There were plenty of College Football betting odds backdoor covers last week. Will there be an encore in Week 9 as South Florida (+350 odds) faces Cincinnati (-440 odds)?
The South Florida Bulls Can Win Because…
They are going to be very confident after overcoming a 27-7 deficit to win on the road against Tulsa this past weekend. The Bulls outscored Tulsa, 14-3, in the third quarter to reduce their deficit to 30-21. They then scored 17 more points in the fourth quarter to put the game on ice. The Bulls used big plays to make the comeback. They got a 54-yard touchdown run from Marlon Mack, and then an 85-yard touchdown pass from Mike White to Andre Davis to take a 35-30 lead with 6:13 left in the fourth quarter. The Bulls’ comeback was impressive for a number of reasons, one of them being that they held the ball for under 27 minutes in that game. South Florida was able to strike quickly, which is what gave it the freedom to be able to do what it wanted. If the Bulls were constructed in a way that made quick drives unrealistic, they probably wouldn’t have been able to overtake Tulsa. USF scored in under two minutes and 45 seconds on four of its five second-half scoring drives, a sign of the offensive efficiency that was missing in the second half. USF can cover this game against Cincinnati as College Football odds underdogs not just because of confidence, but because Cincinnati has had problems on defense against several opponents over the course of the season. The Bearcats have allowed at least 34 points to four of their six opponents so far.
The Cincinnati Bearcats Can Win Because…
They are struggling, but South Florida is a worse team. The Bulls might be 2-1 in the American Athletic Conference, but they got their two conference wins over two of the worst teams in that conference, Connecticut and Tulsa. South Florida is 104th in the nation or worse (out of 128 Football Bowl Subdivision teams) in passing yards, rushing yards, and points scored. It is merely 86th in points allowed. The Bulls are a highly flawed team and are going to pick up losses as they continue with their schedule. South Florida is also running into a Cincinnati team that might have fixed some issues this past week.
The Bearcats had been springing lots of leaks on defense the previous few weeks, giving up at least 41 points in three straight losses to Ohio State, Memphis, and Miami-Florida. Yet, Cincinnati was able to move past those games, hit the practice field, and reorganize itself. The Bearcats rolled past SMU, 41-3, to gain positive reinforcement in a season that has fallen short of expectations. Cincinnati should be able to score a lot against South Florida, and now it can expect to be able to play defense that’s good enough to cover the spread.
Cincinnati’s offense has never been a problem this season. They have averaged 34.3 points per game. On top of that, they rebounded in a strong way last week to get back on track and that momentum should carry over. As long as the Bearcats don’t regress on defense relative to previous weeks, they should be fine in this game. Take them with your College Football picks to cover the big number.
Free College Football Pick: Cincinnati -11 at William Hill