success running the ball, they are rushing for 198 yards per game, and they have gone up against some quality defenses. Toledo already has Wisconsin and BYU on their resume, two physical teams who have neutralized some of the best teams in college football. The Rockets were able to play point-for-point with BYU, but ultimately lost 55-53. However, just like Akron, Toledo are coming off a rather bad loss to Ohio.
Despite the loss to Ohio, the Rockets have been playing good football, notably from their quarterback, Logan Woodside. It’s been a while since Toledo has had a quarterback as capable as Woodside has been in 2016. Woodside has already eclipsed 30 touchdown passes this season, posting 31 touchdowns and only 5 interceptions. He is a pure pocket-passer who makes his bread from the pocket, completing 71.5% of his passes. The Zips are 93rd against the pass, so I expect Toledo to find their yards whichever way they want tonight. They really need a big bounce back spot after fizzling against Ohio last week.
The Rockets are 8th in the nation with 347 passing yards per game, and they are scoring 39.4 points a game. I see this offense taking their frustration from last week out on this porous Akron defense. Neither defense has had much time to prepare for one another, and in my opinion, the Zips need more time to put together a quality game plan. 9.5 is certainly a lot of points to be laying here, though. Akron are averaging 31.4 points per game and fully capable of relying on their offense keeping it close. Points should come from both sides tonight, making for a high scoring entertaining affair on Wednesday night.
PICK: OVER 71.5 POINTS (-110)