College Football Odds & Picks for Cincinnati vs. USF: How to Bet Friday’s AAC Matchup

College Football Odds & Picks for Cincinnati vs. USF: How to Bet Friday’s AAC Matchup article feature image

Andy Lyons/Getty Images. Pictured: Jerome Ford.

  • Updated odds have Cincinnati at -24 against USF on Friday night.
  • Cincinnati is looking for a dominant win after coming in at No. 5 in the College Football Playoff rankings.
  • Check out Kyle Remillard's top bet for the game below.

Cincinnati vs. USF Odds

Friday, Nov. 12
6 p.m. ET
Cincinnati Odds
-115o / -105u
USF Odds
-115o / -105u
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Cincinnati has struggled to put opponents away over the last three weeks, which is providing the College Football Committee the ammunition it needs to keep Cincinnati out of the playoff.

The Bearcats jumped up to the fifth spot in this week’s CFP rankings but are still on the outside looking in.

The Bearcats have two one-possession victories over Navy and Tulsa, with a 19-point win over Tulane sandwiched between them. Head coach Luke Fickell continues to preach his program isn’t worrying about the committee and has focused on winning the final three games.

However, it's easy to assume he knows they need a big statement game soon if they want to keep hopes alive.

Luckily for Cincinnati, it has a Friday date with South Florida, which is 2-7 this season. It’s a perfect opportunity for the Bearcats to keep their foot on the gas pedal and find themselves with the blowout victory they’ve been longing for.

South Florida has been playing more competitive football over the last month, including hanging with Houston deep into the second half last week.

The Bearcats are poised to win their 13th consecutive AAC game, but whether they can cover as large road favorites could be another story.

Cincinnati Bearcats

Despite all the noise about whether Cincinnati deserves to be in the top four, the Bearcats are putting together the best season in the school’s history.

They’re one of four undefeated FBS programs, winning by an average margin of 24 points per game. Luke Fickell’s squad still maintains a 25-game home win streak and a 13-game AAC win tear.

Cincinnati Leans on Defense

The defense has been the backbone of this program’s success over the last two seasons. The unit has allowed just over two touchdowns per game, owning one of the nation's most dominant passing defenses.

The Bearcats have allowed 5.3 yards per pass attempt that ranks second in the country. They've forced 22 turnovers on the season, including 14 interceptions. The front seven has been dominant with 63 tackles for loss and 20 sacks.

Over the last four games, opponents have rushed the ball on 206 of 295 plays against the Bearcats, a rush rate of 70%. They have averaged 4.0 yards per carry in that span, as teams would rather attempt to chip away on the ground than pass against the lethal defense.

Bearcats Score in Bunches

Cincinnati’s offense has grown to be one of the top groups in the nation that ranks sixth in scoring (38 PPG) and fourth in points per play.

The rushing attack is dominant behind the legs of Jerome Ford, who has rushed in 15 touchdowns and averaged 6.3 yards per carry. His status is unknown for this game, but Fickell has mentioned he isn't overly concerned about his injury.

The passing attack is equally as efficient through Desmond Ridder's 20 touchdowns and 8.6 yards per pass attempt. Offensively, the Bearcats should have their way against the lackluster USF defense that ranks 123rd in creating Havoc.

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South Florida Bulls

Timmy McClain Settles in as USF Quarterback

It’s been another tough season for second-year head coach Jeff Scott, who has seen one FBS victory (Temple) in his first two seasons.

The team was competitive last week against Houston, losing 54-42, but was outgained by nearly 350 yards of total offense.

After shuffling in three different quarterbacks, Scott has settled on Timmy McClain as the starter. McClain has accounted for four of the five passing touchdowns the Bulls have collected this season. He’s also tossed four interceptions while completing just under 55% of his attempts.

Xavier Weaver is the only receiving threat on the USF roster. He’s averaging 64 yards per game and had his first 100-yard receiving game last week against Houston. It’s safe to assume that the USF aerial game will have little success against the dominant Cincinnati pass defense.

South Florida owns a rush rate of 59% while averaging 4.4 yards per carry. Junior running back Jaren Mangham (6-foot-2, 220 pounds) has punched in 13 touchdowns. He’s averaging only 12 carries per game and 4.4 yards on those attempts. He will need a steady workload and attempt to mimic the blueprints from the other AAC teams if they want to move the chains.

Bulls Defense Will Struggle

Defensively, the Bulls have allowed 35 points per game and nearly 490 yards of total offense.

The unit has been putrid owning the 127th-ranked Success Rate against the pass and 96th against the run. When facing FBS opponents, the Bulls have allowed 5.9 yards per carry (124th), 9.2 yards per pass attempt (118th), and, 7.3 yards per play for 126th overall.

It’s hard to imagine this group being able to slow down a Cincinnati offense that's looking to blow the doors open.

Cincinnati vs. USF Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Cincinnati and USF match up statistically:

Cincinnati Offense vs. USF Defense
Rush Success2196
Line Yards5690
Pass Success58127
Pass Blocking**79113
Big Play25111
Finishing Drives1499
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

USF Offense vs. Cincinnati Defense
Rush Success5725
Line Yards6845
Pass Success10915
Pass Blocking**752
Big Play3422
Finishing Drives1016
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling3128
Middle 814103
SP+ Special Teams8433
Plays per Minute6870
Rush Rate53.9% (70)58.6% (40)

Data via College Football Data, FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF and SportSource Analytics.

Cincinnati vs. USF Betting Pick

On paper, this is one of the worst matchups for South Florida.

The USF offense is one-dimensional and poses a minimal threat through the passing game. Cincinnati’s defense will adapt to opponents utilizing a 70% rush rate against it and will crowd the line of scrimmage.

The Bearcats' cornerbacks should also have a field day against the Bulls' receivers.

South Florida’s defense is allowing the most yards per game (just below 490) in the conference. The Cincinnati offense is one of the most efficient groups in the country and will find success in the air and on the ground.

It will be rare for a Bearcats offensive possession to end with anything other than an extra point in this game. They’re poised to finally get that dominant win that will help build their resume for the committee.

Pick: Cincinnati -23 (Play to -24.5)

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