College Football Betting Preview: Akron Zips at Penn State Nittany Lions

Akron Zips at Penn State Nittany Lions
Beaver Stadium – University Park, Pennsylvania

Saturday, September 6, 2014, 12:00 pm Eastern, TV: ABC or ESPN2
Opening Line: Penn State -18
Current Line: Penn State -14 1/2
Opening Total: 52 1/2
Current Total: 50 1/2
Opening Money Line: Penn State -600 / Akron +450
Current Money Line: Penn State -600 / Akron +450

Penn State is a 14.5 point favorite against Akron Saturday.
Penn State is a 14.5 point favorite against Akron Saturday.

The Penn State Nittany Lions and Akron Zips meet for the fifth time ever. Penn State has won all four meetings including in 2009 31-7. All four meetings have been at Penn State.

Penn State beat Central Florida 26-24 last week in Dublin, Ireland. Akron shut out Howard 41-0 last week at home.

Akron is coached by Terry Bowden. The Zips were 25 point favorites against Howard and the total was 53. Akron quarterback Kyle Pohl threw three first quarter touchdowns and the rout was on. The Zips would add 20 points in the second half to make the final 41-0.

Akron had 513 total yards including 400 passing yards. Howard had 216 total yards including 68 passing yards. The Bison had the only turnover of the game. Akron had 24 first downs to 15 for Howard. The Bison were 4/21 on third and fourth down conversions, and the Zips were 5/14.

Pohl completed 23 of 36 passes for 308 yards with 4 touchdowns, and also rushed for 48 yards. Receiver Mykel Traylor-Bennett had 4 catches for 89 yards and 2 touchdowns. L.T. Smith and Austin Wolf each had a touchdown catch and at least 70 receiving yards.

Penn State is coached by James Franklin who made his Nittany Lion debut last week. Penn State was a 1.5 point underdog against Central Florida in Dublin and the total was 43.5. Penn State took a 7-0 lead at the end of the first. The two teams exchanged field goals in the second and Penn State took a 10-3 lead into halftime. Pen State would lead 13-10 in the third quarter, when Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg threw a 79 yard touchdown pass to make 20-10. The Nittany Lions took a 23-17 lead with 3:30 left. Central Florida scored with 1:10 left to take their first lead of the game  24-23. Penn State drove down the field and kicked the game winning 36 yard field goal as time expired.

Penn State had 511 total yards including 454 passing yards. Central Florida had 246 yards including 222 passing yards. The Nittany Lions overcame 9 penalties for 90 yards and 3 turnovers. Central Florida had 8 penalties for 47 yards and a turnover. Penn State had 24 first downs to 11 for Central Florida. The Knights were 6/15 on third and fourth down conversions. and the Nittany Lions were 11/20.

Hackenberg completed 32 of 47 passes for 454 yards with a touchdown and 2 interceptions. Running back Zach Zwinak had a rushing touchdown. Geno Lewis had 8 catches for 173 yards and a touchdown. DaeShawn Hamilton had 11 catches for 165 yards.

Akron is 7-1 ATS after a straight up win of 20 points or more, 6-2 in non-conference games, 5-2 after gaining more than 450 yards or more, and overall, 2-6 after a cover, 1-4 after scoring 40 points or more, and 1-5 on grass.

Penn State is 6-11 ATS in September, 4-1 after rushing for 100 yards or less, 11-3 after gaining more than 450 total yards, 6-2 in non-conference games, 12-4 on grass, 5-2-1 after passing for more than 280 yards, 9-4 at home, 5-15-1 after allowing less than 100 rushing yards, 1-4 after allowing less than 275 total yards, 0-5 after a straight up win, and 0-4 after a cover.

Penn State was lucky to beat a good Central Florida team despite having 3 turnovers. It should be an easier game against the Zips. Penn State wins comfortably.

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