Two schools that prefer to keep it on the ground, Coach Chris Creighton and the Eastern Michigan Eagles (-13.5) are ready to pay a visit to their conference rival Kent State Golden Flashes at Dix Stadium. This daytime matchup starts at 12:00 p.m. ET and ESPN 3 is in line to televise the action.
Betting Preview: Eastern Michigan Eagles at Kent State Golden Flashes
In this Friday Mid-American matchup, Eastern Michigan is projected as the heavy favorite and is currently giving up 13.5 points. If they are wanting to play the moneyline, bettors would currently need to put down $600 in order to win $100 back on the Eagles (-600). The Golden Flashes are getting +425 moneyline odds. Oddsmakers have placed the over/under (O/U) at 53 points. If the favorite falls down early, it’ll likely result in a nice in-game betting opportunity.
Sharp bettors have been hammering both the Eagles and the under. The opening line was originally 10.5 while the O/U was set initially at 59.
The Eagles are 7-4 against the spread (ATS) and have gained 4.0 units so far. They’ve been a good under bet and have posted an Over-Under record of 3-7.
The Golden Flashes have lost 5.0 units this season. The team is 6-5 ATS and has an O/U record of 5-6.
The Eagles are 6-5 straight up (SU), including 4-3 SU against conference opponents. The Golden Flashes are 2-9 SU overall and 1-6 SU in conference play.
Kent State comes into this contest on a zero-game winning streak while Eastern Michigan has lost zero in a row. The Eagles are coming off a resounding 27-7 victory over Akron on November 10. The defense did its part in the win, limiting the Zips to just 29 passing yards and 61 yards on the ground. Van Edwards, Jr. had a productive day for the Zips in that one with 53 rushing yards on 17 attempts. On the offensive side of the ball, Tyler Wiegers completed 15-of-23 passes for only 129 yards. Ian Eriksen (96 yards on 15 rush attempts, one TD) provided the ground attack while Mathew Sexton (five receptions, 55 yards) and Arthur Jackson III (five catches, 22 yards) shared the receiving duties in the win.
A week ago, Toledo took care of this Kent State team by a score of 56-34. The Golden Flashes defense allowed the Rockets to kill the clock by rushing for 384 yards on 49 attempts, including four rush TDs. Bryant Koback torched the defense, recording 192 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 17 attempts for Toledo. As a group, the Golden Flashes collectively completed 24-of-41 passes for 314 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Woody Barrett went 17-for-33 for 198 yards, one touchdown and one interception while Dustin Crum was seven-of-eight for 116 yards and one touchdown. Jo-el Shaw (116 yards on 16 rush attempts, one TD) and the signal-caller Barrett (36 yards on 10 carries, one TD) handled the running attack while Mike Carrigan (seven receptions, 110 yards, one TD) and Antwan Dixon (five catches, 60 yards) led the pass-catching corps in the loss.
Eastern Michigan has run the ball on 55.8 percent of its offensive possessions this year while Kent State has an overall rush percentage of 53.8 percent. The Eagles have produced 141.5 rush yards/game (including 166.1 per game against Mid-American opponents) and have 19 touchdowns on the ground this year. The Golden Flashes are logging 171.0 rushing yards per game (164.9 in conference) and have 19 total rush TDs.
The Eagles offensive scheme has averaged 236.7 yards through the air overall (216.9 per game against conference opposition) and has 18 passing scores so far. The Golden Flashes have produced 212.2 pass yards per outing (212 in the MAC) and have 14 total pass TDs.
Defensively, Eastern Michigan seems to have the upper hand in both facets. The team has allowed 194.2 rush yards and 155.5 pass yards per game. The Kent State defense has given up 256.8 yards per game to opposing passers and 218.7 yards per game to opposing runners. The Eagles are giving up an adjusted net yards per pass attempt (ANY/A) of only 3.96 to opposing QBs, while the Golden Flashes have allowed a 7.85 ANY/A.
Offensively, Wiegers is up to 1,598 passing yards this season, and has completed 141-of-214 attempts with 10 passing scores and only one interception. He has a 6.99 adjusted net yards per pass attempt overall, although that number is 4.16 over the past two games.
The Eagles will likely try to maintain tempo by feeding their running backs early and often. Along with Blake Banham (610 yards, four TDs), Shaq Vann (476 rush yards, four rush TDs) and Ian Eriksen (202 rush yards, one rush TD) have been focal points in the Eastern Michigan offensive scheme.
Woody Barrett has connected on 204-of-343 passes for 2,103 yards, 11 TDs and nine INTs for Kent State. His ANY/A sits at a less-than-ideal 4.55 for the year and 3.40 over his last two games.
The Golden Flashes will also try to control the game’s pace by turning to their backfield. In addition to Jo-el Shaw (77 receiving yards, two receiving TDs), Mike Carrigan (527 receiving yards and four receiving TDs) and Lon’kevious McFadden (81 receiving yards) have gotten quite a few touches lately.
These two conference foes did not get a chance to face each other a year ago.
Eastern Michigan Eagles vs. Kent State Golden Flashes Betting Pick
SU Winner: Eastern Michigan, ATS Winner: Eastern Michigan, O/U: Under
Team Betting Notes
- The Eagles offense has tallied 11 pass plays of 40 or more yards, while the Golden Flashes have put up eight such plays.
- The Eastern Michigan defense has allowed five pass plays of 40+ yards, while Kent State has given up 13 such plays.
- The Eastern Michigan offense has created 12 rushing plays of 20 yards or more, while Kent State has created 20 such runs.
- The Eagles defense has allowed 14 rushing plays of 20 yards or more, while the Golden Flashes have given up 28 such runs.
- The Eastern Michigan D has sacked opposing quarterbacks 22 times this season. Kent State has produced 21 sacks.
- As a team, Eastern Michigan has averaged 4.0 yards per carry over its last three contests and 4.1 over its last two.
- Kent State has averaged 4.1 yards per carry over its last three outings and 3.8 over its past two.
- Eastern Michigan has won five of its last six games SU, with a 15-point loss to Army West Point on October 27th accounting for the only slip-up over that span.
- Kent State has dropped nine of its last 10 games SU, with a seven-point victory over Bowling Green on October 30th accounting for its lone win over that stretch.