Kroger Field. NCAAF: Akron vs. Kentucky: Betting Odds & Free Expert Picks Kroger Field. NCAAF: Akron vs. Kentucky: Betting Odds & Free Expert Picks

The Kentucky Wildcats (2-0) are big favorites to maintain their perfect record at the start of the 2023 college football season this Saturday when they host the Akron Zips (1-1) at Kroger Field.

It has been 13 years since these two teams last faced off on the field. The Wildcats stormed past Akron 47-10 in September 2010 as running back Derrick Locke ran for 166 yards and scored two touchdowns along the way.

Most sportsbooks in the US have Kentucky as a 26-point favorite, while the Over/Under line is set at 49.5 points. The Wildcats’ win should not come into question, but let’s see if we can find enough reasons to back them against the spread.

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The Wildcats Have to Get Better Offensively

The University of Kentucky opened last week’s game against Eastern Kentucky as a 35-point favorite, but they ended up fighting to just edge past an FCS outfit at Kroger Field. Despite the enormous gulf in quality between the two teams, Kroger Field was sold out with over 60,000 spectators in the stands, as no direct TV coverage was secured.

The Wildcats got off to a nightmare start, conceding off a blocked punt and getting on the verge of allowing another field-goal attempt for a potential 0-10 deficit following the early offensive miscues. The teams went on a break on seven points each, which is the best indicator of where Kentucky’s offense is at the moment.

Quarterback Devin Leary finished the game just a yard shy of 300, throwing for four TDs and one INT. Tayvion Robinson was his favorite target, with 136 yards caught on six receptions and two touchdowns.

Learn More: Expert NCAAF Picks and Predictions

Trevin Wallace Is a Legit Butkus Award Winner

The poor offensive showing forced the team’s defensive unit to make big plays, and they indeed did so. Linebacker Trevin Wallace has backed up his phenomenal season opener against Ball State, where he managed a career-high 12 tackles.

He racked up six first-half tackles, a forced fumble, and a sack against the Colonels, being one of the primary catalysts for the prevention of a home-ground disaster.

Akron Zips Scouting Report

The Zips will search for their maiden win over an SEC rival in their tenth attempt this weekend at Kroger Field. They’ve begun the season with a couple of tight affairs against Temple and Morgan State. Interestingly, each ended in a 24-21 scoreline with a semi-success rate for Akron in the process.

The Zips somehow clinched their inaugural win of the season last Saturday, scoring a late touchdown in a comeback on the home patch against the Bears.

Akron switched quarterbacks as Jeff Undercuffler got the nod ahead of DJ Irons, who had completed 17-of-29 passes in the opening defeat to Temple. This year’s acquisition from Albany did not shine last week either, completing 17-of-25 passes and throwing three interceptions on the occasion.

The last one could have been fatal as it came in the rivals’ end zone with 1:11 left on the clock in the final quarter, with the Zips trailing by four. When things seemed lost, CJ Nunnally forced a fumble as Bryan McCoy immediately scored from 13 yards to secure his team their first win of the campaign.

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Best Pick — Under 49.5 Points (-110) with DraftKings

The Wildcats were favored by 35 points last week against the Colonels, but their offense offered missed targets, penalties, poor passes, and a horrendous third-down conversion rate throughout the entire game, especially in the first half.

Leary has enough weapons to turn a corner before Kentucky’s SEC schedule gets tougher, and the home game against Akron comes in as a perfect opportunity for a much-needed confidence boost.

That said, we trust the Wildcats’ defense much more at the moment, and we expect them to keep the modest Zips’ offensive unit at bay on Saturday. The Under 49.5 points pick seems the most reasonable betting option at the -110 odds with DraftKings. In this one, we also like the Under for the first half line (26.5) much more than any spread lines.

Bet on Under 49.5 Points at -110 odds with DraftKings »

Best Same Game Parlay with DraftKings:

  • Under 49.5 Points
  • Under 11.5 Points in the 1st Quarter
  • Kentucky to win

Total Odds: +190 with DraftKings