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Houston Cougars vs. Cincinnati Bearcats (6) Betting Picks and Predictions

07 November 2020

NCAAF Picks Austyn Varney
Date:Saturday, November 7th
Time:3:30 PM ET
Network:ABC
Venue:Nippert Stadium
Spread:Cincy -13.5
O/U:57

The 2-2 Houston Cougars will go on the road Saturday afternoon to face off with the 5-0 Cincinnati Bearcats at 3:30 PM ET in Nippert Stadium. You can tune in on ESPN as the featured game in the middle of the day. The Bearcats come in as 13.5-point home favorites and we’re looking at a 57 over/under. The Bearcats remain in the hunt for the College Football Playoff and will look to continue making a statement like they have all season long. Let’s dive into how this game will go down and who will cover this spread. Make sure to check out my NCAAF Picks and Predictions for this weekend slate of games.

Trends

  • Houston is 2-7-1 ATS in their last 10 games against Cincinnati.
  • Cincinnati is 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games.
  • The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Cincinnati’s last 8 games against an opponent in the ACC.
  • The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Cincinnati’s last 5 games played in November.

When The Houston Cougars Have The Ball

The Cougars have dealt with some COVID-related delays and they’ve played just four games thus far, winning two and losing two. They’re 2-1 in the conference and would tie Cincy with a victory here. Houston is an extremely talented team that sometimes has trouble connecting the dots. When they do mesh, they can compete with any team in the country.

They’re led by QB Clayton Tune, who’s thrown for 1,208 yards on top of eight touchdowns and four interceptions. He’s completed just 61% of his passes and has to do a better job of driving the ball downfield. It won’t be easy against a Cincy front that is going to be in the backfield all game. Tune has added 112 yards and two touchdowns on the ground, which gives the Cougars some versatility on offense.

Wide receivers Keith Corbin (213 yards) and Marquez Stevenson (278 yards, 3 TD) are two of the best wideouts in the entire country and they do a lot of the hard work for Tune. Tre’Von Bradley has added 15 catches for 202 yards while Nathaniel Dell has caught 11 balls for 164 and two scores. There is plenty of talent for Houston in the passing game, but the offensive line has to protect Tune long enough for plays to develop.

This backfield was expected to be a committee, but Kyle Porter has picked up three times more carries than the two backups and he’s put up 255 yards and three touchdowns. Mulbah Car and Kelan Walker have picked up 15 and 18 carries and both are dangerous with the ball in their hands. With all of that said, Houston will have to throw the ball to keep up in this game. Cincy is great against the run and Porter should be used in the passing game in this one.

When The Cincinnati Bearcats Have The Ball

The Bearcats have continued to impress and they’ve beaten up on some very good overall teams. They’re now sitting 5-0 on the season and are coming off two wins over the Memphis Tigers and SMU Mustangs. They beat the two powerhouse teams by a combined score of 89-23. Neither game was ever in question and the Bearcats have looked phenomenal on both sides of the ball. They’ll get another tough test against a Houston team that can be dangerous when playing well.

The Bearcats are simply beating up on teams and they haven’t shown an obvious weakness in either of the last few games. QB Desmond Ridder has been a phenomenal leader, throwing for 994 yards and 10 touchdowns on top of 291 rushing yards and another five scores. He has turned it over five times if we’re looking to nitpick. All in all, Ridder has done a great job of leading this offense and he doesn’t care about anything but winning.

The backfield is a talented one and it starts with Gerrid Doaks, who’s rushed it 80 times for 327 yards and six touchdowns. He’s averaging over four yards per carry and is a threat in the passing game as well. Doaks is the Bearcats best player and they’d be wise to save his legs a bit. That’s where Jerome Ford comes into play, who has rushed for 227 yards and four scores thus far. He’s a hassle for anyone to take down and the combo is nearly impossible for any defense to completely stop.

While Ridder doesn’t have one favorite receiver he likes to target, there are five guys over 100 yards and nobody over 205. Jayshon Jackson leads the team in yards with the 205, but he hasn’t found the end zone. Michael Young Jr. and Tre Tucker play next to him and are dangerous deep threats when they aren’t catching screens. TE Josh Whyle has caught three touchdowns and is the primary target in the RZ. The Cougars have been susceptible against the pass and Ridder should have another productive day.

Spread Prediction

The Bearcats are still in the mix to make the playoff, but they have to basically dominate every game from here on out. They have a weaker schedule than most other contending teams and they can’t even afford a close loss. I’ll take the Bearcats to continue massacring teams. They are stronger, faster, and better coached than the teams they are facing and the Cougars won’t be any different. Desmond Ridder is going to be an NFL prospect after this season and it’s for good reason. He is an excellent leader of the offense and he does a good job of spreading it around to his weapons.

I love this bet if you can get it in under that two-touchdown number. The Cougars are talented and I could see Cincy sleeping on them a bit after beating up on two teams that are far better. I still like the Bearcats to continue dominating and I’ll take them all day -13.5.

The Pick: Cincy -13.5

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

I’d rather bet the spread if Cincy stays under 14 points, but I am a big fan of the under here. The Bearcats defense is for real and the Cougars haven’t faced a defense quite like this one yet. They’re going to score a few times, but this is a high number and I don’t like it at all. Cincy can score, but they like to run the ball and they never run the score up. Give me the under, though I would rather take Cincy against the spread.

The Pick: Under 57

Final Score Prediction: Cincinnati 38, Houston 16

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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