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Cincinnati Bearcats vs. Tulsa Golden Hurricane Betting Picks and Predictions

14 October 2020

NCAAF Picks Austyn Varney
Date:Saturday, October 17th
Time:12:00 PM ET
Venue:Chapman Stadium
Network:ESPN2
Spread:CIN -3
O/U:44.5

The 3-0 Cincinnati Bearcats will go on the road Saturday afternoon to face off with the 1-1 Tulsa Golden Hurricane at 12:00 PM ET in Chapman Stadium. You can watch the game on ESPN2. The eighth-ranked Bearcats are just three-point road favorites in this game, which is a bit of a surprise against an unranked Tulsa team. We’re expecting a defensive battle with a 44.5 over/under, which is one of the lowest of the entire week. Let’s dive into how this one will go and who will cover the spread. 

When the Cincinnati Bearcats Have The Ball

The Bearcats might be the eighth-ranked team in the nation, but they haven’t exactly played like it to this point. I’m not saying they’ve been bad, but the offense hasn’t been dynamite and the level of competition to this point has been nothing short of abysmal. They’ll get their toughest test of the season here on the road against Tulsa. 

Desmond Ridder is a QB with some NFL hype, but he’s not going to light up the stat sheet in college. He’s thrown for 597 yards with six touchdowns and four interceptions. He has to play a lot better if Cincy wants to stay anywhere near the top 10. When playing his game, he doesn’t turn the ball over and calls an impeccable game as a signal-caller. He hasn’t played with these receivers for very long, so there should be some progression coming.

The Bearcats rely on the running game with a three-headed attack between Gerrid Doaks, Charles McClelland, and Jerome Ford. Doaks has led the way with 145 yards and four scores. Ford is just a rookie, but he’s excellent in short-yardage spots. Ridder also contributes on the ground and he’s put up 70 yards to this point. They need better out of their veteran QB as the schedule only gets tougher from here on out. 

Defensively, Cincinnati has been solid, but not great. Jarell White is one of the best individual players in CFB and he’s certainly the best player on Cincinnati. He’s totaled 31 tackles thus far with the second-leading tackler at 15. Ahmad Gardner is a stud in the secondary and he’s already picked two balls off on top of three more pass defenses. Tulsa will have their work cut out for them against a Cincy defense that has some studs to be aware of. 

When The Tulsa Golden Hurricane Have The Ball

The Golden Hurricane opened up the season with a loss to Oklahoma State before upsetting the UCF Knights 34-26. Both teams were ranked 11th when Tulsa took the field against them and the Golden Hurricane put up a fight in both contests. This is a squad that’s better than a lot of ranked teams and it’s only a matter of time until they have a number next to their name.

The defense has been phenomenal through two games, holding Oklahoma State and UCF to a combined 33 points. Those are two of the best offenses in the country and Tulsa disrupted them from start to finish. They do a great job of getting to the QB and the secondary is elite. 

Safety Zendarin Ray and LB Zaven Collins lead the team in tackles with Collins also intercepting one and breaking up two more. Collins is one of the best linebackers in the country and will be a future NFL player. They’ll have another huge test against Cincy this weekend. 

Offensively, Tulsa is dangerous both through the air and on the ground. QB Zach Smith takes good care of the ball and he’s put up 438 yards on top of four scores and two INT’s. He won’t be the reason they win any games, but he also won’t be the reason they lose.

This is a team that loves to run the ball. It’s a two-headed attack led by Dameric Prince, who’s carried the ball 22 times for 123 yards. He’s joined by T.K. Wilkerson, who’s run for 108 yards and a score. The pair is dangerous and they each offer a very different approach to the running back position. 

Keylon Stokes is one of the best receivers in the country and he’s already caught 10 balls for 150 yards and a score. He does a lot of hard work for Smith and it’s never a bad idea to look his way. The talent doesn’t stop there. Josh Johnson has hauled in seven balls for 132 yards and two touchdowns while Sam Crawford Jr. has caught eight for 97 and one score. Smith has three elite options when he drops back and both RB’s are also capable out of the backfield.  

Spread Prediction

Tulsa is a three-point home underdog for a reason here as an unranked team against number eight. They are an extremely disciplined team on both sides of the ball and I fully expect them to beat Cincinnati in an upset. Ridder has been underwhelming early in the season and the Tulsa defense will be hunting for turnovers. They’ll surely get some, and the Tulsa offense will capitalize. 

Tulsa Head Coach Philip Montgomery is one of the more underrated College Football coaches out there and he will be anchoring a big team before long. He does a good job of orchestrating this offense and rotating weapons to keep defenses on their heels. The Bearcats haven’t shown enough on either side of the ball and Tulsa is easily the best team they’ve played to this point. Give me Tulsa and the three points for one of the easiest bets of the night. 

Why is Tulsa +3.5 the bet to make?

– Bearcats are 4-10-1 ATS in their last 15 games after allowing less than 100 yards rushing in their previous game.
– Golden Hurricane are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing more than 450 total yards in their previous game.

The Pick: Tulsa +3.5

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

This is a low number as books are expecting both defenses to show up. I’m not buying it. While both defenses have a ton of individual talent, they are often undisciplined and neither has been locked down to this point. I expect both teams to find their way into the 20’s and for a Tulsa to squeeze out a win. Give me over 44. 

The Pick: Over 44.5

Final Score Prediction: Tulsa 27, Cincinnati 24

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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