Cincinnati Bearcats vs. East Carolina Predictions

Nov. 25, 2021
Eytan Shander
VI Betting Expert

The only thing that can stop the Cincinnati Bearcats from making the College Football Playoff is an internal meltdown unlike something we haven’t seen over their past two seasons.

No pressure for the East Carolina Pirates as they look to be the first team to hand Cincy a loss on Black Friday.

Score Prediction

  • Cincinnati 44 East Carolina 17

Best Bets

  • Cincinnati -14
  • Over 58

Cincinnati Bearcats vs. East Carolina Pirates Predictions

The Bearcats are rolling and making statements to the playoff committee with each win. They dominated SMU 48-14 in Week 12 and should continue that momentum against the Pirates. While Cincy’s offense will move with little pushback, their defense should feast on an ECU offense that’s begging to turn over the football.

The 'Cats may not be playing the same level of competition as the other top 5 teams in the nation, Cincinnati is destroying everyone in the AAC.

Their defensive backfield may be one of the best in the nation – going against an ECU offense that can’t protect its quarterback. Cincy may suffer an eventual upset – as devastating as that would be – but this isn’t the team to do it in East Carolina.

The Pirates aren’t bad, they just aren’t Cincy good.

There’s a significant talent gap between the two AAC schools, and the Pirates won’t be able to handle their opponent’s fierce pass rush. Expect a couple of Pirates turnovers as they needed a “get right” game against Navy to stop consecutive multiple-turnover games, five straight to be exact.

The Pirates have two strengths, but they won’t work well against the Bearcats.

ECU can run and hold the ball, but what good is that if your defense keeps giving up points?

The school also threw the ball exceptionally well against Navy, but they faced a far less-dominating pass rush.

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Cincinnati Bearcats vs. East Carolina Pirates Betting Odds

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Cincinnati Bearcats vs. East Carolina Pirates Betting Resources

  • Matchup: American Athletic Conference
  • Date: Friday, November 26, 2021
  • Venue: Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium
  • Location: Greenville, North Carolina
  • TV-Time: ABC, 3:30 p.m. ET

Cincinnati Bearcats Betting Analysis

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

  • SU: 11-0
  • ATS: 6-5
  • O/U: 5-6
  • SU - Away: 5-0
  • ATS - Away: 2-3

Quarterback Desmond Ridder leads the Bearcats passing offense, throwing for 2,699 yards, 25 TDs to just 6 INTs. Ridder is also the team’s second-leading rusher with 325 yards and 6 scores.

Running back Jerome Ford leads the team’s rushing attack with 966 yards and 16 TDs.

Alec Pierce is the team’s leading wide receiver with 666 yards and 6 TDs. Also, Tyler Scott has 416 yards with 4 receiving TDs.

The Bearcats defense has forced 16 INTs on the year.

East Carolina Pirates Betting Analysis

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

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

QB Holton Ahlers leads the 39th ranked offense in the country and he's thrown for 2,903 yards, 17 TDs to 9 INTs. Not to mention, he’s added 6 scores on the ground along with 234 rushing yards.

The leader of the ground game is RB Keaton Mitchell who has 1,077 rushing yards and nine scores. Rahjai Harris has 565 rushing yards and four TDs.

WR Tyler Snead dominates in the air game with 769 receiving yards and four scores, plus C.J. Johnson has 520 yards and 1 TD.

ECU’s defense has 13 INTs on the year and will likely need a couple to remain in Friday's game.

ECU QB Holton Ahlers has accounted for 23 total touchdowns this season, six of them coming on the ground. (AP)

Inside the Stats - Cincinnati Bearcats

  • Record: 11-0
  • Points Scored: 438
  • Points Allowed: 186
  • PS/G: 39.8 PPG
  • PA/G: 16.9 PPG

Inside the Stats - East Carolina Pirates

  • Record: 7-4
  • Points Scored: 344
  • Points Allowed: 278
  • PS/G: 31.2 PPG
  • PA/G: 25.2 PPG

Key Players to Watch

  • CIN: QB Desmond Ridder (2699 passing yards, 25 TDs)
  • CIN: RB Jerome Ford (966 rushing yards, 16 TDs)
  • ECU: QB Holton Ahlers (2,903 passing yards, 17 TDs)
  • ECU: RB Keaton Mitchell (1,077 rushing yards, 9 TDs)

Cincinnati Bearcats vs. East Carolina Pirates Betting Conclusion

Outside of the Navy game, ECU was turning the ball over at a ridiculous clip. They turned it over at least two times in five straight games, something that just doesn’t go away – especially against good football teams.

The Bearcats are one of the best teams in the country – especially at turning over opposing teams. This is just a brutal matchup for an ECU team that’s been moving the ball well enough to overcome mistakes.

But against Cincy they can’t afford to make any mistakes. Best to lay the two TDs and bank on an unforced Pirates error.

Cincinnati Bearcats vs. East Carolina Pirates Betting Trends

  • The Bearcats have gone 1-4 ATS in their last five games
  • The 'under' is 4-1 during this five-game stretch for Cincy
  • ECU has been a solid 'dog lately, going 5-0-1 ATS when catching points
  • The Pirates are on an 8-1 ATS run in American matchups
  • This series has watched the 'over' cash in four straight
  • The home team is 5-0 ATS in the last five encounters