NCAA Football Free Betting Pick – Connecticut Huskies at Cincinnati Bearcats

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A couple of schools that like to focus on their running games, Coach Randy Edsall and the Connecticut Huskies (+35) are set to face off against their AAC foe No. 17 Cincinnati Bearcats at Nippert Stadium. The afternoon game is scheduled to kick off at 3:30 p.m. ET and CBS Sports Network will televise the action.

Betting Preview: Cincinnati Bearcats vs. Connecticut Huskies

Connecticut is a big road underdog here and is currently receiving 35 points by bookmakers. Oddsmakers have set the over/under (O/U) at 57.5 points. There should be some solid live betting opportunities for this game.

Betting odds have swayed a bit from where they originally opened. The opening line was -35 while the game’s over/under was placed initially at 58.

The Huskies have gained 0.0 units this season and are 4-5 against the spread (ATS). The team has posted an O/U record of 4-5.

The surprising Bearcats are up 5.5 units in 2019. The team is 5-3 ATS and has an O/U record of 3-5.

The Huskies have gone an ugly 2-7 straight up (SU), including 0-5 SU against AAC opponents. The Bearcats are 7-1 SU overall and 4-0 SU in conference play.

The Huskies might be waving the white flag after a 46-point defeat to Navy last week. Their defense allowed the Midshipmen to eat up the clock by running for 408 yards on 51 rush attempts, including seven rush TDs. Malcolm Perry had a productive day for the Midshipmen in that one with 108 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 11 attempts. On the offensive side of the ball, Jack Zergiotis completed only 16 passes on 34 attempts for 205 yards, one score and two interceptions. Kevin Mensah (107 yards on 26 rush attempts) led the running attack in the loss. Cameron Ross (six receptions, 38 yards) and Art Thompkins (four catches, 23 yards, one TD) handled the receiving duties.

The Cincinnati Bearcats take the field on Saturday having just earned a 46-43 win over East Carolina. The defensive unit let the Pirates pass for 535 yards and four touchdowns while rushing for 103 yards. C.J. Johnson was outstandingfor the Pirates, putting up 283 yards on 12 catches. For Cincinnati, Desmond Ridder completed 12-of-24 passes for 161 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. Michael Warren II (141 rushing yards on 18 attempts, three TDs) and the signal-caller Ridder (146 yards on 12 carries) led the ground game in the win while Malick Mbodj (five receptions, 37 yards) and Alec Pierce (three catches, 31 yards) led the pass-catching attack.

Connecticut has run the ball on 53.5 percent of its offensive possessions this year while Cincinnati has an overall rush percentage of 62.1 percent. The Huskies have rushed for 136.2 yards/game (including 121 per game against American Athletic Conference opponents) and have 12 scores via handoffs this year. The Bearcats are totaling 192.5 rush yards per game (198.5 in conference) and have 14 total rushing TDs.

It appears that the Bearcats ought to have an advantage in terms of effectiveness in the ground game, as their backfield has logged 4.6 yards per carry while the defense has allowed 3.5 yards per rush attempt to opponents. The Huskies have tallied 3.7 yards per carry while allowing a YPC of 5.7 to opponents.

The Huskies offense has tallied 204.3 yards/contest through the air overall (219.8 per game versus conference opposition) and has 10 passing scores so far. The Bearcats have recorded 204.3 pass yards per game (186 in the AAC) and have 15 total pass TDs.

Connecticut seems to hold an advantage when it comes to limiting the pass. The team has allowed opponents to rush for an average of 219.9 yards and pass for 225.9 yards per game. The Cincinnati defense has allowed 247.1 yards per game to opposing passers and 134.3 yards per game on the ground. The Bearcats are allowing an adjusted net yards per pass attempt (ANY/A) of just 5.32 to opponents, while the Huskies have given up an 8.40 ANY/A.

Offensively, Zergiotis is up to 881 passing yards this season. The signal-caller has connected on 83-of-147 attempts with four scores through the air and seven interceptions. Zergiotis has a 3.64 adjusted net yards per pass attempt, including 4.47 over the last two games.

We’re looking for Huskies to control tempo by pounding the defense with their running backs. Cameron Ross (396 yards, one TD) has been a factor in the receiving game lately, but backfield mates Kevin Mensah (639 rush yards, four rush TDs) and Art Thompkins (253 rush yards, one rush TD, 216 receiving yards, two receiving TDs) have been focal points in the offensive gameplans for Connecticut.

Desmond Ridder has managed to complete 106-of-177 passes for 1,388 yards, 14 TDs and seven INTs for Cincinnati. His ANY/A sits at 6.53 for the year and 5.39 across his past two outings.

The Bearcats also like to rely on their backfield. Along with Desmond Ridder (zero receiving yards), Michael Warren II (604 rush yards, seven rush TDs, two receiving TDs) and Gerrid Doaks (162 rush yards, one rush TD) have gotten plenty of action lately.

When these two teams faced one another last year, Cincinnati won by six touchdowns 49-7.

Connecticut Huskies vs. Cincinnati Bearcats Free Pick

SU Winner: Cincinnati, ATS Winner: Connecticut, O/U: Over

Team Betting Notes

  • The Over/Under for Connecticut’s last game was set at 54.5. The over cashed in the team’s 56-10 loss to Navy.
  • As a team, Connecticut has averaged 5.5 yards per rush attempt across its last three games and 5.5 over its last two.
  • Cincinnati has averaged 5.3 yards per carry over its last three outings and 5.9 over its past two.
  • Cincinnati has lost five fumbles this season while Connecticut has let six get away.
  • In its last three matches, Connecticut is 2-1 ATS and the over cashed in two of those three.
  • The Over/Under for Cincinnati’s last outing was 49. The over cashed in the team’s 46-43 triumph over East Carolina.
  • In its last three games, Cincinnati is 1-2 ATS and the over cashed in two of those three.
  • The Huskies offense has produced three pass plays of 40 or more yards, while the Bearcats have put up nine such plays.
  • The Connecticut defense has allowed eight pass plays of 40+ yards, while Cincinnati has given up seven such plays.
  • The Connecticut offense has created 10 rushing plays of 20 or more yards, while Cincinnati has created 13 such runs.
  • The Huskies defense has allowed 14 rushing plays of 20 or more yards, while the Bearcats have given up six such runs.
  • The Cincinnati defense has notched 19 sacks on the year while Connecticut has 17.