Thursday Night College Football Picks: Cincinnati vs. Memphis -7

Swinging Johnson

Monday, September 21, 2015 12:11 PM GMT

The Bearcats travel to the Liberty Bowl to take on the undefeated Tigers, but what do the college football odds tell us about this one & which team is ready to cover the all-important number?

Cincinnati (2-1 SU, 0-3 ATS)
Though the Bearcats are at 2-1 on the season those that have been including them in their college football picks know all too well that Cincinnati has been a money burner at the windows. The Cats have yet to cover the spread this season and that was never more evident than last week when they traveled to Miami-Ohio as 21-point favorites and were lucky to escape with a 37-33 victory. Yet here they stand on the young season at 2-1 and getting seven points from the College Football Odds makers against an undefeated Memphis Tigers squad.

Starting quarterback Gunner Kiel was concussed in the third quarter of that game and was replaced by redshirt freshman Hayden Moore who almost gave the game away with his two interceptions and two fumbles for a total of four turnovers in a quarter plus of work. Ultimately the backup got his act together when it counted as he led the Bearcats back from a three-point deficit with only minutes remaining and broke the plane of the endzone to seal the victory for Cincinnati and drew their winning streak over Miami-Ohio to 10 games.

 

Memphis (3-0 SU, 2-1 ATS)
You can't say the Tigers' offense isn't clicking on all cylinders as they have averaged a whopping 54 points per game with their only close contest coming last week as they eked by Bowling Green 44-41 but just failed to cover as 3 ½ point road chalk. Memphis has essentially done whatever what they wanted to do offensively this season averaging over 319 yards through the air and 251 on the ground for a total of over 570 total average yards per game.

The Tigers were nothing if not resilient in their last game against Bowling Green. They came back from a 10-point deficit at the half to score 27 second half points en route to the 44-41 win which spoiled Bowling Green's home opener. Quarterback Paxton Lynch made it all happen as he launched three touchdown strikes, to three different receivers, and went 29-of-40 for 386 yards.

Must Read: Week 4 College Football Early Betting Lines

College Football Pick
You would think that a team like Memphis would have a discernible statistical edge over a team like Cincinnati who struggled to defeat a weak sister like Miami-O as 21-point favorites. But the offensive stats tell a different tale and reveal that these two schools are remarkably similar. For instance Memphis averages 251 yards rushing while Cincinnati averages 236. Cincinnati actually holds a 343 to 319 passing edge. Combined yardage gives the Bearcats a slight nod with 579 total yards versus 570 for the Tigers.

Even defensively the teams are within 25 yards of each other with Cincinnati allowing 330 yards per game while Memphis surrenders an average of 354. But the quality of opponents each has faced is moderately skewed in Memphis's favor. Moreover, if Cincinnati QB Gunner Kiel fails to suit up then we have a starter for the Bearcats in Hayden Moore that had all kinds of difficulties with a weak opponent which begs the question - what will he do against a stout opponent on the road?

I don't feel Moore is up to the task and Memphis should be able to run roughshod over the Cats. Even if Kiel does suit up he won't be one-hundred percent and in order for Memphis to compete in this one he will need to be exactly that. The Tigers torched the Bearcats 41-14 almost a year ago in Cincinnati's own backyard. Now they welcome them into their own sandbox and the results should be equally as lopsided, again in Memphis's favor. Add Tigers to your betting ticket as a winning College Football Pick this Thursday.

College Football Pick: Play Memphis -7 at GTBets

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