Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#133 Akron 47.5 vs.
#134 Central Michigan -1.5
Saturday, September 14, 2019 at 3:00pm EDT
Kelly/Shorts Stadium, Mount Pleasant
Written by Adam Rauzino

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#133 University of Akron
#134 Central Michigan University
0-2
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The Central Michigan Chippewas will host the Akron Zips in a MAC clash Saturday afternoon from Kelly/Shorts Stadium in Mount Pleasant, MI. The Zips fell 31-20 at home to UAB in their previous action, and the Chippewas were crushed 61-0 at Wisconsin in their week two clash. Akron registered a 17-10 home win against Central Michigan last season.

Zips Offense Struggles in 0-2 Start

The Akron Zips are searching for their first win after two tough games to open the season. They kicked off their season with a rough 42-3 road loss to Illinois in a game they were heavy underdogs, followed by a 31-20 home loss to UAB last week. They will be glad to see an easier opponent in Central Michigan this week. Zips’ QB Kato Nelson did nothing against Illinois, although he rebounded by accumulating 359 passing yards with two TD’s last week. The junior QB tallied a solid 15:8 TD to INT ratio in 2018. The Zips’ leading rusher is Deltron Sands with only 56 rushing yards. The senior was able to rush for 47 yards against Illinois in week one.

Watch for junior WR Dustin Burkhart in this one as he came out of nowhere with 217 receiving yards in the loss to UAB after not making a catch against Illinois. Nate Stewart should be noticeable after making nine grabs for 107 receiving yards in two games. The Zips offense was much better in week two and it will be interesting to see how they fare against a Chippewas team they only scored 17 points against in last year’s meeting.

The Akron defense has been a problem early. Both their pass and rush defense have been leaky. They were in the middle of the pack last year, and they should fare better against their MAC opponents after having issues against their first two opponents.

Akron is scoring an average of 11.5 points in two games this season. They have allowed a total of 73 points in two games.

Chippewas Routed by Wisconsin, Dormady Injured

The Central Michigan Chippewas are glad to have their game against Wisconsin out of the way. They were demolished 61-0 in Madison last week, and now open conference play against an opponent closer to their level. QB Quinten Dormady exited early due to an ankle injury. The 6-foot-5 senior QB started his collegiate career with the Texas Longhorns, followed by a year in Houston in 2018, although he did not see any significant action with either team. Dormady did not practice on Tuesday, and he is listed as questionable for this one. QB David Moore saw first-team reps in Tuesday’s practice, and he will likely start this one if Dormady doesn’t play. Moore saw minimal action with the Memphis Tigers of the AAC in 2017.

Look out for Jonathan Ward in this one. The senior RB has rushed for 158 yards in week one and he is a big threat as evidenced by his 1017 rushing yards in 2017. Ward only managed three rushing yards against Wisconsin. The Chippewas also feature Romello Ross who led his team with 402 rushing yards last year.

Tyrone Scott leads CMU with 93 receiving yards through two games after making just one catch in all of last year. The Chippewas receiving core is not a strength. CMU was one of the lowest-scoring teams in the country last year, although they should improve led by their new QB’s in Dormady and Moore.

The Central Michigan defense had no chance against Wisconsin last week, but they should make things difficult for a subpar Akron offense. The Chippewas were outstanding against the pass in 2018, although they struggled against the run. They have fared well defending the run in two games this season, holding their opponents to an average of 122 rushing yards.

CMU has averaged 19 points in two games. They have allowed an average of 41 points in their two contests.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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I am siding with Central Michigan in this one. This line has moved from seven all the way down to three points due to the uncertainty of QB Dormady’s status. The Chippewas should be able to generate some offense after they were stifled by the Badgers of the Big Ten last week. Central Michigan has improved at the QB position. Dormady, who is questionable with an ankle injury, has SEC experience and if he does not play, David Moore will start. Moore played for Memphis of the AAC in 2017.

Furthermore, the Chippewas ranked fourth in the country against the pass last year, and I expect them to contain Zips’ QB Kate Knelson who was limited to 10 completions on 27 pass attempts for 147 passing yards in last year’s meeting against Central Michigan. Lastly, CMU has the coaching edge as they have Jim McElwain at the helm. McElwain coached Florida for a few seasons, and his presence has attracted talent to Central Michigan.

Prediction: Central Michigan

Full-Game Total Pick

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The under is the strongest play in this MAC matchup. I expect a low scoring defensive battle similar to last year’s clash that resulted in a 17-10 score. While Central Michigan did lose key pieces to their defense, they still have depth, and Akron has only scored a combined 23 points in their first two games, plus the under is 5-0 in the Chippewas’ last five games against a team with a losing record.

In addition, Central Michigan lacks any big playmakers in their receiving core and their offense is still a work in progress. The under is usually a safe bet with Central Michigan, and the under is a perfect 4-0 in the last four meetings between these two MAC foes.

Prediction: Under

Full-Game Prop Bet

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The under on the Zips team total which can be found on PointsBet is a strong play. The Zips only scored 17 points on 303 total yards against CMU last season and that game was on Akron’s home field. The Zips have only rushed for a combined 98 total yards in two games, so I don’t expect a ton of offense on the ground, and the Chippewas’ pass defense is their greatest defensive strength, so Akron will be hard-pressed to generate significant offense.

Prediction: Zips Team Total Under

Half-Time Prop Prediction

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I am taking Central Michigan to score first. Central Michigan will be eager to get back on the field after they were shutout in Wisconsin last week. QB David Moore will have something to prove and I expect the QB to lead the Chips on a scoring drive. Also, the Zips have surrendered 21 points in the first quarter in their two games.

Prediction: Central Michigan to Score First
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Written By Adam Rauzino

Adam has been a sports fanatic his entire life, closely following hockey, baseball, basketball and football. Adam enjoys analyzing various stats, as well as studying Sabermetrics and analytics to take his picks to a whole new level. Adam has a passion for writing about various sports as well as personal finance and has brought his talents to us here at Winners and Whiners. He graduated with a diploma in business marketing and business finance.