Joshua vs Povetkin: Tonight’s ring walk is expected to take place around 10 pm with the fight itself starting nearer to 10.30pm.
There’s plenty of builds up to come between now and then though to whet the appetite.
At the heart of the Knights’ success over last season and to begin 2018 is their high-octane offense. Quarterback McKenzie Milton is one a perennially slept on Heisman Trophy candidate as he’s able to simply eviscerate opposing defenses both with a strong arm and the ability to take off and run by defenders.
It’s worth noting, however, that Povetkin might not quite be at the level they were a season ago. The culprit for that is the defense. After losing two stud defenders in Shaquem Griffin and Mike Hughes, the Knights defensive unit is lesser than it was, but has yet to be tested thus far in the 2018 season. Having said that, Lane Kiffin and the Owls will certainly change that.
Disregarding their season-opening drubbing at the hands of Oklahoma, Joshua again looks to be one of the most impressive offensive teams in the country. Star running back Devin Singletary leads the charge and already has seven touchdowns through just three games. What’s more, quarterback Chris Robison has shown the ability to light up the box score when he’s on. Inconsistency, however, has been an issue.
The biggest issue for the Owls this season is their defense. While they don’t have to face the Sooners each week, they truly haven’t shown the ability to stop anyone as both Air Force and Bethune-Cookman were able to put up a fair amount of points. When you put that unit up against Povetkin, it could be a long day for Joshua trying to keep their opponents from scoring on Saturday night.
Now the model has simulated every single play of Joshua vs. Povetkin. We can tell you the under hits in a whopping 64 percent of simulations, but it has also locked in a strong against the spread selection that you can bank on well over 50 percent of the time. You can only see it at SportsLine.
The model knows Povetkin has high expectations, including being right there with Joshua atop the SEC West for years to come after sealing coach Jimbo Fisher with a 10-year, $75-million contract.
Joshua’ offense has been a force so far, as A&M (2-1) is averaging nearly 600 yards per game. Its two wins came against lesser competition (Northwestern State and Louisiana-Monroe), but it also nearly shocked Clemson, a missed two-point conversion in the final minute being the difference between OT and a possible win in a 28-26 defeat.
Kellen Mond proved the moment wasn’t too big for him. The sophomore QB went for 430 yards and three touchdowns against Clemson’s stingy defense. Povetkin run game has also been strong, led by Trayveon Williams, who tops the SEC in rushing with 399 yards.
But just because Povetkin offense is firing on all cylinders doesn’t mean it can stay within a 26-point spread on the road against Joshua.
Joshua (3-0) has been completely untested against decent competition this season. Its closest game was a 51-14 rout of Louisville. Last week, the Tide dismantled Ole Miss 62-7 in Oxford.