AAC College Football Betting Preview: South Florida Bulls at Cincinnati Bearcats

South Florida Bulls at Cincinnati Bearcats
Paul Brown Stadium – Cincinnati, Ohio

Friday, October 24, 2014, 7:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN2
Opening Line: Cincinnati -11
Current Line: Cincinnati -10 1/2
Opening Total: 58
Current Total: 61
Opening Money Line: Cincinnati -400 / South Florida +325
Current Money Line: Cincinnati -420 / South Florida +335

Cincinnati is a 10.5 point favorite against South Florida at home Friday night.
Cincinnati is a 10.5 point favorite against South Florida at home Friday night.

The 3-4 South Florida Bulls travel to the 3-3 Cincinnati Bearcats in a key AAC match-up Friday night. The Bulls are 2-1 in conference and the Bearcats are 1-1. USF is tied with Houston and Temple for second  and Cincinnati is tied with Memphis for third. All teams trail 2-0 East Carolina and Central Florida.

Cincinnati leads the series 7-4 against South Florida including 4-1 in Cincinnati. The Bulls upset the Bearcats 26-20 last season in Cincinnati. The Bearcats have won 6 of the last 8 games in the series.


South Florida is coached by Willie Taggart. The Bulls have home wins over Western Carolina 36-31 and Connecticut 17-14, along with a road win last week at Tulsa 38-30. USF trailed against Tulsa 24-7 at halftime. South Florida has home losses against Maryland 24-17, North Carolina State 49-17 and East Carolina 28-17, plus a road loss at Wisconsin 27-10. The Bulls are 5-2 ATS and the total is 3-4 this season. USF was a 2 point favorite against Tulsa and the total was 50.

Cincinnati is coached by Tommy Tuberville. The Bearcats have home wins over Toledo 58-34, Miami-(OH) 31-24, plus a road win last week at SMU 41-3. The win against SMU snapped a three game losing streak for the Bearcats. Cincinnati has road losses at Ohio State 50-28 and Miami-(FL) 55-34, plus a home loss to Memphis 41-14. The Bearcats are 2-4 ATS and the total is 3-3 this season. Cincinnati was a 12.5 point favorite against SMU and the total was 62.5.

South Florida is being outscored 29-22 this season. The Bulls are averaging 311 yards per game on offense including 181 passing and 130 rushing yards. USF is #104 or worse in all offensive categories. On defense, the Bulls are allowing 418 yards per game including 237 passing and 181 rushing yards. South Florida is +2 in turnovers with 14 takeaways. The Bulls average 55 penalty yards per game and opponents average 66. USF is 37/102 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 49/107. The Bulls have forced 16 sacks and allowed 10 this season. USF is 13/15 scoring in the red zone with 6 touchdowns and opponents are 24/27 with 17 touchdowns. The Bulls have 2 defensive touchdowns and have allowed 3 defensive and special teams touchdowns.

USF quarterback Mike White has completed 47.6% of his passes for 1,090 yards with 6 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. Running back Marlon Mack has 133 carries for 727 yards with 8 touchdowns plus 6 catches. Receiver Andre Davis has 13 catches for 322 yards and 4 touchdowns. Rodney Adams has 18 catches for 248 yards and a touchdown. Deonte Welch and Mike MacFarland will also get some catches. Four defensive players are questionable or out for the Bulls.

Cincinnati is being outscored 35-34 this season. The Bearcats are #38 in scoring and #103 in points allowed. Cincinnati is averaging 443 yards per game on offense including 323 passing and 120 rushing yards per game. The Bearcats are #12 in passing and #110 in rushing nationally. On defense, Cincinnati is allowing 524 yards per game including 282 passing and 242 rushing. The Bearcats are #113 or worse in all three categories. Cincinnati is +3 in turnovers with 10 takeaways. Cincinnati is averaging 46 penalty yards per game and opponents are averaging 74. The Bearcats  are 36/84 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 51/100. Cincinnati has forced 18 sacks and allowed 9 this season. The Bearcats are 20/22 scoring in the red zone with 15 touchdowns and opponents are 20/27 with 13. Cincinnati has two defensive touchdowns and has allowed one this season.

Cincinnati quarterback Gunner Kiel has completed 59.4% of his passes for 1,853 yards with 19 touchdowns and 6 interceptions along with 32 carries for 99 yards.  Running back Rodriguez Moore has 42 carries for 143 yards and 3 touchdowns. Hosey Williams and Tion Green will also get some carries. Receiver Chris Moore has 18 catches for 421 yards and 5 touchdowns. Mekale McKay has 19 catches for 377 yards and 5 touchdowns. Shaq Washington, Max Morrison and Johnny Holton will also get a lot of catches. The three have combined for 7 touchdown catches.

South Florida is 4-0 ATS overall, 6-1 in road games, 5-1 in October, 4-1 in AAC games, 6-2 in Friday games, 6-15 after a cover, and 8-21 after allowing 450 total yards or more. The underdog is 5-2 ATS in this series recently.

Cincinnati is 2-5 ATS after a cover, 2-7 after a straight up win by 20 points or more, 1-4 at home and against teams with losing road records,2-8 after gaining more than 450 total yards, and 1-4 overall. The Bearcats are 8-2 ATS in the last 10 games against the Bulls including 4-1 at home.

Neither of these teams are very good. South Florida struggles on offense and is mediocre at best on defense. Cincinnati has an elite passing offense but one of the worst defenses in the country. I think this will be a high scoring game and 10.5 seems like a lot of points.

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