An AAC title will be on the line Saturday night in Cincinnati as the #21 and surging Houston Cougars will take on the #4 Bearcats, who have aspirations that go well beyond the AAC. With likely a shot to play in the CFP on the line for the home Bearcats, all the pressure is on head coach Luke Fickell and his team to finish the job for Group of 5 teams everywhere.
Let’s take a closer look at the game itself.
- Opening Line: Bearcats -10.5, O/U 55
- Current Line: Bearcats -10.5, O/U 53.5
Since losing their season opener to Texas Tech, the Cougars have been on a tear of epic proportions in the AAC. Winning all 11 games since the Cougars finished the season, covering two of three while quietly having one of the best defenses in the country that’s inside the top 10 in rushing yards (#8) and total yards (#6) allowed.
For the Bearcats, every Group of Five program in the country will be glued to their status on Saturday as they look to become the first G5 team to crack the CFP. While a win would by no means guarantee a spot, a big win would all but as they are currently #4 and firmly (seemingly) in control of their destiny.
- Cougars are 1-4 ATS in L5 in role of underdog
- Bearcats are 5-0 ATS in L5 vs. teams with winning records
While many think of the Bearcats 40 points per game and elusive QB Desmond Ridder when they think of this team, their defense is what has got them to this point. #3 in the country in points allowed (15.8), the Bearcats have a secondary that flies all over the field and is one of the best in the country, allowing just 160.6 yards per game.
At the end of this one, I like for the Cougars defense to keep this one close, and while I think the Bearcats do get the win late, I want a close game in this one.
Pick: Cougars +10.5
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