Cincinnati Bearcats (2-1 SU, 0-3 ATS) vs. Memphis Tigers (3-0 SU, 2-1 ATS)
College Football Week 4
Date/Time: Thursday September 24th, 7:30PM EST
Where: Liberty Bowl Memphis, T.N.
by Jay, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: CIN +9.5/MEM -9.5
Over/Under Total: TBA
Bet your Bearcats/Tigers pick at an online sportsbook where your credit card WILL work for deposits and where you’ll receive a generous 50% bonus up to $250 FREE: Bovada Sportsbook. Great live in-game betting too!
A battle between American Athletic Conference teams will be featured this Thursday night on ESPN when the Cincinnati Bearcats go on the road to the Liberty Bowl to faceoff with the Memphis Tigers. Memphis has had a great start to their season by reaching the 3-0 mark for the first time since 2004 and the Tigers have now won 10 straight games going back to last year. Now the defending AAC champions look to keep their momentum alive against one of their biggest rivals in the conference in Cincinnati.
The Bearcats are currently 2-1 overall but they lost their only conference matchup against Temple 34-26 in week 2. For the Bearcats to keep any championship hopes alive, they will need a victory this Thursday. For that to happen, two major improvements must be made by the Bearcats in the realm of defense and turnovers. In the last two outings alone, the Bearcats have given away 9 turnovers. In fact, Cincinnati is currently ranked dead last in the country with a -2.67 turnover margin per game. If you consider how potent the Tigers offense has been this year behind the arm of Paxton Lynch, then any extra chances that Memphis gets to touch the football could be costly.
Defensively, the Bearcats have to get better as well. Despite the turnovers that have played against their favor, the defense has still failed to get important stops when needed and have relinquished over 30 points in each of the last two meetings. The Bearcats have the weapons in place on offense to battle with Memphis. Quarterback Gunner Kiel has been solid hitting 63% of his passes for 805 yards with 5 scores. However his status for this Thursday nights contest is up in the air after a concussion last week. Tailbacks Tion Green and Hosey Williams provide an excellent 1-2 punch in the backfield that should keep the Memphis defense on their heels to some degree. However, the key to this game for Cincinnati is the Bearcats defense will still need to force Paxton Lynch into 3rd and long situations and find ways to get key stops to get off the field.
Lynch has posted two career outings in his last two games. He threw for a career high 354 yards while hitting 22 of 25 passes in the victory against Kansas. Then last week he topped that mark by throwing for 386 yards in a close victory over Bowling Green. On the season, Lynch has tossed 6 touchdowns and has yet to throw his first interception. The Tigers offense has been the reason for their 10 game winning streak as teams simply have not found ways to stop them. Along with Lynch, wide receiver Mose Frazier is a go to guy on the outside that presents matchup problems and I imagine that he should have another great game against the Cincinnati secondary.
Ultimately, I believe this game comes down to important stops and turnovers. The team that gives the ball away is going to dig their self a hole fast because both offenses know how to find the end zone. Of course the defense that can get important stops and get off the field will also help in the same way. So far this season, I think you have to give both advantages to Memphis in those categories especially if Lynch continues to play at such a high level. However, I do think things may be a little tougher for each offense this week on the Thursday night stage. The over/under has yet to be released but I believe the total will be very lofty due to recent performances. Once that happens, consider a play on the under in what I expect to be a tough and hard fought game on both sides of the ball.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: It appears the public is going to be on Memphis this week with 70% of the early action favoring the Tigers and Gunner Kiels playing status in doubt. If Kiel is able to go, I like the Bearcats and the points. However behind Kiel is a freshman quarterback in Hayden Moore that threw 2 picks after taking over last week. I do not think there is any way the Bearcats can match the firepower that Memphiss offense brings without Kiel on the field. Wait for confirmation on Kiels status but if he is a no go then I think Memphis runs away with this one.
Additional College Football Betting Previews