South Florida at Cincinnati
The Cincinnati Bearcats (7-3, 3-2 Big East) welcome the South Florida Bulls (3-7, 1-4 Big East) to Nippert Stadium this Friday with kickoff set for 7:00 EST. Taking a look at the latest college football spreads, I find a line of Cincinnati -13 over South Florida.
Why Cincinnati Covers
The Bearcats have been one of the best teams in the country this season. Their three losses have come by a combined 16 points at Toledo, at Louisville and at home to Rutgers. Those are three of the best teams in the land as well with a combined record of 26-5.
South Florida simply has failed to live up to expectations this series while stumbling to a 3-7 campaign thus far. Its 9-40 loss at Miami last Saturday assured that it will not be going to a bowl game this season. With nothing to play for here, the Bulls could find it very hard to get motivated to face the Bearcats.
The Bulls lost starting quarterback B.J. Daniels to a season-ending ankle injury against Connecticut on November 3rd. Daniels had thrown for 2,075 yards and 14 touchdowns with 10 interceptions, while also rushing for 434 yards and five scores before getting hurt.
Backup Matt Floyd went 20 of 35 for 175 yards with two interceptions in the loss to Miami last weekend. Daniels was easily the best player on this team, and without him they have little to no chance of succeeding offensively the rest of the way.
Cincinnati is 5-1 straight up and 5-1 against the spread in its last 6 meetings with South Florida. The Bulls are 4-14 -1 against the spread in their last 19 games overall. The Bearcats are 9-3 against the spread in their last 12 games overall. Cincinnati is 6-1 against the spread in its last 7 conference games.
Why South Florida Covers
The Bearcats are coming off their most devastating loss of the season. They fell 3-10 at home to Rutgers last Saturday in a game that basically decided their fate within the conference. They now trail Rutgers by two games and would need a miracle to clinch a share of the Big East title.
With that realization, it’s going to be very hard for these Cincinnati players to be motivated Saturday. That’s especially the case considering they are going up against one of the worst teams record-wise in the conference.
The road team has won three straight meetings in this series, including a 38-30 victory by South Florida at Cincinnati as a 9.5-point underdog in 2010. In fact, the road team is 4-1 against the spread in the last 5 meetings.
Skip Holtz is 31-16 against the spread as an underdog in all games he has coached, including 19-8 against the spread as a road underdog. Holtz is also 11-2 against the spread in road games versus good offensive teams that average 5.9 yards per play or more.
The Bulls are 4-1 against the spread in their last 5 Friday games. South Florida is 3-1-1 against the spread in its last 5 games following a ATS loss. The Bearcats are 7-15 against the spread in their last 22 games following a ATS loss. Cincinnati is 4-10 against the spread in its last 14 November games.