College Football Pick: Connecticut +14 over Cincinnati

LT Profits Sports Group

Monday, October 14, 2013 4:00 AM UTC

Monday, Oct. 14, 2013 4:00 AM UTC

The Cincinnati Bearcats are 2-4 ATS despite facing the easiest schedule in the AAC and look for that to continue as two-touchdown favorites vs. Connecticut on Saturday.

The home team that has faced a very easy schedule may be overvalued vs. a winless team Saturday when the Connecticut Huskies (0-5, 0-1 away) pay a visit to those Cincinnati Bearcats (4-2, 3-0 home) at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati, OH at 12:00 Noon ET in a game televised nationally on ESPNU.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Connecticut as a big underdog for this contest with the current line at +14 with odds of -102.

This is the second consecutive week that Cincinnati has faced a winless team and the Bearcats were far from impressive while failing to cover the spread vs. the now 0-6 Temple Owls last Friday, actually trailing 13-7 early in the second quarter before winning 38-20, failing to cover as 20½-point favorites while alarmingly allowing Temple to average 5.7 yards per rush and 8.0 yards per pass attempt!

Now we totally get that Connecticut is not a good football team and the Huskies were nipped 13-10 as four-point favorites by the South Florida Bulls for their latest defeat last week, but they did outgain USF by 128 yards in that game, mainly because they ran for 207 yards on 37 carries (5.6 YPC), and that rushing attack should be enough to keep them inside this two-touchdown spot here.

Much like last week, out biggest problem with Cincinnati here is that the Bearcats have played the easiest schedule of any team in the American Athletic Conference, as they lost to South Florida and were blown out in their only game vs. a decent team 45-17 by Illinois, and besides Temple they have been beating up on the likes of Miami-Ohio, who they only beat 14-0, and Northwestern State out of the FCS.

Thus, Cincinnati is ranked 150th in the country in SOS, easily the worst in the AAC, while comparatively the Connecticut schedule ranks a much more respectable 60th. That makes it extremely difficult to like the Bearcats as prohibitive favorites like this, especially considering that they have also committed 12 turnovers in six games despite their easy slate.

Connecticut may be winless, but the Huskies were good enough to lose to the Michigan Wolverines by only three points 24-21 and they rank a very good 28th in the country in total defense allowing just 348.2 total yards per games and an excellent ninth in the land in passing defense at 168.9 yards, making it less likely that they will fall behind quickly in this contest.

That makes running back Lyle McCombs the key to this cover as he was off to a very slow start this season but busted out for 164 rushing yards on 20 carries vs. the Bulls last week, and if he is really back after being the team’s best rusher last year, he could single-handedly keep the Huskies in this game especially if the Cincinnati run defense is as shoddy as it was vs. Temple.

With all of this in mind, take the big points with Connecticut at Cincinnati on Saturday.


College Football Pick: Connecticut +14 (-102)

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