Fresh off a snub in the College Football Playoff rankings (despite a No. 2 ranking in the AP Top 25), the Cincinnati Bearcats and Heisman Trophy candidate Desmond Ridder welcome in the Tulsa Golden Hurricane. The Bearcats will try to win the first nine games of the season for the second year in a row as they try to run the table in the American Athletic Conference.
|Tulsa||+22½ (-105)||N/A||o55½ (-110)|
|Cincinnati||-22½ (-115)||N/A||u55½ (-110)|
The Bearcats have gotten the better of the Golden Hurricane since both teams entered the American Athletic Conference, with Cincinnati winning three of the last four matchups since 2015. However, Tulsa has a slight edge in the historical head-to-head record, leading 16-14-1.
Cincinnati won 27-24 in a nail-biter last December on a game-winning Cole Smith field goal as time expired. Desmond Ridder threw for 269 yards and ran for 83 more to help the Bearcats move to 9-0 on the season in a meeting of two ranked teams.
Next game: at Tulane
The Golden Hurricane comeback effort fell short last week against Navy, as Tulsa went down 20-10 in the fourth quarter and was able to move within a field goal on a Davis Brin touchdown pass to Ezra Naylor II but couldn’t get any closer. Tulsa actually took a seven-point lead on the first play of the second half with an Anthony Watkins kickoff return touchdown, but couldn’t do enough on the offensive end.
Philip Montgomery’s team lost straight-up as 11-point home favorites to the Midshipmen, who gained 302 rushing yards and only attempted three passes (without completing any). The point total (46 points) easily went under as scoring was hard to come by for both sides.
Tulsa could be without safeties Kendarin Ray and Cristian Williams, as both are questionable with injuries. Missing some key secondary guys wasn’t as important against run-focused Navy but could be an issue against Ridder and Cincinnati. Wide receiver Keylon Stokes missed last week’s game and is questionable once again.
Next game: at South Florida
Cincinnati actually struggled with Tulane in the first half of their 31-12 win last week, giving up a safety as part of a 12-point second quarter for the Green Wave. Then, after halftime, the Bearcats flexed their offensive might and finished the game with 17 unanswered points. Ridder
The Bearcats have no major injuries to report.
Betting on the Game
Statistically speaking, Cincinnati should roll. The Bearcats are at home and are a top-10 scoring offense (9th in FBS) and top-10 scoring defense (2nd in FBS) while the Golden Hurricane are 94th in offense and 102nd in defense.
The college football lines on BetUS Sportsbook for this game opened at 22½ points and haven’t budged since, which is a sign that the public and Vegas are both pretty comfortable with Cincinnati as slightly more than a three-touchdown favorite. Considering both teams’ track records, it’s a fair spread so you shouldn’t expect much further line movement.
Having ESPN’s College Football Gameday come to town should also be a boost for a Cincinnati team that’s likely going to be playing angry due to its CFP snub. Ridder, running back Jerome Ford, and wide receiver Alec Pierce are among the best skill-position players in the country that haven’t been getting much respect on the national level despite their winning and production.
For Tulsa, Brin has a good arm but has 11 touchdowns to 11 interceptions this season, which isn’t a great ratio. Prince and Shamari Brooks are a great running back combination and the trio of wide receivers Josh Johnson, J.C. Santana, and Sam Crawford Jr. gives Brin plenty of weapons to go to, but his turnover issues and the Golden Hurricane’s lackluster defense are a big reason why Tulsa is only 3-5.
If you’re making college football picks and betting online, you should also expect the over to hit. Cincinnati will put up a lot of points and Tulsa will score in garbage time to make the score a bit more reasonable, yet the Bearcats still should be able to cruise.