Ground Game & Clock Management Leads to an 'Under' College Football Pick in Cincinnati

Charles Stark

Thursday, October 1, 2015 1:54 PM GMT

For Thursday night football two tremendously potent offensive teams when the Miami Hurricanes take on the Cincinnati Bearcats. Let's review the odds & serve a totals pick.

College Football Odds
Odds makers came out with the total at 68 for this game, and for my college football pick I'm going to back under the total in this spot. Across the board the line has gone up just a little bit and I think that is the way the line is going to go so you might want to wait until just before opening kick. Right now you can get some good College Football Odds at under the total of 69 at 5Dimes -108.

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Miami Hurricanes
Not including their below Division I opponent Miami comes in averaging 40 points per game, 518.5 yards of total offense per game, 6.7 yards per play, and a third-down 22.22% conversion rate. There shouldn't be too much stock put in that conversion rate because the Canes have been moving the ball up and down the field with little resistance. Something I find interesting about their offense though is the balance and I think this will help in regards to the pace of the game. Miami likes to run the ball almost half the time at 49.68%, and it has a solid rushing attack averaging 179 yards per game. Cincinnati shouldn't pose much of a threat on the defensive side against Miami's passing or running attack, but if there is a weakness right now the highlight would be on Cincinnati's rush defense. Look for Miami to keep the ball on the ground and keep the chains moving to eat up some clock.

Defensively Miami's allowing 26.5 points per game, 425.5 yards per game, 5.8 yards per play, and a third-down 44.83% conversion rate. Like Cincinnati's defense, although their pass defense is nothing to shout about, they have struggled in stopping the run allowing 188 yards per game. With Cincinnati having to go with Hayden Moore, who has been solid, I believe the Bearcats will try to as well exploit a weak Miami run defense by keeping the ball on the ground. This is not a slam against Hayden Moore but in assessment of how Cincinnati is going to attack this game without regular starter Gunner Kiel.

 

Cincinnati Bearcats
Offensively Cincinnati is averaging 36.3 points per game, 618 yards per game, 6.6 yards per play, and a third-down 44.19% conversion rate. Last week even when their starting quarterback went out with injury they really didn't miss a beat and kept moving the ball. Although they are predominantly a pass first team throwing the ball 56.79% of the time I'm anticipating them to mix it up a lot more today. Another factor to back this up is the fact that Moore has already thrown four interceptions so I believe Cincinnati will try to establish themselves on the ground at first to open up some play action pass. All things considered I think they're going to eat up more clock than anticipated.

Defensively Cincinnati is allowing 40 points per game, 438 yards per game, 6.4 yards per play, and a third-down 30.95% conversion rate. They simply have not played well as a defensive unit this season, but last week they were facing one of the most prolific offenses in Division I football. This week is no easy task facing a Miami team that will come out them with a balanced attack. As with the theme of this write up and mentioned earlier, I believe Miami will try to establish themselves on the ground where Cincinnati has been weak allowing 197.7 yards per game. Still, with the home field advantage I like for Cincinnati to step up and make stops when it counts.

This should be a really fun game to watch and could go either way. Although it might be tempting to back over the total I recommend for your College Football Pick of the night to back under the total in this matchup. Look for both teams to stay on the ground a little bit more than people may anticipate, and for both defenses to play the best game they have yet the season.

College Football Pick: Under 69 at 5Dimes.

Take a Look at our ATS Picks for this Thursday Night Game