It's a renewal of one of the best mid-major rivalries in college basketball when the Akron Zips (16-5) visit the Kent State Golden Flashes (15-6) on Friday night for a MAC showdown. With the campuses separated by about 15 miles, the schools have had bitter battles on the court since 1916, with the Golden Flashes leading the all-time series 75-74. Both teams have offenses that rank in the top 50 in the nation, and both starting lineups feature four players who score in double figures.
Tip-off is set for 6:30 p.m. ET at Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center in Kent, Ohio. The Golden Flashes are 2.5-point favorites in the latest Kent State vs. Akron odds, while the over-under for total points scored is 148. Before considering any Akron vs. Kent State picks, be sure to see the college basketball predictions from the proven SportsLine Projection Model.
This model, which simulates every game 10,000 times, has crushed its top-rated college basketball picks against the spread the past three years, returning $2,770 to $100 players. It also enters Week 13 of the 2019-20 season on a 22-13 run on all top-rated college basketball picks. Anybody who followed it during that span has seen some huge returns.
- Akron vs. Kent State spread: Golden Flashes -2.5
- Akron vs. Kent State over-under: 148
- Akron vs. Kent State money line: Golden Flashes -149, Zips +121
- KSU: The Golden Flashes are holding opponents to 64 points per home game.
- AKR: G Loren Cristian Jackson is shooting 54.7 percent on 3-pointers on the road.
Why Kent State can cover
The favorite is 3-0-1 against the spread in the last four meetings between the teams, and Kent State gets valuable contributions from all of its starters. Forward Danny Pippen is the leader, with team highs of 14 points and 6.8 rebounds per game, and he averages 1.9 blocked shots. Fellow forward Philip Whittington chips in 9.6 points and 6.2 rebounds and just under one block.
Senior Antonio Williams keeps the offense flowing for the Golden Flashes, who are 4-0 against the spread in their last four Friday games. The point guard makes clutch plays and averages 3.8 assists and 13.9 points. New Mexico transfer Troy Simons is the pure shooter of the group, scoring 13.5 points per game and launching 161 3-pointers, making 40.4 percent of them.
Why Akron can cover
Even so, the Flashes aren't guaranteed to cover the Kent State vs. Akron spread. Akron is 13-6 in its past 19 conference games, and the Zips can shoot the lights out. They rank 10th in the nation in 3-point field goal percentage, making 38.8. They have 510 attempts, with Loren Cristian Jackson making 46 percent on 139 tries and Channel Banks making 55 of 120 (45.8). As a team, Akron makes 10 threes per game, ranking 16th in the nation.
Dayton transfer Xeyrius Williams has been making a big impact for Akron, averaging nearly a double-double at 14.5 points and 9.5 rebounds. The Zips are 5-3 against the spread in conference games, and they are averaging 79 points in those contests. Jackson is averaging 24.1 points in MAC games and 19 overall, and he also gets 5.1 assists and 1.1 steals per game.
How to make Akron vs. Kent State picks
We can tell you that the model is leaning over, with the simulations predicting the Zips will stay hot from long range and that Whittington will chip in more for Kent State. The model also has generated an against-the-spread pick that cashes in well over 50 percent of simulations. You can only get the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Akron vs. Kent State? And which side of the spread is hitting more well over 50 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Kent State vs. Akron spread to jump on Friday, all from the advanced model that has returned $2,770 on its top-rated college basketball picks, and find out.