Cincinnati Bearcats (2-3 SU, 2-2 ATS) vs. Louisville Cardinals (3-2 SU, 3-1 ATS), Week 7 College Football, 8:00 p.m. EST, Friday, October 15, 2010, Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, Louisville, Kent. TV: ESPN
by Ryno of Predictem.com
Betting Odds: Cinci -3/Cards +3
Over/Under Total: OFF
Without former quarterback Tony Pike and former head coach Brian Kelly, this is not the same Cincinnati football team. The Bearcats have struggled all season long, and their only two wins have come at home over Indiana State and Miami of Ohio. But the Bearcats have a winnable game on the road Friday night on ESPN at Louisville, when two Big East teams that have been conference rivals since their days of Conference USA battle it out in their first conference game of the season.
The Big East is wide open this season, so every game is winnable for these teams and they have to take advantage when they can.
Louisville, which stands at 3-2 for the season, got its three wins over Eastern Kentucky, Arkansas State and Memphis. The Cardinals lost to Kentucky and Oregon State. Cincinnati, which stands at 2-3 for the season, defeated Miami of Ohio and Indiana State, and lost to Fresno State, North Carolina State and Oklahoma.
Both teams are coming off easy blowout victories, so both of these teams are coming in with confidence. The Bearcats won 45-3 over Miami of Ohio last week. Cincy QB Zach Collaros had a very efficient game, going 14-for-17 passing for 216 yards and three touchdowns. The Bearcats ran the ball all over its opponent, totaling 384 rushing yards as compared to just 42 rushing yards for Miami of Ohio. Isaiah Pead had 10 carries for 197 yards and a touchdown. George Winn had 19 carries for 81 yards, and John Goebel had 10 carries for 68 yards and a touchdown. WR Armon Binns had five receptions for 115 yards and two touchdowns. Neither team committed a single turnover.
Louisville got all of its frustration out with a dominant 56-0 home win over Memphis. QB Adam Froman had a terrific performance with 12-of-16 passing for 235 yards and four touchdowns. RB Bilal Powell ran all over the Tigers with 18 carries for 204 yards and two touchdowns. WR Josh Bellamy had six receptions for 112 yards and two touchdowns. The Cardinals totaled 299 rushing yards and allowed only 39 rushing yards. Louisville had no turnovers and forced one turnover.
The week before the win over Miami of Ohio, Cincinnati nearly knocked off top-10-ranked Oklahoma but lost by two points. The Bearcats moved the ball well with their passing game and their running game. Collaros threw for 305 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. Pead had 21 carries for 169 yards. WR D.J. Woods had seven receptions for 171 yards and a touchdown. But the Bearcats couldn’t stop the pass. They did a decent job against the run, but Oklahoma QB Landry Jones threw for 370 yards and two touchdowns. The Bearcats have to do a much better job defending the pass against Louisville.
Louisville nearly had its big upset opportunity three weeks ago at Oregon State, but the Cards lost by a touchdown. Louisville didn’t do badly at all offensively. Froman threw for 288 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Powell ran for 83 yards, and the Cards totaled 165 rushing yards as a team. They did a decent job against the pass but allowed Oregon State to run for 177 yards. And the big difference was turnovers. The Cards turned the ball over twice, while the Beavers had no turnovers of their own.
Cincinnati is 2-8 ATS in its last 10 games overall, 1-5 ATS in its last six games as a favorite, 0-6 ATS in its last six games following a SU win, and 0-4 ATS in its last four road games. Louisville is 1-4 ATS in its last five home games, 2-10 ATS in its last 12 conference games, 1-7 ATS in its last eight Friday games, and 1-5 ATS in its last six games as a home underdog. The favorite is 10-3 ATS in the last 13 meetings between these teams. The road team is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings between these teams.
Ryno’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Louisville wins this one straight up as an underdog.