Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl
Akron Zips (7-6 SU, 9-4) vs. Florida Atlantic Owls (10-3 SU, 9-4 ATS)
Date/Time: Tuesday, December 19, 2017 at 7:00 P.M. ET
Where: FAU Football Stadium
by Jerbeek, Expert Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Akr +22.5/FAU -22.5
Over/Under Total: 61.5
The Akron Zips will travel to Boca Raton, Florida to take on the Florida Atlantic Owls in the Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl. Akron finished 1st in the MAC East division and lost to Toledo in the MAC Championship game. Florida Atlantic was the winner of the Conference USA championship after beating North Texas in the championship game. Florida Atlantic is on a 9 game winning streak after starting the season 1-3. The Zips are led by 6th year coach Terry Bowden and is playing in a bowl for only the 2nd time in the last 10 years. Florida Atlantic coach Lane Kiffin is in his first year with the Owls and they are playing in their first bowl since 2008.
Akron runs a two QB system but neither QB has been very effective this season. Thomas Woodson is completing 57.2% but only has 14 touchdowns compared to 9 interceptions. Kato Nelson is only completing 48.8% and has 8 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. The rushing game has also been ineffective for the Zips as they are only averaging 3.3 yards per carry against teams that give up 4.4 yards per carry. This leads to them only scoring 23.6 points per game against teams that give up 28.7 points.
Florida Atlantic is led by a strong rushing attack headed by Sophomore RB Devin Singletary who has rushed for 1,796 yards 29 touchdowns. Singletary is averaging 6.5 yards per carry on the season. QB Jason Driskel has been efficient when called upon to pass as he has completed 65.6% of his passes for 1,977 yards. As a team, the Owls are averaging 6.1 yards per rush against teams that give up 4.7 yards per attempt. Their yards per play average is an entire yard above what their opponents average giving up as they have gained 6.8 yards per play against teams that give up only 5.8. The Owls have scored more than 40 points in 7 of their 13 games this year and have topped 50 3 times.
Akron’s defense has been a bit above average this season as they are allowing 26.3 points to teams that average 28.0 but the problem for the Zips is going to be that they are not very good at stopping the running game as teams have averaged 5.0 yards per carry against them. This is going to be a huge concern as they try to stop the strength of the Florida Atlantic offense and quite frankly I don’t think they will be able to slow them down.
The Owls defense has made great strides this season after giving up an average of over 500 yards and 40 points per game in 2016. This season they have reduced the total average allowed to 408 yards per game and 24.2 points per game. The beginning of the season looked a bit worrisome as Navy rushed for 416 yards and Wisconsin rushed for 357 yards against the Owls but they have tightened up the defense as they moved into conference play.
Both teams have exceeded expectations this year both in wins and against the spread as the teams have combined to go 18-8 against the spread. Of course Owls Head Coach has made a few references to the pointspread in post game comments so there is no doubt that he is aware that his team is a big favorite in this game. Kiffin was rumored for a few different openings but it appears that he will remain with the Owls for now but certainly that could change.
Jerbeek’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: If you play in a confidence pool that just uses straight up winners then this is the game for you to use your highest pick on. This should be the most lopsided game of the bowl season and I think Singletary is going to have a huge game so I am calling for a 48-14 Florida Atlantic win. My recommendation is to play Florida Atlantic minus the 22.5 points. – If you went to the store and two of the same exact product were sitting side by side; One for $105.00 and one for $110.00, which would you buy? THE CHEAPER ONE OF COURSE! So why are you still betting at -110 odds when you could be betting at -105? Dump your overpriced bookie TODAY and start enjoying the benefits of discounted odds at the web’s BEST sportsbook: 5Dimes!