Akron (@8.5) vs Illinois (@1.07)

Our Prediction:

Illinois will win

Akron – Illinois Match Prediction | 26-08-2019 12:00

Ill be honest, picking Illinois to cover feels a little like a suckers bet. But as bad as the Illini has been in the Big Ten in recent years, thats how bad Akron will be in the MAC this season. Those players have grown up a little and are getting tired of losing. I think theyll take advantage of the chance to play a MAC team in the opener. Smith, to his credit, has recruited well and been forced to play a lot of young players the past two seasons. Ill lean toward Illinois to release some frustration against Akron and cover the spread.

Much like the Huskies, Akrons defense was the difference. The Zips enter off a 17-10 win and cover as a 4-point home favorite against Central Michigan. Thats back-to-back wins for Akron after losing three straight. The Zips offense turned it over 4 times and didnt score a point in the 2nd half. It was the Zips first cover after failing to beat the number in each of their previous three.

Over / Under Prediction: The match between Illinois Fighting Illini and Akron Zips will end with over 58.50 points in full event at odds 1.91

Akron has replaced him with Tom Arth, who has prior experience as a head coach but never at the FBS level. Arth then spent the last two seasons at Chattanooga, an FCS program, helping improve them from 3-8 in 2017 to 6-5 in 2018. He had a successful four-year run with John Carroll, a Division III program. Akron is hopeful he can begin a similar turnaround with the Zips starting in 2019.

You can have special teams break big plays or make big mistakes. Northern Illinois has won four straight in this series and the two have hit the under in three of their last four meetings. A lot can go wrong for a defense in a game. While these two are capable of hitting that, its hard for me to be comfortable expecting a college game to go below 40 points. However, two of those totals were set at 64 points. NIU has still put up at least 24 points in every MAC game and Akron has given up at least 23 in three of its four conference games. The total for this game is extremely low. I will trust that the over will hit here.

He also had the talent of a quarterback that Michigan recruited out of high school, so he should be able to handle himself against a MAC defense. The best thing to happen to Illinois this offseason may have been getting quarterback Brandon Peters, a transfer fro Michigan. Peters saw limited action at Michigan, but he brings more maturity and leadership than the other quarterbacks on the roster.


That placed them 102nd in Division 1 in punting average. Their kickers had a field goal percentage of 73%. They accumulated 150 punt return yards and averaged 8.8 yards per return, which was 65th in college football. Akron was ranked 73rd in the nation in punt returns with 17 last year. Their punters totaled 2,995 yards on 76 punts, averaging 39 yards per punt. The Akron Zips attempted 22 field goals last season and made 16, which was 35th in D-1. Akron Zips kickers made 96% of their extra points, going 23 for 24 last year. They returned 23 kicks for 330 yards on special teams, ranking 117th in kick return yardage. The Zips averaged 14 yards per kick return and they were 127th in the country in all-purpose yards with 4,048.

This information is subject to change, however, so be sure to check out our College Football Public Betting Page for updated figures on the game. The over/under total for the contest is listed at 38 points. The public betting for this game currently has 81 percent going on Northern Illinois on the road. According to oddsmakers at BetNow.eu, Northern Illinois is favored on the road, as the Huskies are getting odds of -6.5 points against Akron.

Both teams did bad last season and ended in bottom zone but hosts at home should win this match and scored an high amount. Their last 2 matches at home are a defeat 0-63 and a win 55-31. Hosts are better and favourite. Guests have bad defense and one of their last 2 matches they played away ended with more than 59 points. We should see an high amount of points scored in this match and my bet is the Over 58.5 FT. Hosts are Illinois and guests are Akron and this is an American Football match for the NCAA.

Free Betting Preview & NCAAF Free Pick: Northern Illinois vs Akron

On the ground Illinois ran for 2,938 yards, which ranked 17th in college football. The Illinois Fighting Illini averaged 6 yards per play, which was 47th in the nation. As a team they accumulated a total of 233 1st downs last season, ranking them 104th overall as an offensive unit. They ran 490 times, averaging 6 yards per rush as a unit. The Fighting Illini were penalized on offense 76 times for 773 yards last year, which had them 68th in the country in penalties. They ran 818 plays last year for 4,925 yards, which ranked them 118th in Division 1 in total offense. The Fighting Illini were 95th in the country in points scored with 312 last season.

Theyve also added USC transfer Oluwole Betiku, who should make an immediate impact on the defensive line. To be fair, the Illinois defense has massive questions to answer after they were one of the worst units in the country last season. But Smith has taken over the play-calling duties, which should help that unit. Despite being atrocious at times last season, the Illini has a lot of experience coming back.

Given Illinois strength on the defensive line, those problems are likely to carry over into the 2019 season opener and make it difficult for the Zips to get going offensively. Also, Nelson was under so much pressure that he only completed 52% of his passes. The offensive line was dreadful in 2018, as the Zips averaged less than three yards per carry on the ground. Offensively, Akron has a nice quarterback in Kato Nelson, but thats about it.

Northern Illinois (5-3) vs. Akron (4-3) Game Preview

The Zips had an ATS record of 5-7-0 while their over/under record was 4-8-0. The opening line for this game has Illinois as 15.5 point favorites. The Fighting Illini had an over/under record of 7-5-0 and they were 5-7-0 against the spread last year. The Illinois Fighting Illini host the Akron Zips at Memorial Stadium on Saturday, August 31, 2019.

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