- The Kent State Golden Flashes are 1.5-point home favorites over the Akron Zips in an NCAA men’s basketball game scheduled for Friday, January 14
- Akron has won the last three meetings between the two schools
- The Golden Flashes were victorious in three of their last four home games against the Zips
On paper, the Akron Zips are enjoying a much better NCAA men’s basketball season than their MAC rivals the Kent State Golden Flashes.
Akron is 9-4 overall and 2-1 in conference play. Kent State is 7-8 overall and 2-3 in MAC action. On top of that, the Zips have won the last three head-to-head meetings with the Golden Flashes.
Yet as these two old rivals get set to clash on the court once again, it’s Kent State that is winning the favor of the oddsmakers. The Golden Flashes are set as the 1.5-point home chalk over the Zips. Akron is 2-0 against the spread as a road underdog this season.
Akron vs Kent State Odds
|Akron Zips||+105||+1.5 (-110)||O 134.5 (-110)|
|Kent State Golden Flashes||-128||-1.5 (-110)||U 134.5 (-110)|
Odds as of January 13th at BetMGM.
Tipoff for Friday’s contest at the MAC Center is set for 8pm ET. You can catch all the action on the CBS Sports Network.
Akron Zips Betting Trends
The Zips are 1-1 straight up on the road this season. They lost 67-66 at Ohio State and dumped Wright State 66-48.
Akron beat Ball State 84-74 in the last game. Junior guard Xavier Castaneda scored a career-high 29 points in the win. Akron is led by sophomore wing Ali Ali, who is averaging 18.3 points per game in MAC play.
Final @ZipsMBB WINS!
— Akron Zips MBB (@ZipsMBB) January 12, 2022
Sophomore forward Enrique Freeman rates in the top-20 in the NCAA in six different statistical categories. He’s #5 in field goal percentage (.660), #6 in both rebounds per game (11.2) and offensive rebounds per game (3.92). Freeman is also 11th in double-doubles (nine), #12 in defensive rebounds per game (7.23) and #17 in total rebounds (145). Freeman leads the MAC in all six departments.
Castaneda rates #17 in the NCAA and #2 in the MAC in free-throw percentage (90.6). Junior guard Bryan Trimble Jr rates second in the MAC and 51st in the NCAA in 3-point field goals per game (2.82). Freshman center Aziz Bandaogo leads the MAC with 1.62 blocked shots per game. That’s also good enough for 77th in the NCAA.
Kent State Golden Flashes Betting Trends
The Golden Flashes have dropped their last two MAC games. They lost 80-72 at Ohio and then fell 65-63 at home to Northern Illinois. Kent State is 4-4 SU at home so far this season.
The Golden Flashes average 69.4 points per game. They’re shooting 41.9% from the field and 29.5% from 3-point range. Kent State averages 6.9 threes per game. At the free-throw line, Kent State garners 15.1 attempts per game and hits on 80% of them. Kent State holds a +2.8 rebound margin. Defensively, the Golden Flashes are holding opponents to 63.9 ppg.
— Kent State Men’s Basketball (@KentStMBB) January 12, 2022
Redshirt junior guard Sincere Carry is Kent State’s top scorer. He’s collecting 17.3 points per game. He’s hit a team-high 30 triples and is shooting 30% from beyond the arc. Carry also is the team leader on the Golden Flashes in assists (76) and steals (26). As well, he’s draining 85.9% from the free-throw line (67-of-78). Carry ranks second in the MAC with 21.8 points per game in conference play.
Redshirt junior guard Malique Jacobs is leading Kent State in rebounding, grabbing 7.1 boards per game. He’s scoring 12.4 ppg.
Golden Flashes vs Zips Prediction
This is among the oldest rivalries in college basketball. Akron and Kent State first met on the basketball court during the 1915-16 season. Akron won that game and the Zips won the most recent clash on Feb. 5, 2021 by a 72-61 margin. However, the all-time series is deadlocked at 78 wins apiece. Akron has won 16 of the last 27 games between the two schools.
— Akron Zips MBB (@ZipsMBB) November 10, 2021
Kent State owns a 52-25 edge in games against Akon played at the MAC Center. The Golden Flashes have won four of the past five games played there.
Akron ranks #20 in the The CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major top-25 poll. In the KenPom rankings, Akron ranks 136th overall in the NCAA. The Zips hold the 126th ranking in adjusted offensive efficiency (106) and 159th in defensive efficiency (103.3). Akron leads the MAC in adjusted offensive efficiency (115.3) and is seventh in defensive efficiency (107.4). The Zips rank #150 in the NCAA NET Rankings.
Pick: Akron Zips +1.5 (-110)