Akron Zips (0-0) at Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (0-0)
College Basketball: Wednesday, November 25, 2020 at 2:00 pm (Hertz Arena)
The Line: Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders TBA -- Over/Under: Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
This game has been canceled.
The Akron Zips and the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders meet Wednesday in college basketball action from Germain Arena.
Akron is coming off a solid season at 24-7 overall and 1-4 in the MAC. That result left the Zips as both East Division and regular season champions in the conference. As for Middle Tennessee, they struggled last year at 8-23 overall and 4-14 in CUSA play. The Raiders finished in last place in the conference. Check back all season long for free college basketball picks at Sports Chat Place.
Akron opened the season last year on a nice run, starting at 10-3 in non-conference play. The Zips would only lose consecutive games once the whole year, and finished with three straight wins. Akron’s 14-4 conference record was a full two games ahead of anyone else in the MAC.
This season, the Zips will look a lot different, as there’s significant turnover on the roster. Four of last year’s starters are gone, including Tyler Cheese (15.7 PPG; 4.8 RPG), Xeyrius Williams (13.9 PPG; 9.5 RPG), Channel Banks (10.8 PPG) and Deng Riak (4.9 RPG). The good news is that fifth-year senior guard Loren Christian Jackson is back after 19.8 points per game last season.
Over on the Middle Tennessee side, they started off well last season at 3-0, but then went into a downward spiral against some tough competition (the injuries didn’t help either). The Raiders would lose 16 of their next 17 games, which pretty much torpedoed the entire campaign. Middle Tennessee would only collect four more wins on their way to a last-place finish.
The Blue Raiders have some rearranging to do on their roster as well; lead scorer CJ Jones has moved on after 16.2 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.1 assists last year. Antonio Green is also gone; he finished with averages of 12.5 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.2 steals last year. Donovan Sims is still here though, and he’ll be an experienced team leader.
Akron is 1-4 ATS in the last five neutral-site games and 9-1 ATS in their last 10 Wednesday games. The Zips are 1-5 ATS in their last six overall and the under is 9-2 in their last 11 overall.
Meanwhile, Middle Tennessee is 1-6 ATS in their last seven overall and 2-5 ATS in their last seven Wednesday games. The under is 4-0 in the Raiders’ last four overall and 6-2 in their last eight neutral-site games.
PICK: I’m going to stick with Akron here. Sure, the Zips are going to look a lot different and will probably take some time to gel after losing four of five starters from last season. That said, Middle Tennessee also lost three of their five starters and are trying to get the most out of a few high-upside transfer signings (Elias King, Dontrell Shuler, etc). I don’t think the Blue Raiders will yet be quite up to the task of taking on a 24-win team from last year.