It’s been six seasons since Akron was bowl eligible and eight since the Zips had a winning season. There’s a reason that college football betting odds have their win total at a mere 3.5 games.
And there’s a reason that the over is at even-money while the under sits at -120 — because the Zips haven’t won four games since the 2018 season.
Can they reach that win total again?
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Games to like
While there aren’t many, there are a few weeks where Akron looks like it could pull out a win. Week 1 on the road against Temple would be one of those, even though the Zips are currently 10-point dogs on BetMGM. Who knows though, anything can happen in the first game of the season. Especially if the duo of DJ Irons and Alex Adams start the year on a high note.
It is likely Akron can defeat its lone FCS opponent on the schedule in Morgan State at home in Week 2. If this is the case for these two games, that would already be half the victories the Zips need to hit the over 3.5 wins. Another win on the schedule doesn’t look promising, however, as MAC play has been tough on the Zips in recent history. They have won just five league games in the last five seasons.
Another matchup the Zips could win is Week 10 against Kent State. The loser of this contest will likely be the last place team in the MAC East, so there will be something to play for.
As far as the fourth win is concerned, this would obviously be an upset and would probably need to entail a “trap game.” At this point, the most reasonable choice would be a Week 6 home game against Northern Illinois. The Huskies will be coming off a tough road game against Toledo and will host Ohio the following week. There’s always a possibility that NIU could overlook the Zips in between these two important conference matchups — which might even be the Huskies’ two toughest games of the season.
Games not to like
Visiting two Power 5 schools isn’t exactly ideal for the Zips. They’ll head to Kentucky in Week 3 before visiting Indiana the following week. Unfortunately, we can all but chalk these up as losses. Defeating Buffalo on Sept. 30 doesn’t seem likely and even if the road trips to Central Michigan and Bowling Green are competitive, it’s tough to envision Akron winning these games.
The three-game stretch against Miami, Eastern Michigan, and Ohio to close out the season are also games that don’t look appealing.
I’m not banking on Akron to pick up that trap game win over NIU in Week 6 or come away with an upset at another point in the season. For now, the best play on Akron’s win total is under 3.5 wins.