Bet Cougars at Home vs. Awful Cincinnati Squad With Your College Football Picks

David Lawrence

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 3:51 PM GMT

The Houston Cougars are chasing a New Year’s Day bowl bid and The Cincinnati Bearcats were seen as the preseason favorite in the AAC East. Which team will be the college football pick?

Momentum
The good news for Cincinnati is that it is coming off a 52-7 win over UCF, a game in which everything went just right on both sides of the line of scrimmage. It’s always good when a team can play a game in which players play to their potential and do what they’re supposed to do. This makes a coaching staff feel good, it makes the players feel good, and it shows on film where and how players can continue to develop. Cincinnati might have needed a best-case scenario of a game in which to ride into Houston. However, on the other hand, you could say that UCF is so bad (under an interim coaching staff) that what the Knights bring to the table will in no way prepare the Bearcats for what they’re going to see against Houston’s speed, versatility, and overall offensive talent. We’ll just have to see which way the pendulum swings on that one.

Houston is coming off an ordinary performance against Vanderbilt. The Cougars won comfortably, but they were not at their best on offense. They made a number of mistakes, without which they could have won by a much larger margin. Houston actually faces a problem similar to Cincinnati. After playing an offense as impotent as Vanderbilt’s, will the Cougars be unprepared for a talented and capable offense such as the one Cincinnati has? The Bearcats have thrown a lot of long balls this season for touchdowns and big gainers, and Houston’s defense might struggle with that vertical passing attack at times.

 

Line Moves
The college football odds started with this contest being an 8.5-point game for Houston. It has remained firmly at that line. Houston is still a bit of a mystery to a lot of bettors, who are probably taking a wait-and-see approach to this game.

 

Notable Injuries
Cincinnati has linebacker Clemente Casseus out indefinitely with a suspension. Defensive back Adrian Witty is out indefinitely with an ankle injury.

Houston has offensive lineman Josh Thomas is out indefinitely with an ankle injury. Backup quarterback Adam Schulz is out for the season with a torn ACL. Offensive lineman Zach Johnson is out for the season with a knee injury. Offensive lineman Ben Dew is out for the season with a foot injury.

 

Handicapping The Game
Houston has not only lived up to the billing, but exceeded it. Cincinnati, on the other hand, has fallen well short of expectations. Houston now has to handle the pressure of playing for a spot in a major January bowl and an outside chance at the College Football Playoff. Cincinnati, though underachieving, now has nothing to lose and can play free, with house money. 

The Cougars’ offense has probably tried to keep the playbook simple in recent weeks against lower-level opponents. Expect Houston to unwrap a lot of specialty plays for this game against a very poor Cincinnati defense. Take the Cougars minus the points here with your college football picks.

College Football Pick: Houston -8 at Pinnacle

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