The No. 23 Cincinnati Bearcats (-7) are coming into the TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl as favorites against the Boston College Eagles. This afternoon game is scheduled to get underway at 3:00 p.m. ET and ESPN has the TV rights.
Betting Preview: Boston College Eagles vs. Cincinnati Bearcats
Boston College is projected to play the role of underdog and is currently getting 7 points in this game. In order to take the home favorite, moneyline bettors would currently have to spend $300 to win $100 back on the Bearcats (-300). The Eagles are getting +220 moneyline odds. Oddsmakers have placed the over/under (O/U) at 56 points, and if one squad can create a bunch of points early, it’ll likely create a worthy betting scenario in-game.
The game’s total was initially set at 55, but the sharp action has been pushing that number higher.
The less-than-stellar Eagles are 7-5 against the spread (ATS) and are down 12.0 units so far in 2019. The team’s posted an Over-Under record of 8-4.
The Bearcats have been a pleasant surprise for moneyline bettors this season, gaining 5.5 units. The team is 8-5 ATS and has an O/U record of 3-10.
The Eagles are 6-6 straight up (SU) in 2019 while the Bearcats are 10-3 SU.
The Eagles just got a 26-19 victory over Pittsburgh on November 30. Dennis Grosel completed only nine-of-19 passes for 123 yards and one touchdown. AJ Dillon (178 yards on 32 rush attempts, one TD) and David Bailey (25 yards on 11 carries) led the ground attack in the win while Hunter Long (two receptions, 36 yards, one TD) and Kobay White (two catches, 32 yards) manned the receiving duties.
Back on December 7, Memphis took care of this Cincinnati crew by a score of 29-24. The Bearcats defensive unit allowed the Tigers to kill the clock by running for 194 yards on 45 rush attempts, including two rush TDs. Damonte Coxie had a solid outing in the win for Memphis, recording 165 yards on nine catches. For Cincinnati, Desmond Ridder completed 16-of-36 passes for 233 yards and one interception. Michael Warren II (99 yards on 23 rush attempts, two TDs) and the signal-caller Ridder (113 yards on 11 carries, one TD) spearheaded the ground attack in the defeat while Alec Pierce (five receptions, 87 yards) and Thomas Geddis (two catches, 21 yards) led the pass-catching corps.
Boston College has run the ball on 68.8 percent of its offensive possessions this year while Cincinnati has a rush percentage of 61.6 percent. The Eagles have produced 267.8 rush yards per game and have 27 scores via handoffs this year. The Bearcats are averaging 197.6 rushing yards per game and have 26 total rush TDs.
It appears that the Eagles ought to own an advantage in the trenches, as their offensive line has allowed only 23 sacks while the D-line logged 33 sacks. The Bearcats, on the other hand, have allowed 24 sacks and their defense has forced only 31 sacks.
The Eagles offense has averaged 183.4 yards in the air overall and has 20 passing TDs so far. The Bearcats have put up 187.4 pass yards per contest and have 18 total pass scores.
On the defensive side of the ball, Boston College has allowed 180.8 rush yards and 299.6 pass yards per game. The Cincinnati defense has allowed 233.2 yards per game to opposing passers and 143.4 yards per game on the ground. The Bearcats are allowing an adjusted net yards per pass attempt (ANY/A) of just 5.31 to opposing QBs, while the Eagles have given up an 8.15 ANY/A.
Offensively, Grosel is up to 833 passing yards this year. He’s connected on 49 percent of his 118 attempts with nine scores through the air and only two interceptions. He has a 7.22 adjusted net yards per pass attempt overall, although that number is 2.91 over the last two games.
We expect the Boston College offense to mix it up in this one. AJ Dillon, Dennis Grosel and Kobay White have collectively accounted for 431 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns over the last couple of outings.
On the other sideline, Desmond Ridder has connected on 165-of-301 passes for 2,069 yards, 17 TDs and nine INTs. Ridder’s ANY/A stands at 5.63 for the year and 5.03 across his past two outings.
Similar to the Eagles, expect a balanced attack offensively from Cincinnati this Thursday. Michael Warren II, Alec Pierce and Desmond Ridder have combined to account for 507 total yards and four touchdowns the last two outings.
Boston College Eagles at Cincinnati Bearcats Free Pick
SU Winner: Cincinnati, ATS Winner: Cincinnati, O/U: Over
- Both passing attacks have produced 10 pass plays of 40 yards or more and 16 pass plays of 30+ yards.
- The Boston College defense has allowed 10 pass plays of 40+ yards, while Cincinnati has given up 14 such plays.
- The Boston College offense has created 28 rushing plays of 20 yards or more, while Cincinnati has created 19 such runs.
- The Eagles defense has allowed 21 rushing plays of 20 yards or more, while the Bearcats have given up 10 such runs.
- The Cincinnati defense has sacked opposing quarterbacks 29 times this season. Boston College has registered just 16 sacks.
- Boston College, as a team, has rushed for 4.0 yards per attempt over its past three outings and 3.8 over its last two.
- Cincinnati has averaged 4.3 yards per carry over its last three contests and 4.8 over its past two.