Akron at Buffalo: 3/12/21 College Basketball Picks and Prediction
Photo by Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
Buffalo Bulls (15-7) vs Akron Zips (15-7)
Game Info: Friday, March 12, 2021 at 7:30 pm (Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse)
Betting Odds: Buffalo Bulls -4 -- Over/Under: 152.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds
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The Akron Zips and Buffalo Bulls will square off at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in the Semifinals of the MAC Championship this Friday night.
The 3-seed Akron Zips (15-7) advanced to the Semifinals of the MAC Championship after defeating the Bowling Green Falcons, 74-67, on Thursday night. Akron led by a 34-26 margin at halftime and was able to pull away late after taking a 69-63 lead with 2:36 left in regulation. Akron shot 43.1% from the field and 33.3% from beyond the arc while Bowling Green shot 39.7% from the field and 13.0% from beyond the arc. Akron committed just 6 turnovers while both the Zips and Flacons pulled down 40 rebounds. Leading the way for the Zips was Loren Cristian Jackson who had 31 points, 3 rebounds, & 4 assists.
Coming into their game against Bowling Green, Akron was averaging 78.6 ppg on 44.8% shooting from the field. The Zips were averaging 9.7 three-pointers per game on 33.7% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Akron had been led by Loren Cristian Jackson (21.6 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 6.3 apg, 1.1 spg), Bryan Trimble Jr. (12.2 ppg, 2.0 rpg), Enrique Freeman (8.0 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 1.9 bpg), & Ali Ali (7.2 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.4 apg).
Defensively, Akron had been allowing their opponents to average 72.0 ppg on 43.3% shooting from the field. The Zips had a rebound margin of 3.2 and a turnover margin of 0.1.
The 2-seed Buffalo Bulls (15-7) advanced to the Semifinals of the MAC Championship after defeating the Miami (OH) RedHawks, 74-63, on Thursday. Buffalo dominated Miami (OH) on both ends of the court and was able to pull away late after a 12-2 run gave the Bulls a 71-60 lead with 1:10 left in regulation. Buffalo shot 44.2% from the field and 60.0% from beyond the arc while Miami (OH) shot 39.7% from the field and 31.6% from beyond the arc. Buffalo lost the turnover battle by a 15-8 margin, however, the Bulls outrebounded Miami (OH) by a 39-31 margin in the victory. Leading the way for the Bulls was Josh Mballa who had a double-double with 23 points, 19 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, & 1 block.
Coming into their game against Miami (OH), Buffalo was averaging 82.7 ppg on 46.6% shooting from the field. The Bulls were averaging 6.9 three-pointers per game on 32.6% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Buffalo had been led by Jeenathan Williams (17.3 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 2.5 apg, 1.0 spg), Josh Mballa (15.1 ppg, 9.9 rpg, 2.1 apg, 1.7 spg), Jayvon Graves (14.6 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 4.0 apg, 1.6 spg), & Ronaldo Segu (12.7 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 4.4 apg).
Defensively, Buffalo was allowing their opponents to average 72.7 ppg on 41.2% shooting from the field. The Bulls had a rebound margin of 8.6 and a turnover margin of -0.1.
The Zips are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 Friday games and 19-7 ATS in their last 26 games as an underdog. The Bulls are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games overall, however, are just 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 neutral site games.
Akron had struggled coming into the MAC Championship as the Zips had lost their last three-regular season games, however, this is still a very a good tram that has an explosive offense that ranks 38th in scoring offense & 18th in three-pointers made per game. Buffalo comes into this game on a 6-game winning streak and also has a high-powered offense that ranks 8th in scoring offense, however, this is a team that can struggle defensively as the Bulls currently rank just 241st in scoring defense. Buffalo will be a favored by a few once the line is released, however, between the fact that I think Loren Cristian Jackson and the Zips offense will be able to keep up with Buffalo and that the Zips lost by just an 80-78 margin at Buffalo in early March, my initial lean is to take Akron and what should be a few points. Please check back when the line has been released.
Update (3/11) - This is line is about where I thought it would be and I'm sticking with my initial thoughts and going with the Zips and the points. Good Luck!