Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#741 Youngstown State 137.5 vs.
#742 Akron -8.5
Thursday, November 21, 2019 at 7:00pm EST
Written by Diamond Dave



#741 Youngstown State University
#742 University of Akron


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The Youngstown State Penguins travel to Akron to play state rival the Akron Zips Wednesday night. The Penguins are off to a 2-2 start while the Zips are 3-1. Tipoff is Thursday at 7:00 p.m. ET at JAR Arena in Akron, Ohio.

Youngstown State starts off slow

The Youngstown State Penguins are off to a 2-2 start this season. After a win over Division II Thiel, Youngstown State took on powerhouse Louisville and lost 78-55. Naz Bohannon led the way with 14 points while Darius Quisenberry added 11 points. They followed that up with a 73-61 loss to University of Louisiana Lafayette last week. Darius Quisenberry was the only Penguin in double figures with 18 points. He added four assists and four rebounds.

The Penguins took a 50-49 lead with about 9 minutes left when junior Naz Bohannon scored on a putback. But Lafayette pulled away in the second half to win easily. The Penguins only shot 34.3 percent from the field and made only 25.8 percent from 3-point range. The Pens followed that up with a 66-60 win over NC Central to improve to 2-2.

Zips off to good start

The Akron Zips are off to a 3-1 start. They opened the season beating Division II Malone, then lost at West Virginia. The West Virginia game was fairly close, but they ultimately lost 94-84 at West Virginia. They followed that up with two straight wins - one over NC Central and one over South Carolina Upstate. In the 76-45 win over SC Upstate, the ZipsLoren Cristian Jackson led the way with 18 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the floor. He was 2 for 5 from three. He also had four assists and pulled down five rebounds.

Akron freshmen Greg Tribble added11 points while Camron Reece tossed in 10 points for Akron. Senior Xeyrius Williams had 13 rebounds and 4 blocked shots along with 9 points. Akron led by as many as 35 points on their way to an easy win. The Zips shot 42 percent from the floor and 31 percent from three. They won the rebound battle 46-42 and had 6 blocked shots.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

Insiders Status:


Take the Zips. These early season rivalries are always tricky to pin down. Teams are still figuring things out and getting rotations set. Plus, in-state rivalries have tons of history and can often lead to upsets. This makes it a tough one to call but if you look at common opponents, they both beat NC Central -- Akron by 10, Youngstown State by 6. Given that Akron is home, I give them the edge here. The favorite is 5-2 against the spread in the last 7 meetings between these two. Also, the Penguins are 2-5 against the spread in the last 7 meetings.

Prediction: Akron

Full-Game Total Pick

Insiders Status:


Take the under. These are not offensive juggernauts. The Zips average just 68 points per game while YSU averages 75 points per game. But Akron is a better defensive team so don't expect the Penguins to hit their season average. I look for a game here in the 60s, which means it will be in the under. The under is 5-0 in Zips last 5 games following a straight up win of more than 20 points and 5-0 in their last 5 games following an against the spread win. The under is 4-0 in Penguins last 4 games against a team with a winning percentage above .600 and 5-0 in their last 5 non-conference games.


Prediction: Under

Written By David Shields , "Diamond Dave"

Dave has covered every major sport with passion and expertise for national sports publications. In addition to being a sportswriter, Dave has also worked in financial industry and brings a critical eye for numbers to his analysis of games. Dave thoroughly researches the statistics to spot the trends and breakdown the matchups to successfully find the winners in the NFL, NBA, MLB, college hoops, and other sports.