College Football Picks: Louisville vs. Cincinnati

Monday, December 2, 2013 4:31 PM UTC

Monday, Dec. 2, 2013 4:31 PM UTC

This week's Thursday night matchup puts the American Athletic Conference in the spotlight with the Louisville Cardinals battling the Cincinnati Bearcats. Lets check out the college football odds that have been set, and go over our college football picks.
<p style="text-align:center;"> <style type="text/css"><!-- br {mso-data-placement:same-cell;} --></style> <span style="font-size:13px;font-family:arial,sans,sans-serif;color:#000000;text-align:left;"></span></p> <p>You wouldn't think a 10-1 team would need so many dominoes to fall just right in order to claim a share of its conference title. But that's exactly the situation the Louisville Cardinals find themselves in heading into the regular season finale on the road against the Cincinnati Bearcats.</p> <p><st1:city style="font-size:1em;">Louisville</st1:city><span style="font-size:1em;">, heavily <a target="_blank" title="Read our predictions of how the 2013-2014 football season would play out for the Cardinals" href="/college-football/free-picks/college-football-picks-louisville-cardinals-2013-14-futures-a-31895/">favored to win the AAC before the season</a>, rolled out as 6.5 point chalk in the very early spread released Sunday.</span> <span style="font-size:1em;">But SBR's <a target="_blank" title="Live and up-to-date odds available 24/7" href="/betting-odds/college-football/">live college football odds</a> now list the Cardinals at -3.5 following early wagering on the Bearcats.</span> <span style="font-size:1em;">A total has yet to be released on the game.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size:1em;">This will be the 53rd meeting on the gridiron between the two schools, and marks the fourth different league </span><st1:city style="font-size:1em;">Louisville</st1:city><span style="font-size:1em;"> and </span><st1:city style="font-size:1em;">Cincinnati</st1:city><span style="font-size:1em;"> have collided as conference foes.</span> <span style="font-size:1em;">The clash for the Keg of Nails dates back to 1929, with Thursday's tilt the 17th straight year they've met.</span></p> <p><st1:city style="font-size:1em;">Cincinnati</st1:city><span style="font-size:1em;"> leads the series 30-21-1, but the Cardinals have won six of the last 10, and five of the most recent seven visits to Nippert Stadium in Porkopolis.</span> <span style="font-size:1em;">The visitors have covered the past three years, </span><st1:city style="font-size:1em;">Louisville</st1:city><span style="font-size:1em;"> winning the contest 34-31 in 2012 but missing the 3.5 point margin the <a target="_blank" title="Read our reviews and make sure you get the best betting value" href="http://www.sportsbookreview.com/">sportsbooks</a> had set.</span></p> <p><img style="font-size:1em;" src="/picks-pictures/louisvillelouisvillle.jpg" class="imgSelectedPicture article-image" alt="Image preview" id="ctl00_head_ArticleAdministrator_picturePreview_imgSelectedPicture" /><b style="font-size:1em;">In Case Of A Tie...</b></p> <p>Like other conferences without a championship game to crown their champs, the American Athletic Conference will leave it up to the BCS Standings to sort things out should there be a tie. That scenario may never come about if Central Florida beats SMU, but playing a dangerous Mustangs team in <st1:city>Dallas</st1:city> makes that anything but a certainty after the Knights barely staved off a 2-9 <st1:place>South Florida</st1:place> team at home last week.</p> <p><span style="font-size:1em;">Should Southern Methodist pull off the upset, the winner between the Cardinals and Bearcats will share the first AAC crown with UCF, and leave it up to writers, coaches and computers to decide who heads to a big payday in a BCS contest.</span> <span style="font-size:1em;">With the other AAC tie-ins being contests like the Belk Bowl, New Era Pinstripe Bowl and Beef 'O' Brady Bowl, there will be a huge drop-off in the size of the checks for the bridesmaid in this conference.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size:1em;">[gameodds]6/239154/?r3=43-19-349/dec&amp;r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]<br /></span></p> <p><st1:city style="font-size:1em;"><img style="font-size:1em;" src="/picks-pictures/bearbearcatcat.jpg" class="imgSelectedPicture article-image" alt="Image preview" id="ctl00_head_ArticleAdministrator_picturePreview_imgSelectedPicture" />Louisville</st1:city><span style="font-size:1em;"> (10-1 straight up, 4-7 against the spread) suffered its only loss of the season to UCF back in October, a game in which Charlie Strong's squad closed as a 2-touchdown favorite.</span> <span style="font-size:1em;">The Cardinals are 19th in the latest BCS Standings, three rungs below the Knights, and should be able to jump ahead with a win over Cincy coupled with a </span><st1:place style="font-size:1em;">Central Florida</st1:place><span style="font-size:1em;"> loss to SMU.</span></p> <p><st1:city style="font-size:1em;">Cincinnati</st1:city><span style="font-size:1em;"> (9-2 SU, 6-5 ATS) might not be able to climb over </span><st1:place style="font-size:1em;">Central Florida</st1:place><span style="font-size:1em;">, even with a win over the Ville and a Knights loss at SMU.</span> <span style="font-size:1em;">Tommy Tuberville has done a nifty job in his first year with the Bearcats, but they don't crack the latest BCS top 25, making it very difficult for </span><st1:city style="font-size:1em;">Cincinnati</st1:city><span style="font-size:1em;"> to push its way into the top-tier bowl picture.</span></p> <p><b style="font-size:1em;">Cards Have DB Injury Concerns; 'Cats Come In Healthy</b></p> <p>The only way to have made money on Louisville this season was to play the 'under' which has cashed nine times, including six of the last seven while the Cardinals went 1-6 ATS in that span. They've been asked to cover some sizable numbers, like a month ago <a target="_blank" title="Check out our preview and picks from this game" href="/college-football/free-picks/college-football-picks-louisville-vs-connecticut-friday-a-34731/">at UConn where Louisville was favored</a> by 28 and won by 21, and could be short a couple of key defensive backs for this one.</p> <p><span style="font-size:1em;">Corner Charles Gaines, originally recruited to </span><st1:city style="font-size:1em;">Louisville</st1:city><span style="font-size:1em;"> as a receiver, is questionable with a knee injury, while safety Calvin Pryor's status is unclear after he missed last week's win over </span><st1:city style="font-size:1em;">Memphis</st1:city><span style="font-size:1em;"> for what was described as "non-injury related."</span></p> <p><span style="font-size:1em;">College football bettors will definitely want to check the forecast for </span><st1:place style="font-size:1em;">Cincinnati</st1:place><span style="font-size:1em;"> where a 60% rain is currently listed for Thursday evening.</span> <span style="font-size:1em;">The thermometer will be around 40º at kickoff with light NNW breeze.</span></p> <p><st1:city style="font-size:1em;">Cincinnati</st1:city><span style="font-size:1em;"> has been impressive at home (5-0, 2-3 ATS) and is riding a 6-game win streak, but I like the Cardinals minus the points for my<a target="_blank" title="Check our SBR's free college football picks before placing your bets" href="/college-football/"> free college football pick</a>.</span></p> <p><b style="font-size:1em;">My pick:</b><span style="font-size:1em;"> </span><st1:city style="font-size:1em;">Louisville</st1:city><span style="font-size:1em;"> -3.5 at <a target="_blank" title="Place bets with Bet365.com" href="http://www.bet365.com/en/">Bet365</a></span></p>
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