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Cincinnati Bearcats vs South Florida Bulls Betting Preview: No. 5 Cincy Looking to Dominate
The Cincinnati Bearcats will pack their bags to go on the road against the South Florida Bulls for a Friday night game under the lights at 6 p.m. on ESPN2. Cincinnati is in second in the American at 5-0 since Houston has played one more game in the conference with a 6-0 record. The Bulls sit in ninth with a 2-7 record and 1-4 in the conference.
The perfect Bearcats continue to struggle against teams that they should be blowing out as they have gone three straight games that have been close at late moments in the matchup. This will be the expectation again against a Bulls team that has only beaten Florida A&M and Temple this season.
Cincinnati is a heavy favorite for another American Athletic Conference matchup. They are 23.5 point favorites and have odds of -112 at that spread. At +23.5, South Florida is -109 to cover that spread. The over/under for the game is set at 57 with odds of -110 to bet the over or the under.
Cincinnati and South Florida are both 5-4 against the spread this season. The Bulls have covered on both times that they have been underdogs at 23 points or more. The over has hit in four out of nine games for Cincinnati and five out of nine games for South Florida.
Behind the Numbers
Cincinnati scores about fourteen more points than South Florida does on offense and gives up about twenty points less on defense. The offense is producing a comparable amount for both teams, but Cincinnati has the edge by about 50 yards. The defensive side is not as comparable because South Florida gives up about 500 total yards per game compared to Cincinnati who gives up just over 300.
Looking into the rankings overall, the Bearcats outmatch the Bulls in most offensive and defensive categories. Notably, for the Bearcats, they rank 12th in points per game and second in opponent red zone scoring. For the Bulls, they rank 59th in rush yards per game and 38th in opponent pass play percentage.
Desmond Ridder is the leader of the Cincinnati offense and determines the success of this team throwing for a total of 2,121 yards with 20 touchdowns and five interceptions this season. On the defensive side, Joel Dublanko leads the Bearcats in tackles with 84 total tackles and is the heart of this defense.
For the Bulls, Jaren Mangham leads this rush-heavy offense averaging 4.4 yards per carry with thirteen touchdowns. Xavier Weaver is their big-play receiver averaging eighteen yards per reception. The defense is led by Antonio Grier who leads the team in tackles with 58 and sacks with three.
Cincinnati will continue to win against the Bulls on Friday night, but nothing that the Bearcats have shown in the past weeks would predict that they will cover the spread. They overpower the Bulls on both the offensive and the defensive side but haven’t shown the dominance that the committee wants to see.
The Bearcats moved up to number five in this week's College Football Playoff poll. They need to use this as motivation to prove to the committee that they belong in the Playoff.
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