Houston Cougars vs. Cincinnati Bearcats Prediction ATS
When: Saturday, December 4, 4 p.m.
Where: Nippert Stadium, Cincinnati
Point Spread: HOU +10.5/CIN -10.5 (Bovada - Bet on games after they start at the web’s BEST live betting platform!)
Total: O/U 53
This is the big one for the Bearcats, who have had to deal with having the target on their back for three months and are now one step away from possibly breaking up the alliance and crashing the playoff party. All Cincinnati needs to do to have a chance is win its 27th consecutive game at Nippert Stadium, a mark that ranks second in the nation.
But standing in the way is an equally hot Houston team that enters as winners in 11 straight contests after losing its season opener to Texas Tech. The Cougars would need a lot to go their way to steal Cincinnati’s bid to the New Year’s Six games, but Houston could ruin Cincinnati’s shot at the playoff by pulling the upset. However, Houston hasn’t exactly had much success against the Bearcats in the past 20 years: the teams have met nine times, and seven of them have gone to Cincinnati, with the Bearcats scoring exactly 38 points in three straight games with the Cougars. If Houston can’t slow down Cincinnati in this one, it’s hard to see the Cougars getting a win here.
How the Public is Betting the Houston/Cincinnati Game
The public thinks this is just too many points to give in this one, as it’s backing Houston with 68 percent of tickets. The total has dropped two points to 53, but the spread is unchanged.
Wide receiver KeSean Carter (undisclosed) is questionable. Defensive lineman Sedrick Williams (ankle) and running back James Fullbright III (knee) are out.
Kicker Cole Smith (undisclosed) and wide receiver Michael Young Jr. (undisclosed) are questionable.
When Houston Has the Ball
Other than one bad showing against Memphis, Clayton Tune has been excellent with his decision-making as of late, tossing 14 touchdowns against just two interceptions in his past five contests. It hasn’t really mattered what the defenses have tried in order to slow him down; Tune keeps finding holes in opposing secondaries and connecting for big yardage and high scores.
The big question is whether he can keep that going against Cincinnati, which hasn’t seen a passing attack like this one in American play all season. The Bearcats were able to best Notre Dame, which has thrown the ball well all season, but the Irish don’t attack quite as quickly or as often as the Cougars do. Houston will throw for the majority of the contest, with Nathaniel Dell likely to do most of the damage. The Cougars can run when they need to, but they prefer to do that with Alton McCaskill closer to the goal line so he can finish off drives. McCaskill has 16 touchdowns on the year, and with Cincinnati ranking third in pass defense, the Cougars might opt to run the ball a bit more often.
When Cincinnati Has the Ball
Is Houston’s defense excellent, or is it a product of weak opposition in the American? Cincinnati will find out as Desmond Ridder plays his final home game at Nippert Stadium in this one. Ridder has thrown for exactly 3,000 yards this season and has shown excellent decision-making this season, tossing 27 touchdowns and completing 66 percent of his passes. He is prone to one bad pass per game, as he’s been picked off at least once in four of his past five starts.
But he’ll likely have to do the job here because Houston’s run defense is likely to make things very difficult for Jerome Ford on the ground. Ford has 17 scores on the season and 1,055 rushing yards this year, but Houston is giving up just 98 yards per game on the ground. With the Cougars trying to take away the run and Cincinnati likely needing to pass anyway, this could be Ridder’s time to shine.
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This matchup has tended to be a nightmare for the Cougars, as Cincinnati has covered the spread in five of seven meetings with one push. The road team might be 4-1-1 in the teams’ past six meetings, but that’s because three of those covers went to the Bearcats going south to Houston. There’s also the fact that the Cougars have really had a hard time getting up for football in December; they have now failed to cover in five straight games in the year’s final month.
The Cougars are going to luck out with the weather in this one, as temperatures will sit at 51 degrees with the wind blowing at six miles per hour to the north-northeast and no precipitation in the forecast.
Dan’s Pick to Cover the Spread
Cincinnati has been virtually unbeatable at home and seems to save its best for the games that matter most. The Bearcats have dominated the league all season, and even though they never met Houston, they’ve still shown that they’re the team to beat, and they’re playing at home.
I don’t think the Cougars are good enough to cause enough problems to derail the Cincinnati dream. I’m taking the Bearcats here. Hey! Stop wasting your hard earned cash! Stop laying -110 odds on your bets! Start laying only -105 TODAY at BetAnySports! We’ve advertised them for over 10 years with ZERO complaints! It PAYS to save!
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