Massachusetts Minutemen (3-7 SU, 8-2 ATS) vs. Akron Zips (4-6 SU, 2-8 ATS)
College Football Week 13
Date and Time: Tuesday, November 18, 2014, 8:00 pm EST
Where: Summa Field at InfoCision Stadium, Akron, Ohio
by Badger, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Mass. +7/Akron -7
Over/Under Total: OFF
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Two middle tier teams from the Mid-American Conference hope to finish off the final two games of the regular season with a flourish to build toward next year, when the Massachusetts Minutemen travel to InfoCision Stadium to take on the Akron Zips Tuesday night in MAC-tion on ESPN3.
UMass is coming off of perhaps the biggest victory in school history, a 24-10 win over Ball State last Wednesday night in the schools first and only national telecast on the four-letter network last week in MAC-tion. Minutemen quarterback Blake Frohnapfel continued his assault on the Massachusetts record books, as he threw for 424 yards on 44 attempts as the Minutemen amassed 569 yards of total offense in the win over the Cardinals.
Akron on the other hand is in the midst of a four-game slide, including another disappointing and lopsided loss on the road at Buffalo last Tuesday, 55-24. At one point four weeks ago the Zips were actually in contention for a MAC-East title, but after giving up 536 yards to a struggling Bulls offense in the terrible loss, the Zips will be playing out the final weeks of the season to try and become bowl eligible.
When this game opened oddsmakers surprisingly set the point spread with the Zips as a full touchdown 7-point favorite at home. With only a few hours for bettors to get to the window, the number has yet to move in either direction. As of press time, the over/under total hasnt been released yet.
On paper, this game looks like it could turn into a shootout with the last team standing but what MAC game doesnt end up like that during the mid-week showdowns? The reason it could end up with a whole bunch of crooked numbers on the scoreboard is because both teams have strong-armed QBs that are capable of carving up a defense when they get time to throw.
Akrons Kyle Pohl is considered by many scouts to potentially be playing on Sundays, but the sophomore is very erratic and has gone three games now without throwing a touchdown pass. Pohl will get his chances against a Minutemen defense that is susceptible to the pass, giving up over 253 yards a game in the air (101st in FBS). UMass also gives up a ton of big plays, allowing a total of 32.5 points per game for one of the highest totals in the land. Of course Frohnapfel and the Minutemen arent afraid to play a little bit of chuck and duck, as they are actually the 6th-ranked passing offense in the country with an average of 341 yards per game.
Ironically, last years game between these two was the exact opposite, in a,14-13, snoozer that the Zips won on the road in Amhearst. The previous year the Minutemen won in another surprisingly low-scoring affair, a 22-14 win on the road in Akron. Both games however were covers for the covering-machine that is the Minutemen, as they are a stellar 8-2 against the spread this season and have covered in all six MAC games this season as well.
Both of the previous meetings fell under the total, and the under is 20-7 in the Zips last 27 MAC games. But the over is 5-0-1 in the Minutemens last six games on the road, and with their weak defense playing hide and seek, taking the under could be a risky proposition.
Badgers Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Massachusetts has been a covering machine, and I really like the way Frohnapfel throws it. Ill take UMass plus the 7 points, and I might even consider a moneyline bet on the Minutemen if I can find it on short notice.