College Football Free ATS Pick: South Florida Bulls vs. Cincinnati Bearcats

Jose VasquezArticles, College Football, Football

The South Florida Bulls (+12) are traveling north to visit their conference foe No. 25 Cincinnati Bearcats at Nippert Stadium. The matchup is scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m. ET and you can watch the action on ESPNU.

Betting Preview: South Florida Bulls vs. Cincinnati Bearcats

South Florida is playing the role of underdog and is currently getting 12 points in this AAC matchup. In order to take the home favorite, moneyline bettors would currently need to lay down $500 to win $100 back on the Bearcats (-500). The Bulls are getting +350 moneyline odds. Oddsmakers have determined the over/under (O/U) to be 55 points, and if one squad catches a lucky break early, it’ll likely result in a reasonable live betting opportunity.

Each of these teams has rewarded gamblers this year as the Bulls have gained 2.1 units and the Bearcats are up 10.0 units.

The Bulls have gone 7-2 straight up (SU), including 3-2 SU against AAC opponents. The Bearcats are 8-1 SU overall and 4-1 SU in conference play.

South Florida comes into this matchup on a two-game winning streak while Cincinnati has come up short in its last two in a row. The Bulls fell to Tulane 41-15 in a blowout where Blake Barnett completed 29-of-49 passes for 322 yards and one interception. Barnett (59 rushing yards on 16 attempts, one TD) also led the ground attack in the loss and was complemented by Johnny Ford (34 yards on 10 carries, one TD). Tyre McCants (nine receptions, 85 yards) and Jernard Phillips (five catches, 62 yards) shared the receiving duties.

Cincinnati takes the field this week having just earned a 42-0 win over Navy. The defensive unit let the Midshipmen run for 124 yards on 52 rush attempts. Malcolm Perry had a good outing in the loss for Navy, recording 32 yards and a score on one catch. For Cincinnati, Desmond Ridder completed 13-of-17 passes for 178 yards and one touchdown. Michael Warren II (68 rushing yards on 15 attempts, two TDs) and Tavion Thomas (46 yards on 11 carries) mounted the ground game in the win as Kahlil Lewis (five receptions, 39 yards) and Rashad Medaris (four catches, 82 yards, one TD) led the pass-catching corps.

South Florida has run the ball on 53.0 percent of its offensive possessions this year while Cincinnati has an overall rush percentage of 62.4 percent. The Bulls have run for 219.1 yards per game (including 205.0 per game against American Athletic Conference opponents) and have 24 scores via handoffs this year. The Bearcats are logging 235.6 rushing yards per game (235.8 in conference) and have 28 total rush TDs.

If 2018 numbers can translate to this game, then it’s looking like the Bearcats ought to have an advantage when it comes to applying pressure, as their offensive line has allowed just 17 sacks while the D-line has logged 20 sacks. The Bulls offensive line has allowed 24 sacks and their defense has sacked opposing QBs on just 23 occasions.

The Bulls offense has logged 273.6 yards/game in the air overall (253.6 per game against conference opposition) and has 11 passing TDs so far. The Bearcats have recorded 214.0 pass yards per game (233 in the AAC) and have 14 total pass scores.

South Florida has let opponents rush for an average of 248.2 yards and pass for 193.6 yards per game. The Cincinnati defense has allowed 170.9 yards per game to opposing passers and 105.2 yards per game on the ground. The Bearcats are allowing an adjusted net yards per pass attempt (ANY/A) of just 4.03 to opposing QBs, while the Bulls have given up a 5.20 ANY/A.

Passing-wise, Barnett is up to 2,137 yards this year. He’s connected on 163-of-265 attempts with 10 passing scores and eight interceptions. Barnett’s got a 6.59 adjusted net yards per pass attempt, including 5.17 over the last two outings.

Johnny Ford (390 rushing yards, six rush TDs on the year), Tyre McCants (525 receiving yards, two receiving TDs) and Ryeshene Bronson (100 receiving yards) have each played key roles lately.

For the home team, Desmond Ridder has completed 109-of-175 passes for 1,351 yards, 11 TDs and three INTs. Ridder’s ANY/A sits at 7.38 for the season and 6.67 across his past two games.

Kahlil Lewis, Michael Warren II and Rashad Medaris have combined for 531 total yards and five touchdowns over the last two games.

When these two teams faced each other last year, South Florida knocked Cincinnati off easily 33-3.

South Florida Bulls at Cincinnati Bearcats NCAA Prediction

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

Betting Trends

  • The South Florida defensive unit has sacked opposing QBs 23 times this year. Cincinnati has registered 20 sacks.
  • The Cincinnati offense has lost seven fumbles in 2018 while South Florida has let six get away.
  • The Bulls offense has produced 10 pass plays of 40 yards or more, while the Bearcats have accounted for four such plays.
  • Both defenses have allowed five pass plays of 40+ yards. The South Florida defense has given up 13 pass plays of 30+ yards while Cincinnati has given up 11 such plays.
  • The South Florida offense has created 16 rushing plays of 20 or more yards, while Cincinnati has created 21 such runs.
  • The Bulls defense has allowed 24 rushing plays of 20 or more yards, while the Bearcats have given up five such runs.
  • The O/U for Cincinnati’s last match was set at 47. The under cashed in the 42-0 victory over Navy.
  • In its last three games, Cincinnati is 1-2 ATS and the under cashed in each of those three.
  • Over its last three matches, South Florida is 0-3 ATS and the over cashed in two of those three.
  • The O/U for South Florida’s last game was set at 60.5. The under cashed in the team’s 41-15 loss to Tulane.
  • South Florida has averaged 5.9 yards per rush attempt over its past three contests and 4.2 over its last two.
  • Cincinnati has averaged 4.6 yards per carry over its last three matchups and 4.8 over its past two.