Akron Zips (7-8) vs. Bowling Green Falcons (11-5)
When and Where: Saturday, January 13, Akron, OH, 2:00 P.M. EST
Line: Akron -3
Just like in other conferences, the contest in Mid-American is heading its course as most teams already have three or four games behind them. The Akron Zips and the Bowling Green Falcons are going to meet on Saturday at James A. Rhodes Arena in what will be their fourth conference matchup of the season. The Falcons are coming off from a home win over Northern Illinois, 66-57, while the Zips got edged for the third time in a row, also at home by Buffalo, 87-65.
The Falcons in search of third conference-play win
The Bowling Green Falcons entered the MAC play with a home loss by Miami but the things turned around after that hard-fought overtime win at Eastern Michigan last Saturday and if they emerge victorious in Akron they’ll have a chance to match their longest winning streak of the season (four games). It looks like the Falcons are gaining some height when it comes to moral and team spirits and we should expect solid results from them this year. The squad averages 80.2 points per game on offense (62nd nationally) but their main weakness comes on the defensive side of the court as they allow 78.2.5 points per contest to their opponents (304th in the NCAA).
Individually, four players are averaging double-figures in scoring with freshman guard Justin Turner leading the flock with 16.1 points along with 3.8 boards and 2.7 assists per duel. Forward Demajeo Wiggins is the team’s defensive leader with 8.9 boards per contest while averaging 13.3 points per game. Sophomore guards Dylan Frye and Rodrick Caldwell are two other excellent contributors with 13.5 and 10.9 points in average while Caldwell also tops the team in passing segment by collecting team-high 3.5 assists per matchup. Wiggins led the team against the Huskies with 15 points while Turner added 14.
The Zips 0-3 at the start of MAC schedule
The Akron Zips are definitely in a crisis with six losses in last seven games including both pre-conference and conference play. After two initial defeats on the road by Western Michigan and Toledo, the squad managed to drop a home opener against Buffalo on Tuesday by getting pounded by the Bulls in a 22 points difference loss and the fans are not happy about it. John Groce’s first season with the team doesn’t look promising but let’s not go ahead of ourselves. The team averages 72.3 points per game on offense (231st in the league) while allowing 73.7 points per duel to their rivals (210th in NCAA).
Sophomore guard Daniel Utomi is the team’s leader with 16.9 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. The duo of guards, Malcolm Duvivier and Jimond Ivey are keeping the pace with 14.1 and 12.9 points while Ivey also tops the team in assists with 3.9 on average. Other notable contributors are Eric Parrish who posts 7.9 points and Emmanuel Olojakpoke with an average of 6.3 points per contest. Against the Bulls, Virshon Cotton led the team with 23 points from the bench while Ivey added 16.
- 1-4 ATS in their last five games following a straight up win.
- 1-6 ATS in their last seven meetings with Akron.
- 0-7 O/U in their last seven road games.
- 6-2 ATS in their last eight games following a double-digit loss at home.
- 5-2 ATS in their last seven home games.
- 1-6 O/U in their last seven games vs. Mid-American.
The Falcons are particularly unsuccessful against the Zips ATS and I don’t see why it would be any different this time. Still, my first pick here would be Under in points because according to the trends it represents a lot less risky option.