Kent College Football Betting Preview

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Betting Preview

Kent State needed to make a change after last year’s 2-10 record, its fifth-straight campaign with Four wins or less. And so, the Golden Flashes brought in Sean Lewis, the former offensive assistant for Dino Babers at Syracuse and Bowling Green. Lewis has a long way to go with his new team and that’s seen in the odds with an over/under of 2.5 wins and the worst odds to win the MAC at +12500 (at 5Dimes Sportsbook).

Kent State has to improve in almost every area, the main one being at quarterback after it scored just 12.8 points per Game last year. Lewis brings an up-tempo attack that spreads things out and improvement is almost guaranteed. JUCO transfer and former Auburn player Woody Barrett was the favorite to win the quarterback job over the summer, but he’s competing with a few other guys. There’s no telling how that will play out, but Barrett, a dual-threat QB is the closest to winning the competition. The new quarterback has to work behind a line that allowed 47 sacks last year and returns three starters with no seniors. At the least, most of the skill players return from running back Justin Rankin (490 rushing yards, 311 receiving yards) and impact freshman Isaac Vance to receivers Trey Harrell (324 yards) and Mike Carrigan (281 yards). This passing offense managed just 122 yards per Game last year so the numbers aren’t big for returning starters.

While Lewis brings in a new offense, the defense is still a question after allowing 35 points per Game. New coordinator Tom Kaufman also comes from the Babers coaching tree, although spent last year at Chattanooga. This job could end up being more difficult than on offense as the defense is focused on a new 3-4 scheme that creates turnovers. That could also lead to a lot of big plays allowed. All-MAC linebacker Jim Jones is back for his senior season and will aim for 100 tackles this year. There are five underclassmen expected in the starting lineup, which says a lot about the overhaul. There is some experience on the line to go with three returning starters in the secondary, but those guys need to improve.

The opening Schedule could get ugly for Kent State with Four of the first five Games on the road. That’ll likely lead to only one non-Conference win again with the September trip to Ball State being a battle between the worst projected teams in the conference. To reach three wins and hit the over, the Golden Flashes need to find two Conference wins on the slate with home Games against Akron and EMU being the best bets, as well as the early Ball State meeting. Otherwise, it’s going to be tough for this defense to completely turn around and have the offense scoring consistently with a new quarterback and system. The Flashes will improve at some point under Lewis, but the first year will be difficult as expected.


2018 Kent State Golden Flashes Football Schedule

Sept. 1 at Illinois

Sept. 8 vs. Howard

Sept. 15 at Penn State 

Sept. 22 at Ole Miss

Sept. 29 at Ball State

Oct. 6 vs. Ohio

Oct. 13 at Miami (OH)

Oct. 20 vs. Akron

Oct. 30 at Bowling Green

Nov. 6 at Buffalo

Nov. 15 vs. Toledo

Nov. 23 vs. Eastern Michigan

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