Iowa State Cyclone (1–1 SU, 2–0 ATS)@ Akron Zips (1–1 SU, 1–1 ATS)
Saturday, September 16th, 2017, InfoCision Stadium
Line: ISU (-9.5)
On Saturday, a Big-12 team will hit the road to take on a much smaller team at a much smaller venue, as the Cyclones of Iowa State travel to Akron. It will be each team’s third game of the year, with kickoff set for 12:00 P.M ET.
Cyclones Coming Off Encouraging Loss
Normally, when a big-time school plays a smaller school in non-conference play, they’re doing so at their home field. However, in this case, the Iowa State Cyclones will play the Akron Zips on the road at InfoCision Stadium in LeBron James’ hometown of Akron, Ohio.
The Cyclones are coming off a big rivalry game in Week 2, a contest which saw them barely lose to Iowa. At game’s end, the final score was 44–41, but despite the loss, there were some good signs all around. For starters, the Iowa defense is very good, so putting up 41 points is more than encouraging. When playing Akron — a team who allowed 52 to Penn State — they should be able to have their way in terms of moving the ball.
Running back David Montgomery will be the X-factor here. He is coming off a huge game against the Hawkeyes, complete with over 100 yards rushing and 50 yards receiving.
On the flip side, they did allow a ton of points to an Iowa team who isn’t known for putting up big numbers. Ideally, they will be able to buckle down against a smaller Akron team.
Iowa State has covered three of their last four games and seven of their last 10.
Zips Face Second Power-5 Team of 2017
When Akron welcomes the Cyclones to their home turf on Saturday, it will be the second time this year which they are playing a Power-5 team. In the first game — a 52–0 loss to Penn State — they were absolutely manhandled and had little to be happy about when the game wound down. If they want to have a shot against Iowa State, they will need to vamp up their defense and try and create some turnovers.
In Week 2, the Zips put up 52 points of their own, but it was against a much weaker opponent in Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Even so, their starting tailback, Warren Ball, rushed 20 times for 146 and three touchdowns. If he is able to have a similar performance against the Cyclones, the Zips could sneak in a win against the spread and keep it close.
Betting-wise, the Zips have gone 2–4 in their last 6 games ATS.
- 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games overall
- 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 games vs. MAC
- 1-3 ATS in their last 4 home games
On Saturday, things will be a little different as the Big-12’s Iowa State Cyclones will head to play at the MAC’s Akron Zips. Normally, the smaller school plays at the bigger school, but because the Cyclones will host the Zips in 2018, they must travel there first.
The game is a big one for Iowa State, one which head coach Matt Campbell called, “defining for who we are and what we’re about”.
Because the game is so big for the Cyclones, and because they obviously have better players, the 9.5-points they are lying seems a bit low. The Zips allowed 52 against the other Power-5 team they faced this year, so if ISU can even come close to that, a cover will be a breeze. Lay the points.