Cincinnati Bearcats vs. South Florida Bulls (6-4 SU, 7-2 ATS)
College Football Week 12
Date/Time: Friday, November 20, 8:00pm
Where: Raymond James Stadium Tampa, Florida
by Bob, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: CIN -3 / USF +3
Over/Under Total: OFF
Friday night on CBS, the Bearcats from the University of Cincinnati will travel into Tampa to take on the South Florida Bulls in an American Athletic Conference showdown. Ciny is 3-3 in conference play while South Florida is 4-2. The overall records however are identical at 6-4. This series dates back to 2003 and since that time, these two have met every season in conference play. In the twelve meetings, Cincinnati has won eight of them and have actually been victorious in the six of the last eight. However, the last time these two played in Tampa, it was the Bulls walking away with a 26-20 win.
The line opens with the Bearcats as a three point road favorite over South Florida. 67% of the early Monday morning action is on Cincy to get this cover on the road, which is rare when a team at home is just as impressive on the season. The total points are not yet on the board so for now, we will work with just the spread on the outcome itself. This season, not only has South Florida notched the better conference record, they are an impressive 7-2 against the spread while Cincinnati is 5-5. These types of games, especially when they are in conference is always interesting. This will be no different.
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On paper and in my gut, Cincinnati is by far the better team this season. Statistically on the 2015 season, they are pretty impressive. They rank 4thi n the entire FBS in passing yards averaging over 385 a game. The offense also tacks on another 198 a game on the ground. Of course, with numbers like this, it leads to points. And yep, the Bearcats average almost 40 points a game and rank in the top 15 in the FBS. Now that we addressed the offense, how is that Cincy defense looking? Well, the defense is average. Ranking just 78th in the nation, they are right in the middle or just a tad below average allowing their opponents to put up right at 28 points a game. The keys to victory for the Bearcats this Friday night are to score like they have all season. The South Florida Bulls offense has not been as impressive as the Bearcats and if Cincy can make this a shootout, USF probably will not have the fire power to match them. So Cincy Score!
South Florida is not only having a pretty decent season, but they are coming off of a huge win over the Temple Owls who just a few weeks ago were moments away from beating Notre Dame and potentially cracking the nations top ten. Just this past Saturday, South Florida not only beat Temple, they dominated the game and won 44-23. This could work out a couple of ways. First off, it could lead to a huge letdown like pulling the upset usually does in college football. Or, option B, South Florida may have some momentum and carry that in front of a hype crowd on Friday night and get another upset win. Like I mentioned earlier, the South Florida offense is not as impressive as Cincinnatis has been in 2015. The Bulls are a very strong running team, but the passing statistics are lacking. Averaging over 225 yards a game rushing, the Bulls rank 15th in the country, but their passing offense just ranks 103rd in the FBS. The defense has been pretty good all season though, allowing just 22 points a game. That is the key this weekend. Pressure the quarterback of Cincinnati and make him make mistakes. If the Bulls can force a few turnovers and shorten this game out, not only can they keep it close, but I think they get the win at home straight up.
This will be a fun game to watch. I love the prime time games that are truly toss ups and can go either direction. I really want to take the Bearcats to win this one, but I have this crazy feeling that we have a weird game where South Florida finds a way to win at home. South Florida will beat Cincinnati 27-23 on a late fourth quarter touchdown run.
Bobs Pick to Cover the Point Spread: TAKE THE SOUTH FLORIDA BULLS +3
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