Last Updated Nov 11, 2021, 10:00 PM

Cincinnati Bearcats vs. USF Bulls Predictions, Odds, Picks

Nov. 12, 2021
Jonathan Willis
VI Betting Expert

AAC action is set for Friday night as the Cincinnati Bearcats put their unbeaten record on the line against the USF Bulls. Kick off is set for 6:00 p.m. ET and will air on ESPN2 from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.

Score Prediction

Cincinnati 35, USF 20

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Cincinnati Bearcats vs. USF Bulls Predictions

It’s clear that the Cincinnati Bearcats do not control their own destiny. Despite wins over No. 9 Notre Dame and Indiana, the Bearcats are still outside the top four of the College Football Playoff. Cincinnati is behind three one-loss teams, but all the Bearcats can do is take care of business against their remaining schedule. They are currently the highest-ranked non-Power Five team ever and hope to rise with a win over the USF Bulls on Friday night in Tampa.

Cincinnati has failed to cover in each of its last three games. The Bearcats needed to hold on to beat Navy and Tulsa, and it took them a while to put Tulane away. USF appears to have turned the corner since a close loss to Tulsa in mid-October, and the Bulls will be able to stay within the number at home in Raymond James Stadium.

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Cincinnati Bearcats vs. USF Bulls Betting Odds

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Cincinnati Bearcats vs. USF Bulls Betting Resources

  • Matchup: AAC
  • Date: Friday, November 12, 2021
  • Venue: Raymond James Stadium
  • Location: Tampa, Florida
  • TV-Time: ESPN2 - 6:00 p.m. ET

Cincinnati Bearcats Betting Analysis

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 9-0
  • ATS: 5-4
  • O/U: 4-5
  • ATS - Home: 3-2
  • ATS - Away: 2-2

Desmond Ridder is having a nice season under center for the Bearcats. He is completing 63.7% of his passes for 8.6 YPA with 20 touchdowns and five interceptions. However, Ridder is not the game changer that some were believing he would be at the start of the season. Ridder has yet to throw for more than 300 yards in a game this year, and he thrives off play action.

The Bearcats have one of the best running backs in the AAC in junior Jerome Ford. Ford is a Tampa native, so he would love to show out in his old stomping grounds, but he is considered questionable to play after being knocked out of the Tulsa game early with an ankle injury. Ryan Montgomery and Charles McClelland will split carries if Ford can’t play.

Cincinnati has one of the best defenses in the nation. The Bearcats rank 11th in Defensive SP+. They have the fifth-best scoring defense in the country (15.9 PPG), and it’s nigh impossible to throw the ball against this secondary. They are allowing 5.3 YPA and 154.9 YPG through the air.

USF Bulls Betting Analysis

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 2-7
  • ATS: 5-4
  • O/U: 5-4
  • ATS - Home: 4-1
  • ATS - Away: 1-3

It took a while for USF to find consistency at the quarterback position. Cade Fortin and Katravis Marsh both struggled to get into a rhythm and combined to toss one touchdown with five interceptions in 80 passes. However, the Bulls have looked better on offense since freshman Timmy McClain took the reins.

McClain isn’t a great passer, completing 54.5% of his passes for 7.3 YPA with four touchdowns and four interceptions. However, he is more dangerous than Fortin or Marsh. He can make things happen with his legs too, giving the ground game a spark.

Jaren Mangham is USF’s leading rusher with 507 yards and 13 touchdowns. Kelley Joiner and Brian Battie are both averaging north of 6.0 YPC, and Xavier Weaver leads the Bulls with 32 receptions for 576 yards and two scores.

Unfortunately, the Bulls have one of the worst defenses in the FBS. USF ranks in the bottom 15 in scoring defense (36.5 PPG), the bottom ten in total defense (498.1 YPG), and the bottom five in yards per play (7.3). This front seven will need to stop the run if the Bulls have any hope of pulling off the upset.

Inside the Stats - Cincinnati Bearcats

  • Record: 9-0
  • VI Ranking: 3
  • Points Scored: 347
  • Points Allowed: 134
  • PS/G: 38.6 (13th)
  • PA/G: 14.9 (3rd)

Inside the Stats - USF Bulls

  • Record: 2-7
  • VI Ranking: 112
  • Points Scored: 223
  • Points Allowed: 309
  • PS/G: 24.8 (91st)
  • PA/G: 34.3 (115th)

Key Players to Watch

  • CIN: Desmond Ridder - QB (158/248, 2,121 yards, 20 TD, 5 INT)
  • CIN: Jerome Ford - RB (142 carries, 884 yards, 15 TD)
  • USF: Timmy McClain - QB (96/176, 1,289 yards, 4 TD, 4 INT)
  • USF: Jaren Mangham - RB (116 carries, 507 yards, 13 TD)

Cincinnati Bearcats vs. USF Bulls Betting Conclusion

Although Cincinnati could run on this front seven, the Bearcats have sputtered on offense in recent weeks. It’s hard to put a lot of faith in them to cover this big of a number on the road, so back the improving Bulls at home on Friday night.

Cincinnati Bearcats vs. USF Bulls Betting Trends

  • Cincinnati has failed to cover the spread in four of its last five games when playing USF in Tampa.
  • Cincinnati has gone UNDER the point total in seven of its last nine road games.
  • USF has lost seven of its last nine games.
  • USF has covered the spread in five of its last six home games.

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