East Carolina Pirates (6-2 SU, 4-4 ATS) vs. Cincinnati Bearcats (5-3 SU, 4-4 ATS)
College Football Week 12
Date and Time: Thursday, November 13, 7:00pm EST
Where: Paul Brown Stadium - Cincinnati, Ohio
by Bob, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: ECU -2/CIN +2
Over/Under Total: 68.5
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Thursday night on ESPN2, we have an American Conference showdown with two teams that are 3-1 in the conference. East Carolina will travel north to take on the Cincinnati Bearcats in Paul Brown Stadium. At 3-1 in the American Conference, these two teams are tied for second place. A win or loss by either team could end or boost their chances of winning the conference title. Overall, East Carolina is 6-2, while the Bearcats are 5-3. This game should be a good one that comes down to the very end. In my opinion, this is a very even match-up.
The line opens as East Carolina as a two point favorite on the road against the Bearcats. The total points are set at 68.5. It looks like people are expecting a shootout, and I could easily see that happening. Against the spread this season, both of these teams are 4-4 on the season. I see this game being very close and one of the tightest possible match-ups that we have to pick this week.
At one time, East Carolina was climbing their way up the national polls. That was until they hit a speed bump and got upset by the Temple Owls by a 20-10 score on November 1st. After a bye week, East Carolina better hope the offense is clicking again. Even with the offensive letdown against the Owls, East Carolina is still ranked 3rd in the nation in passing (361 yards per game), and they are still averaging over 35 points per contest as well. This offense can score, and if they plan on taking down Cincinnati, they are going to have to. On the defensive side of the ball, the Pirates are not to bad either. They are only allowing 23 points per game and combine that with a high powered offense, and you have a pretty solid team. Quarterback, Shane Carden, is the leader of this offense passing for over 2,700 yards and 18 touchdowns. Not only though do the Pirates throw the ball well, they actually have a solid run game too. Led by running back, Breon Allen, East Carolina is averaging 188 yards a game on the ground. In order to win this game on the road and get the two point cover, the East Carolina Pirates need to get the offense clicking. Both of these teams will score, so the Pirates cannot have another cold outing like they did against Temple just two weeks ago.
The Bearcats of Cincinnati are 5-3 on the 2014 season. Two of the three losses however, were against Power Five Conference teams (Ohio State & Miami). This has been a roller coaster of a season so far for the Bearcats who won their first two games, then went on a three game losing streak. Since losing three in a row, the Bearcats are now winners of three straight. Not only have they won three in a row, they did so in convincing fashion. Not only has the offense been playing well during the winning streak, but the defense, who has been a letdown for most of the season, has finally stepped up. Ranked just 87th in the nation in scoring defense, the Bearcats D has given up just an average of 11 points per game in the last three games. This will be the main key to winning this game over East Carolina…defense. Cincinnati is averaging nearly 35 points per game on offense, if they can keep the defense holding strong and slow down Shane Carden and the Pirates, I see the Bearcats getting a much needed conference win, and their fourth in a row.
Bob’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: It is not often that I say this, but I am kind of excited to see this American Conference game on Thursday night. Both teams have a lot of talent on offense, and I like this to be a close game down to the very end. As we speak, 59% of the action in Vegas is on the Pirates. But there is one stat that I just cannot seem to let go. Coming off a loss, the East Carolina Pirates are 11-0 against the spread. this week, not only is East Carolina coming off a loss, but they had a bye week to get ready for this game. I like a tough game down to the end, but I feel like the Pirates will make a few plays and win this game something like 27-23. PICK THE EAST CAROLINA PIRATES -2