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Cincinnati Bearcats vs. Alabama Crimson Tide Odds & Game Pick (2021)

by December 27, 2021
College Football Futures

The College Football Playoffs are about to get underway. The Cincinnati Bearcats will take on the Alabama Crimson Tide in the semifinals of the four-team bracket. Between the one and four seeds, this game is the Cotton Bowl, which will be played at AT&T Stadium.

Cincinnati became the first non-Power 5 school to make the College Football Playoffs. There was no room for error. The Bearcats had to finish the regular season undefeated. And they did just that, knocking off a very good Houston team in the AAC Championship to solidify a top-four ranking.

The Bearcats are good, but most won’t give them that credit. A win against Alabama would be one of the biggest upsets in college football history. If you recall, the Crimson Tide already lost a game this year to a mediocre Texas A&M group.

Can Cincinnati even make the Cotton Bowl a competitive game? Here are our picks and predictions for the Cotton Bowl between the Bearcats and Crimson Tide.

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  • Opening Line: Alabama -14, O/U 58
  • Current Line: Alabama  -13.5, O/U 58
  • Last meeting: November 17, 1990, Alabama 45, Cincinnati 7


Of course, nobody is giving Cincinnati a chance in the semifinals against Alabama. Alabama just knocked off Georgia to win the SEC Championship and look like the best team in college football at this very moment. But let’s not forget the fact that Cincinnati is undefeated.

The Bearcats put together a fantastic season, and although some games were close, the Bearcats found a way to go undefeated and win the conference to make the College Football Playoff.

Cincinnati scored 39.2 points per game while allowing 16.1 points per game. The Bearcats dominated play with 428.8 yards per game. The defense allowed just 305.8 yards per game on the season.

The one area of weakness for the Bearcats has to be the offensive line. The offensive line held up against weaker opponents, but against Alabama, things will be highly different. Still, the Bearcats have a lot of playmakers for quarterback Desmond Ridder between running back Jerome Ford and wide receiver Alec Pierce. Those two combined for 27 touchdowns on the season.

On the other hand, the defense was elite in every which way. However, so was Georgia and Georgia allowed Alabama to score 41 points in the SEC Championship game. This, thanks to Heisman Award winner Bryce Young, who threw for 43 touchdowns and just four interceptions on the season.

However, Alabama wasn’t that great defensively this year. The Crimson Tide had their struggles in the passing game this year. Teams threw for over 223 yards per game and weren’t exactly stellar in coverage and the pass rush this season. Against Cincinnati, that pass rush should look better, but ultimately, if Cincinnati wants any shot at this game, they’ll want to test the Alabama secondary.

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  • Bearcats are 6-0 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
  • Bearcats are 11-1 ATS in their last 12 games after allowing less than 100 yards rushing in their previous game.
  • Under is 4-0 in Bearcats last 4 neutral site games as an underdog.

Bottom Line 

The Cincinnati Bearcats dominated defensively in the AAC Championship against a very good Houston team. The Bearcats dominated against a Houston team that was one overtime loss away from being in the same spot at Cincinnati. Yet, the Bearcats made easy work of Houston when under the spotlight.

I’m not going to say Cincinnati is going to win this game. But I do think they cover. I’ll give the Bearcats a chance when nobody else will. I don’t even mind sprinkling a little bit of money on the moneyline. You’ve got nothing to lose by doing it. Any given Saturday! Or, in this case, Friday.

Pick: Cincinnati +13.5 (-110)

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Jason Radowitz is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Jason, check out his archive and follow him @Jason_Radowitz.

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