Nathan Rourke guided the Ohio Bobcats to a 24-13 mark as the starting quarterback during his three-year career, holds numerous school records and helped them to three straight bowl victories. Selected in the Canadian Football League draft earlier this year, he has been succeeded by younger brother Kurtis Rourke, who made his first start in Ohio's season opener last week. He now looks to record his first victory when the Bobcats host the Mid-American Conference-rival Akron Zips on Tuesday. Kickoff from Peden Stadium in Athens, OH is set for 7 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network.
Kurtis Rourke led Ohio (0-1) to touchdowns on three lengthy drives in the first half last Wednesday, but the team dropped a 30-27 decision at Central Michigan. Akron (0-1) saw its losing streak reach 18 games when it was routed 58-13 by Western Michigan at home in its season opener. The latest Ohio vs. Akron odds from William Hill Sportsbook list the Bobcats as 27.5-point favorites, up three points from the opener. The over-under for total points is 59.5. Before making any Akron vs. Ohio picks, check out the college football predictions for MACtion from the SportsLine Projection Model.
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- Ohio vs. Akron spread: Bobcats -27.5
- Ohio vs. Akron over-under: 59.5 points
- Ohio vs. Akron money line: Bobcats -4000, Zips +1500
- OHIO: The Bobcats are 2-9 against the spread in their last 11 games as favorites
- AKR: The Zips are 1-10 ATS in their last 11 games against teams with losing records
Why Ohio can cover
Rourke completed 12 of his 19 pass attempts against the Chippewas for 231 yards and a pair of touchdowns. One of the scoring tosses was a 21-yarder in the first quarter to sophomore Shane Hooks, who made five catches for 81 yards and two TDs against Akron in last season's 52-3 victory. The other was a 58-yard pass to Isiah Cox, a junior wideout who finished with 102 yards on four receptions.
De'Montre Tuggle led Ohio's rushing attack last Wednesday with 79 yards on 16 carries. The senior ran for a touchdown in the final minute of the second quarter to forge a 20-20 tie and returned the second-half kickoff 93 yards to put the Bobcats ahead. Tuggle was third on the team in rushing last year with 644 yards and second with 11 rushing touchdowns.
Why Akron can cover
The Zips also have a redshirt freshman under center in Zach Gibson, who got off to a solid start against Western Michigan last week. Gibson guided Akron to the end zone on its first series of the season, going 3-of-3 during a six-play, 73-yard drive that concluded with a 14-yard touchdown toss to Michael Mathison. The quarterback saw limited action against Ohio last year as he was 3-of-11 for 23 yards with one interception.
Mathison made three catches on the Zips' opening drive against the Broncos and finished the game with six for 44 yards. The TD was the first of Mathison's career, as he tied for third on the team with 31 receptions as a freshman in 2019 but never found the end zone. Mathison ranked fourth on the Zips last year with 243 yards.
How to make Ohio vs. Akron picks
SportsLine's model is leaning over on the total. In fact, it says Rourke records more than two touchdown passes for Ohio, while Mathison has the best chance to find the end zone among Akron's receivers. It also has generated an against-the-spread pick that cashes in over 60 percent of simulations. You can only get the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Akron vs. Ohio? And which side of the spread hits over 60 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Ohio vs. Akron spread to back, all from the advanced model that is up almost $3,900 on its top-rated college football spread picks, and find out.