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Creighton vs Akron betting odds, predictions, pick and promos

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Third-seeded Creighton is set to face off against 14th-seeded Akron in the Midwest Region of the bracket.

Creighton holds the 9th-best odds to win the tournament and is filled with familiar faces from last year’s run which is a rarity in today’s college basketball. Akron punched their ticket to the big dance by winning their 5th MAC tournament title in program history and securing the automatic bid.

Their path was paved by a costly decision made by Kent State in the last minute of the final in which they intentionally fouled Akron while leading by one. This gave Akron the chance to knock down back-to-back free throws with 5.0 seconds remaining and secure the victory which has gained plenty of attention on social media. This matchup will be just the third game of the opening Thursday to tip-off and will be taking place in Pittsburgh. 

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Creighton (3) vs Akron (14) preview

Creighton went 23-9 in the regular season and 14-6 in Big East Conference play. They are led by head coach Greg McDermott who has been at the program since 2010. They finished the season ranked 10th in the Final AP Poll and 11th in the NET Rankings.

Last season, Creighton made it to the Elite 8 for the first time in program history and will be looking to build off this with several familiar faces hungry for even greater success.

63% of the minutes played from last year’s roster and 64,8% of points scored have remained on the roster this year. Senior guard Baylor Scheierman headlines the All-Big East First Team while junior guard Trey Alexander and senior center Ryan Kalkbrenner each were recognized on the All-Big East Second Team.

Creighton has an impressive track record as a team which includes going 8-5 against Quad 1 opponents and 7-4 in Quad 2 matchups. Their most impressive victories were over Alabama, UConn, Marquette, Villanova, Providence, and Butler. While none of their losses are overly concerning, they did find themselves on the losing end against St. Johns, UNLV, Providence, and Marquette. 

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Akron holds an overall record of 24-10 and went 13-5 in conference play. They rank 108th in the NET Rankings and lack experience against tougher competition. The Zips went 0-3 against Quad 1 opponents this year with their losses coming at the hands of Utah State, Drake, and James Madison.

They also went just 2-3 in Quad 2 matchups with their victories coming against South Dakota State and Bradley while their losses are at the hands of UNLV, St. Bonaventure, and Toledo. They have not played a team near the quality of Creighton this season and their defense will be tested in a way they have not been yet this year. 

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Creighton vs Akron odds

Odds courtesy of DraftKings

  • Spread: Creighton +12.5 at -110 odds
  • Moneyline: Akron is +600 favorites while Creighton is -900 on the moneyline
  • Total: Over/Under 141.5

Creighton vs Akron analysis

The Creighton Bluejays are one of the more complete teams in college basketball and can get a victory in a variety of ways. They have produced 80.5 points per game which ranks 33rd in the country while ranking 19th in offensive rating. Defensively, they have held opponents to 69.7 points per game which ranks 106th in the country and they also rank in the top 100 in defensive rating.

They attempt the 8th most three-pointers at 29.3 per game and connect on 36.1% of these attempts. They also are the 63rd-best rebounding team, block the 74th-most shots, allow the fewest free-throw attempts per game, and foul the second-fewest times per game. Baylor Scheierman has averaged an impressive 18.4 points, 9.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists, and 1.0 steal per game this season. Trey Alexander and Ryan Kalkbrenner also each average more than 17 points per game with Kalkbrenner also adding 3.0 blocks per game. 

Akron plays a defensive-minded brand of basketball holding opponents to just 65.9 points per game. This marks the 24th-best rate in all of Division One basketball and they also rank 41st in defensive rating. They have not had as much success on the offensive end, scoring 74.0 points per game as a team which is the 164th-best rate in the country.

The Zips do an excellent job defending the three-point line and preventing opponents from getting to the free-throw line. On the season, they have held opponents to just 15.9 free-throw attempts per game which is the 47th-best rate.

Opponents are also shooting just 29.7% from beyond the three-point arc which is the 10th-best rate. They are led by the trio of Enriqu Freeman, Ali Ali, and Greg Tribble. Enrique Freeman has been especially impressive this season averaging 18.6 points, 12.9 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks per game while shooting just under 60% from the field. 

Akron has had a solid season and fared well against their level of competition this season. However, they will need some real luck with their shooting variance to have a chance in this game. With no player over 6-foot-9 on the roster, Ryan Kalkbrenner is set to be a major problem for Akron on the boards.

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DraftKings – Click to get the promo

Creighton vs Akron pick

While the 12.5-point spread is among the largest in the opening round, this is still well within the range Creighton should comfortably cover. They have secured victories by this margin in 14 of their 23 wins this year including some that came against stiffer competition than Akron.

With an experienced roster, solid shooting, tough interior presence, and an experienced coach- Creighton has just about everything you look for in a team set to make a deep tournament run. Expect them to have the same mindset and for them not to allow a first-round matchup to have any chance of tripping them up. Take Creighton to cover the 12.5-point spread and don’t be shocked when this game is out of reach in the first few minutes of action. 

🏀 Bet on Creighton +12.5 at -110 odds with DraftKings 🏀

Creighton vs Akron game info

  • Who: Creighton (3) vs Akron (14)
  • Date: Thursday, March 21st
  • Time: 1:30 PM EST
  • Venue: PPG Arena (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
  • Where to watch: TNT
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BetMGM – Click to grab offer

About the author

Sean Barnard

Sean Barnard has worked in sports media for the past five years. He has spent time as the 76ers Lead Writer for Philly Sports Network, Associate Editor at CluchPoints, Eagles Beat Reporter for YardBarker, and more. He also owns and operates his own Podcast Network called Pick Swap Media and is a radio host on Fox 102.5 The Gambler presented by iHeartMedia. Sean has written over 1500 articles and recorded over 500 podcasts and is just getting started. Based out of the Philadelphia region in the United States, Sean is a lifelong passionate sports fan who can be reached on Twitter at @Sean_Barnard1 where he rattles off basketball breakdowns and other news.

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