East Carolina Pirates vs. Cincinnati Bearcats Betting Picks

November 8, 2020

Date:Friday, November 13th
Time:7:30 PM ET
Network:ESPN2
Venue:Nippert Stadium
Spread:Cincinnati -27
O/U:55.5

The 1-5 East Carolina Pirates will go on the road Friday night to face off with the 6-0 Cincinnati Bearcats at 7:30 PM ET in Nippert Stadium. You can tune into the showdown on ESPN2. The Bearcats come in as 27-point favorites and we’re looking at a 55.5 over/under. Cincy is still in the hunt for the CFB playoff while it’s been a tough season for the ECU Pirates. This game should be a blowout, but this is College Football and you never know what will happen. Let’s dive into how this one will go down and who will end up covering the spread. Make sure to check out the rest of my NCAAF Picks and Predictions for the huge slate of games this weekend.

Trends

  • East Carolina is 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games against Cincinnati.
  • Cincinnati is 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games when playing at home against East Carolina.
  • The total has gone OVER in 9 of East Carolina’s last 12 games.
  • The total has gone OVER in 8 of East Carolina’s last 11 games against an opponent in the AAC.

When The East Carolina Pirates Have The Ball

The Pirates might not be as bad as their 1-5 record suggests, but they also hold that record for a reason after so many close games. They aren’t a very disciplined squad and they seem to make mistakes as the worst time possible. The defense is also terrible, which makes it hard on any offense. The Pirates face their toughest test of the season in Cincinnati and they will be looking to survive from the opening snap.

The Pirates are led by QB Holton Ahlers, who is a very up and down signal-caller to say the least. Ahlers is a bit inconsistent, but he’s talented enough to make up for it. He’s thrown for 1,354 yards while completing 63% of his passes on 12 touchdowns and five interceptions. Ahlers isn’t the Pirates problem and he will continue improving with every game under his belt. He’s added 56 yards on the ground and remains a threat to escape if defenses don’t contain.

Ahlers has two primary targets in Blake Proehl and Tyler Snead. They are both sure-handed options and Ahlers does a very good job of feeding the pair targets. Proehl leads in yards with 395 while Snead has more catches (41) and scores (3). Then you have C.J. Johnson, who’s the most talented of the bunch and a guy that could end up in the first round of the NFL draft. He’s averaging 22 yards per catch and leads the team with four touchdowns on just 13 catches. He will see more and more targets every single week.

The Pirates have rushed it 60 more times than they’ve passed it, and they do a great job at it. Rahjai Harris is the leader of the bunch with 91 carries for 475 yards and three touchdowns. Three other backs have 16+ carries and the Pirates do a great job of keeping Harris fresh. They will likely have to pass a ton in this game, though, and will lean on Ahlers as much as ever.

When The Cincinnati Bearcats Have The Ball

The Bearcats have been on an absolute tear this season and it’s going to be hard for the committee to keep them out of the playoff if they continue plastering opponents. The Houston Cougars were the latest victim and fell 38-10 when all was said and done. In just the last three games, Cincy has put up nearly 140 points while their opponents (SMU, Memphis, Houston) have put up a combined 33. They’ll set their sights on a 1-5 East Carolina team that has been beaten up by much worse teams this season.

The Bearcats can beat you in a variety of ways. Junior QB Desmond Ridder leads the squad and he has been consistent, which has always been his one downfall. He’s completed 65% of his passes for 1,156 yards, 11 touchdowns, and five interceptions. He’s also rushed it 45 times for 394 yards and eight touchdowns, adding a huge level of versatility to the offense.

He’s turned four different receivers into primary options and Jayshon Jackson leads the bunch with 13 catches for 212 yards. Josh Whyle has caught four touchdowns on just 16 total catches, and he’s been targeted another five times inside the 20. Michael Young Jr. and Tre Tucker are excellent complimentary options and Gerrid Doaks is effective out of the backfield with 166 yards and two scores.

While Doaks is solid through the air, he’s an animal on the ground. He’s averaging 5.3 yards per carry en route to 511 yards and seven touchdowns. The Bearcats like to run the ball and open up the passing game with Doaks and Ridder on the ground. In what should be an easy win this week, Doaks won’t get run into the ground. Jerome Ford and Charles McClelland are excellent complimentary backs and they will get plenty of run here.

Spread Prediction

The Pick: Cincy -27

The Pirates are better than their record suggests, but so are the Bearcats at 7-0. That might be impossible, but this Cincy team has dominated in every facet of the game and there’s no way I am going to fade them while they are playing like this. They have beaten three better teams by 30+ points and should beat up on the Pirates here. Eastern Carolina relies on their outside talent, but I’m not sure Ahlers will even have the time to deliver the weapons the ball. I’m a big fan of Cincy up to 28 points, which is when I will hop on the other side.

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Total Prediction

The Pick: Over 55.5
Final Score Prediction: Cincinnati 48, East Carolina 17

These Cincy games have been going under this year, but I expect that trend to change here. The Pirates have some dangerous weapons on the outside and I expect them to fall into a few scores, at the very least. The Bearcats have an interest in blowing teams out right now as they must impress the committee. I love the over here and it’s actually my favorite bet of the game. I think the spread is pretty spot-on, and this number is off by a few.

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