Dec. 19 Boca Raton Bowl: Akron Zips (7-6) vs Florida Atlantic Owls (10-3)

The Las Vegas bookmakers believe that this will be the biggest mismatch among all of the bowl games. The Conference USA champion Florida Atlantic Owls are currently are a 22.5 point favorite against the Mid-American Conference runner up Akron Zips. The line originally opened up with the Owls as a 17 point favorite, which would have been the best time to make a play if you like the Owls.

 

Both teams are 9-4 against the spread this season. FAU is 8-2 ATS as a favorite, however they were only greater than a 20 point favorite once this season and failed to cover in a 31-12 win over Charlotte on Nov. 25. FAU also failed to cover against the spread in a 34-31 loss in their one game against a Mid-American Conference opponent this season, the Owls were a 1.5 point underdog heading into that game.

Akron defeated the one common opponent that these two teams had, Buffalo 21-20 on Oct. 28. Akron was 6-3 as an underdog against the spread this season.

This match-up to me has similarities to the way Akron matched up with Mid-American Conference Champion Toledo. Toledo defeated Akron 48-21 on October 21 and then again 45-28 in the conference championship game.

Akron has only averaged 329 yards per game this season which ranks them 118th out 130 FBS teams and ten of their 13 games have gone under the Vegas points total this season. FAU ranks 14th in yards per game this season. The over/under is 6-7 in Owls games this season.

The Owls are 2-6 in their last eight non-conference games and the Zips are 6-1 in their last seven games against teams with winning records. Overall I am not recommending playing this game. I expect Florida Atlantic win, but for Akron to cover. I’m not sure how high the Owls motivation will be to face the Zips in at hime, and they will need to be motivated to win by more than three touchdowns. Still, Akron does not match-up with Florida Atlantic well enough for me to recommend betting on the them either.

Lines: Florida Atlantic -22.5  O/U 64.5

Get Sports Strong Predictions: FAU 45 Akron 24

Do I recommend playing this game against Vegas:  NO

 

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Friday Sept. 1 College Football Picks

Washington Huskies at Rutgers Scarlet Knights

The first of my two Friday picks takes place when the Washington Huskies travel to Piscataway New Jersey to face the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in a rematch of last seasons opener.

Washington returns 13 starters, seven on offense and six on defense, from last seasons 12-2 playoff team.

Rutgers returns 13 starters as well, five on offense and eight on defense. The Scarlet Knights however were only 2-10 last season and lost at Washington 48-13 to open the season.

27.5 points in a big spread for a road team traveling across the country for a season opener, but besides playing at home I don’t see many reasons to be optimistic for the Scarlet Knights. Rutgers was 4-8 against the spread last season and are 3-7 against the spread in their last ten home games overall.

Rutgers ranked last in the Big Ten last season in total, scoring and passing offense. While the Huskies defense may take a step back from last years number one ranked defense in the PAC-12 after losing four elite players on that side of the ball. The Huskies still have more than enough talent back to rout Rutgers.

Get Sports Strong Pick: Washington -27.5 (Washington 52 Rutgers 17)

 

Navy Midshipman at Florida Atlantic Owls

For the next free pick on Friday night we take a look at Lane Kiffin’s debut as the head coach of the Florida Atlantic Owls when then they host the Navy Midshipman.

It should be fun to see what Kiffin can do at FAU, however there is a lot of work to be done, especially on the defensive side of the ball. The Owls return six players on defense from a team that ranked 124th in total defense and 119th in the nation against the run last season.

New coaching is in place, however FAU has dropped their last six home games against the spread. The Navy Midshipman are 7-1-1 against the spread in their last 9 games when they come in as favorite between 3.5 to 10 points.

Get Sports Strong Pick: Navy -9.5 (Navy 45 Florida Atlantic 24)

 

 

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