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Cincinnati Bearcats (7) vs. Central Florida Knights Betting Picks and Predictions

21 November 2020

NCAAF Picks Austyn Varney
Date:Saturday, November 21st
Time:3:30 PM ET
Network:ESPN
Venue:Doyt L. Perry Stadium
Spread:Cincy -6
O/U:62.5

The 7-0 Cincinnati Bearcats will go on the road Saturday afternoon to face off with the 5-2 Central Florida Knights at 3:30 PM ET in Doyt L. Perry Stadium. The Bearcats are expected to receive their biggest test of the season and come in as just six-point road favorites. We’re expecting a shootout with a 62.5 over/under. You can tune into the showdown on ESPN. The Bearcats are still looking to grab that 4th playoff spot and a commanding victory here would certainly help. It won’t come easy against a very talented UCF team, though, and let’s dive into how this one will go down. Make sure to check out the rest of my CFB Picks and Predictions for this weekend slate of games.

Trends

  • Bearcats are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games on grass.
  • Knights are 13-3-1 ATS in their last 17 games after allowing less than 170 yards passing in their previous game.
  • Over is 4-1 in Bearcats last 5 games as a road favorite.
  • Over is 5-0 in Knights last 5 games following an ATS win.

When The Cincinnati Bearcats Have The Ball

The Bearcats have played a perfect season this point, taking care of each and every opponent that’s been put in front of them. They’re up to 7-0 on the season and are coming off a monstrous 55-17 win over the East Carolina Pirates. The Bearcats have routinely made a mockery of their opponents and not a single opponent has finished the game within two scores. They’ll get their toughest test of the season yet against a Central Florida team that can keep up with anyone in the country.

Cincy relies heavily on their defense and they’ll be asked to step up against one of the more dangerous offensive attacks in the country. Jarell White is one of the best linebackers in the entire country and he leads the team with 65 tackles. To compare, the second-leading tackler has 36. White is an absolute animal and he must have a huge game here. Myjai Sanders leads the squad with five sacks and he must get to Gabriel before he has a chance to get the ball deep. Coby Bryant and Ahmad Gardner have three interceptions apiece and will be tasked with slowing down some elite weapons.

Offensively, QB Desmond Ridder is the heart and soul. White takes care of the defense and Ridder handles this side of the ball. He’s completed nearly 67% of his passes for 1,483 yards, 14 touchdowns, and six interceptions. He’s added another 469 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground. When he does drop back, Cincinnati has four primary weapons to play with. Jayshon Jackson, Tre Tucker, and Michael Young Jr. are all smaller receivers that are great short and over the middle. Josh Whyle is a massive tight end and he’s caught four touchdowns already.

When Ridder isn’t running the ball, it’s Gerrid Doaks who draws the majority of snaps at running back. He’s carried it 109 times for 563 yards and seven touchdowns. When near the goal line, defenses must stop both Ridder and Doaks, which is nearly impossible with a mauling offensive line in front of them. Cincy has beaten down everyone in their path to this point and will look to do the same here against UCF.

When The Central Florida Knights Falcons Have The Ball

The season hasn’t gone to plan for the UCF Knights, who had hoped to make the CFB Playoff this season. Those aspirations are gone after two losses, but they will have the opportunity to force Cincinnati to feel the same way. After losing back-to-back contests to Memphis and Tulsa, the Knights have reeled off three consecutive quality wins over Tulane, Houston, and Temple. The Knights are dangerous on both sides of the ball and can beat anyone in the country when they take care of the football.

It all starts with sophomore QB Dillon Gabriel, who makes this offense go. He’s thrown it for 2,774 yards on the season with 23 touchdowns and two interceptions. Gabriel has been extremely efficient with the football this season and there isn’t much better when he takes care of the football. His primary target is Marlon Williams, who leads the team with 63 catches for 942 yards and eight touchdowns. Jaylon Robinson is WR2 and he’s pulled in 41 receptions for 822 yards and four scores. The pair can go for 300 combined yards if Cincinnati doesn’t have a plan to contain.

The Knights deploy a three-headed backfield with Otis Anderson (563 yards, 4 TD) and Greg McRae (532 yards, 7 TD) getting the bulk of the action. Bentavious Thompson has only carried it half as much, but he still has 240 yards and two scores. All three of these guys are dynamic on the ground and Gabriel isn’t terrible either. The weapons are here for UCF to win this game. They just have to take care of the ball and avoid big mistakes.

Spread Prediction

Call me crazy, but I think this is the week it all comes crashing down for the Cincinnati Bearcats. They have been in too many blowouts and I’m not sure this team knows how to win a close game. The Knights have been in a ton of close games and they’ve prevailed in most. Dillon Gabriel has the ability to throw for 400 yards and four scores against this defense and it will just come down to taking care of the ball. Cincy is always hunting for turnovers and the Knights have to avoid the big one. I’m willing to take the Knights money line, but will play it safe and take the points. This is one of my favorite bets on the weekend and I’ll have a unit on both the spread and ML.

The Pick: UCF +6

Best Sportsbooks For This Pick

New JerseyWilliam Hill square logoBet@William Hill
PennsylvaniaSugarHouse online casino square logoBet@SugarHouse
IndianaBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
West VirginiaBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
ColoradoBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
IllinoisBetRivers square logoBet@BetRivers

Total Prediction

The Bearcats defense is the only way this one goes under and I don’t think they have a very joyous time against the UCF pass attack. The Bearcats are more banged up than ever before and the Knights passing attack is beyond lethal. The Knight defense isn’t, however, and Cincy won’t have trouble scoring themselves. The over is the only bet to make in this game and I’m willing to go all the way up to 65.

The Pick: Over 62.5

Final Score Prediction: Central Florida 37, Cincinnati 34

Best Sportsbooks For This Pick

New JerseyWilliam Hill square logoBet@William Hill
PennsylvaniaSugarHouse online casino square logoBet@SugarHouse
IndianaBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
West VirginiaBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
ColoradoBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
IllinoisBetRivers square logoBet@BetRivers

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