Akron Zips (2-8 SU, 4-6 ATS) vs. Bowling Green Falcons (5-5 SU, 5-5
ATS), 5:30 p.m. EST, Friday, November 20, 2009, Doyt L. Perry
Stadium, Bowling Green, Ohio, TV: ESPNU
by Badger of Predictem.com
Point Spread: Akron +10.5/ Bowling Green -10.5
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Two of the Mid-American Conferences middle-tier teams get a chance
to strut their stuff on national television Friday night when the 5-5
Bowling Green Falcons host the 2-8 Akron Zips in Doyt L. Perry
Stadium in Bowling Green, Ohio.
Bowling Green is making a late season push at the right time having
won four of their last five games overall, including last weeks
35-14 victory over Miami of Ohio. Plus, a win this weekend over Akron
would give the Falcons the sixth win they would need to become bowl
eligible, so they have plenty to play for on EPSNU on Friday.
At 2-8, Akron has played exactly like their record indicates with all
sorts of problems at quarterback and on offense. Last week the Temple
Owls ran up a 56-17 thrashing on the Zips on their home field, one
week after the Zips played their best game of the year in a 28-20
victory over Kent State. But when youre down to your third-string QB
as the starter, Patrick Nicely, things arent going to go so nicely
all the time.
The point spread for this game reflects the Zips struggles, as
oddsmakers opened the game with Bowling Green as 12-point favorites
at home. The number has since adjusted itself all the way down to the
Falcons minus -10.5 at most offshore sportsbooks, with a few 11s
mixed in here and there, due to most of the early money coming in on
the underdog Zips.
The over/under total opened at 50.5 and has yet to move in either direction.
As mentioned, the Zips offense is on their third quarterback this
season, as both opening day starter Chris Jacquemain (suspended
indefinitely) and his replacement Matt Rodgers (knee) have both been
lost for the rest of the season. Nicely has thrown for nearly 1,000
yards already in 172 attempts, but is hitting on just over 50 percent
of his passes (50.6) and has as many interceptions as touchdowns
Bowling Greens offense is fun to watch if you like the quarterback
in the shotgun with receivers running routes from every angle. The
Falcons have a good quarterback in Tyler Sheehan (3,189 yards,
19TD-6INT) and one of the countrys best unknown receivers in
Freddie Barnes (117 rec., 1,285 yards, 14 TD), which fuels the
NCAAs 4th-best passing attack at over 324 yards per game. But
Bowling Green is strictly one-dimensional (rushing 71.5 ypg 116th),
which is why they only score 25.4 points per game.
The Falcons spread attack also leads to a lot of three-and-outs for
the defense, which is part of the reason why the unit gives up over
383 yards per game and 27 points per game. Bowling Green is really
weak against the run (200.5 ypg 110th), which makes their .500
record on the season seem like a minor miracle when they cant stop
Akrons defense is only slightly better than Bowling Green in
allowing yards (261.8 ypg), but they simply give up too many big
plays both in the air and on the ground as they allow over 28 points
per game (28.8).
This head-to-head series has played out even at 5-5 over the last 10 games (since 1996), but the Falcons hold a slim 5-4-1 ATS edge in the
This historically even rivalry has been enjoyed by Bowling Green much
more of late, with the Falcons winning the last two straight
including last years shootout, 37-33, on the road in Akron. The
Falcons have covered the point spread in three straight, including
the last time they met in Doyt L. Perry Stadium as 6.5-point
favorites (a 44-20 win).
The over is 3-0 in the last three meetings between these two teams, mainly because theyve combined for an average of 65.6 points in
Badgers Pick: Akron just doesnt have the offense to hang in this game long term, but they should have enough to make Bowling Green
have to score to win it. Plus, the combination of bad defense and
bowl-eligible motivation makes me think the Falcons will go over the
total on their own. Take the over of 50.5.