Underdog to Cover NCAA Football Odds in Houston/Cincinnati

David Lawrence

Saturday, December 6, 2014 3:10 PM GMT

Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014 3:10 PM GMT

The Cincinnati Bearcats are 7-point favorites on the College Football betting lines as they gun for a share of the AAC championship in today's match against the Houston Cougars.

The Houston Cougars Can Win Because…
Their defense can bring them home in this one. The Cougars are second in the conference in yards allowed (319.5 per game) and are fairly adept at causing turnovers. They have forced 30 this season, which leads the AAC. That’s no fluke either as they led the country with turnovers last season. The Bearcats are hot right now and while they’re riding a six-game winning streak, that sixth win last week might be cause for some concern. They only won 14-6 over the Temple Owls, posting a season-low 255 yards. It would appear that Cincy’s quarterback, Gunner Kiel, has hit a bit of a wall as he’s been under 200 yards passing in each of his last two games. If he does it again, the Bearcats will be in trouble.

When the Cougars have the ball, they shouldn’t face much resistance from the Bearcats defense. Cincinnati is only ahead of two teams in terms of yards allowed in the AAC, giving up a whopping 434.5 per game. The other two teams below them have combined for just two wins, so that could be a problem.

Houston is a live dog here, so you should be considering them for your College Football picks in this spot.

 

The Cincinnati Bearcats Can Win Because…
They’re red-hot right now. The Bearcats stumbled out of the gates this season with three losses in their first five games. Part of that was a tricky schedule and part of it was their own doing. They lost at Ohio State and at Miami (FL), but then also got crushed at home by Memphis by a score of 41-14. But it turns out Memphis is pretty good…as are the Bearcats.

Since that three-game losing streak, the Bearcats have turned it around. They enter Saturday’s game on a six-game winning streak. They’ve scored 222 points in those six games, which boils down to a whopping 37 per game. The Cougars are just an average offensive team, ranking fifth in the league in yards per game (391.2) and fourth in scoring (29.2).

The bottom line is Cincy has a whole lot more to play for here than does Houston. The Bearcats can earn a share of the AAC with a win here while Houston has little to gain. That difference is going to be a game changer as the Bearcats will simply be crisper today.

 

Outlook
This looks like a very dangerous spot for the Bearcats. Houston has a decent offense and one of the better defenses in the conference. The Bearcats have the better offense but they struggled last week and their starting quarterback hasn’t looked good for two weeks in a row. Beyond that, the Bearcats defense is one of the worst in the conference.

These teams are far more evenly matched than you might think as they’re only separated by one win. Look for Houston to not only cover the NCAA Football odds here but to potentially play spoiler and win outright. This should be a high-scoring affair and the Cougars should be in it all the way to the end.

Free College Football Pick: Cougars +7 at The Greek

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