Army Black Knights vs. Cincinnati Bearcats Betting Picks

September 24, 2020

Date:Saturday, September 26th
Time:3:30 PM ET
Venue:Nippert Stadium
Network:ESPN
Spread:Cincinnati -13
O/U:45

The 2-0 Army Black Knights will go on the road to face off with the 1-0 Cincinnati Bearcats in one of the more intriguing games of the week four College Football schedule. You can catch this battle of unbeaten teams at 3:30 PM ET on ESPN.

While both of these teams play very different styles of football, they both have lofty expectations for 2020 and the winner of this on will be on the path to a very fruitful season. These teams haven’t faced off in 16 years and neither team has ever been ranked when facing the other, let alone both. Let’s dive right in and breakdown how this matchup will go and who will cover!

When the Army Black Knights Have The Ball

The Black Knights have opened the season up with back-to-back dominant performances, beating Middle Tennessee State 42-0 before stomping Louisiana-Monroe 37-7. The Black Knights have controlled the ball for 35 or more minutes in each game and it’s the bread and butter of this offense. Controlling the pace and keeping the opposing offense away from the field.

QB Christian Anderson leads the team in rushing with 149 yards and three scores, but you’ll see 10 or so different guys get carries. Jakobi Buchanan and Sandon McCoy start at RB and Buchanan has been electric with 139 yards and two scores while averaging 6.9 yards per carry. Tyrell Robinson and Anthony Adkins are home-run threats on any given carry and excellent complements to more of the bulldog runners you’ll often find on Army.

This Bearcats team is going to offer up the biggest challenge of the season for Army and they are nearly two-touchdown underdogs. If they want to have success, they’ll have to get off to a quick start. This is a team that can struggle when they fall behind as they simply can’t pass the ball. If Cincy gets a two-TD lead, they’ll join Army in running the ball and the game will be over before long.

If Army asserts their will early, it’ll be Cincinnati playing from behind and eagerly sitting on the sideline as Army grinds the game and clock away. This is an extremely intriguing game to watch and where my eyes will lay for the 3:30 slate.

When The Cincinnati Bearcats Have The Ball

Week one was a solid one for the Bearcats as they put a 55-20 whooping on the Austin Peay Governors. QB Desmond Ridder was efficient (13-19) and threw for 196 yards and two scores while adding four carries for another 57 yards. Gerrid Doaks only averaged two yards per carry on 10 rushes, but he scored three times on the ground and caught another TD with 64 receiving yards.

There is some College Football Playoff buzz around the Cincy Bearcats and while I do think that’s silly, this is the best team they’ve had in quite some time. They have five or six legitimate playmakers on offense and Desmond Ridder does a great job of getting them the ball. Ridder is an underrated quarterback that does a good job of setting a pace. While it’s the specialty of Army, Ridder will look to control this game with his ability to throw the ball and make changes at the LOS.

Josh Whyle has the most hype at WR, but Bruno Labelle and Tre Tucker look great in their own right and Ridder already has solid chemistry with all of these guys. This is his third season under center in this offense and his comfort is unparalleled. The Bearcats will need to bear down if they want the playoff hopes to live on as one of the harder-nosed teams in the nation is coming into their backyard with bad intentions.

Spread Prediction

The Pick: Cincinnati -13

The Army Black Knights have looked great in the opening weeks of the season, but I’m not sure they are on the same level as this Cincy team. The Army run game is never shut down completely, though the Bearcats do have the tools to slow it down. I don’t believe Army will be able to stop the versatile Cincinnati attack and they’re not a team comfortable playing from behind.

I don’t believe in the Bearcats when it comes to the CFB playoff, but that doesn’t mean they won’t give folks some false hope. I expect them to remain undefeated until they face the Central Florida Knights in week 11. They’ll beat Army comfortably this week and I love them under 14. This is one of my favorite bets of the week and the public loves Army here, so you might be able to get another point if you wait.

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Total Prediction

The Pick: Under 45 Final Score Prediction: Cincinnati 27, Army 13

The low number is no surprise with two great defenses. While these two offenses have combined to score nearly 150 points in three games, they haven’t faced anything near what they will see this weekend. The popular pick is the over here, but the public is relatively split. Give me the under as I expect the Bearcats run defense to stifle Army.

I like Cincinnati to win this game comfortably, but I still don’t see them eclipsing 30 points. If they do get a nice lead, they’ll look to run the ball themselves and control the clock. They should have success doing so with a versatile rushing attack. Give me the under and Cincy.

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