With only 8 of the 12 schools in the MAC conference moving onto the MAC tournament, beginning March 10th, we get two teams that meet tonight to solidify a place in the tournament. Akron (19-9, 14-4) will head to John E. Worthen Arena to take on Ball State (13-15, 8-9) in what could shape up to have a thriller finish.
March 1, 2022. 11:38am
Credit: WKYC Studios wkyc.com
Both teams with only 1 other game left on the schedule after today's matchup, we get a fun battle between the current, #5 and #6 seed in the conference. Ball State as we have seen from them all season is all about up tempo offense and quick pace of play as they rank 34th in the nation in that category. When we look at how Akron competes against like minded opponents, we see that they will absolutely play up tempo and a quick pace as they did with Bowling Green (rank 5th in tempo) and Ohio (rank 129th in tempo). The Zips have shown that when facing these quicker more efficient offenses, they don't mind going toe to toe on the offensive side of the ball and giving up a little bit more on defense. Akron will look to shoot the ball efficiently which they do at 46.4% from the field and expect for Ball State to move quick and put up lots of 3's where they rank 55th in the nation at converting 36.4% from behind the arc. When we look back at what Ball State did against a like minded opponent in Kent State, we see that both teams had no problem pushing the pace as they knew this would be a scoring battle down to the end. In these two teams last 2 prior matchups, they have totaled 158 and 167. Ball State has averaged 15.4 fast break points per game over their last 5 contests and we don't expect that pace to slow at all tonight either while also expecting Akron to keep up in pace as they managed 17 fast break points their last game against Ohio which goes against their slow pace of play.
Currently the odds sit at Akron -3.5 (-108) O/U 142.5. I expect this line to be near the 145 mark at game time so hop on it now before the market catches up. This looks like the oddsmakers had a missed opportunity here with the large slate of big games on today as well.
Akron/Ball St. O142.5 (-108) - 1 unit
Odds via Heritage