Memphis vs. Cincinnati Betting Odds & Picks: Plenty of Value on Saturday’s Over/Under
Brett Carlsen/Getty Images. Pictured: Brady White and Sean Dykes
- Brady White and the Memphis Tigers head to Ohio on Saturday to face Desmond Ridder and the Cincinnati Bearcats.
- The Bearcats are coming off a big win over the SMU Mustangs, and they'll need another one to keep their dream season alive.
- Check out Collin Wilson's full betting preview with updated odds below.
Memphis at Cincinnati Odds
|Memphis Odds||+7 [BET NOW]|
|Cincinnati Odds||-7 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||+200/-250 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||57 [BET NOW]|
|Time||12 p.m. ET|
Cincinnati hosts Memphis on Saturday in what feels like an AAC elimination game for the Tigers.
Both teams have lived up to their billing this year, with Memphis continuing to roll on offense and Cincinnati turning in masterful defensive efforts with a solid ground game to boot.
Here’s how I’m betting Saturday’s game.
Despite a 3-1 record, Memphis finds itself clawing through an AAC conference with three undefeated teams and two other teams with just one loss.
The Tigers offense has been as good as advertised despite major losses at the skill positions over the last year, including WR Damonte Coxie, who left the team two weeks ago.
The Tigers are 14th in Passing Success Rate and 25th in Finishing Drives against a schedule that includes SMU and Central Florida.
— American Football (@American_FB) October 24, 2020
The weakness for Memphis comes on defense, a unit that was heavily exposed in the SMU game.
The Tigers are 87th in defending pass explosiveness and allowed eight passes of 15 yards or more against the Mustangs.
Coverage has been a poor collective effort, as Jacobi Francis and Rodney Owens have allowed targeted passes over 85 yards this season.
Each of Memphis’s five starting defensive backs has allowed a 60% completion rate or higher, per Pro Football Focus.
The Bearcats may have panicked in canceling a trip to Tulsa for concerns over COVID-19 but showed no rust after a three-week layoff in a dominant win over SMU. Cincinnati limited Mustangs QB Shane Buechele to 23-of-44 passing for just 216 yards.
This may be the best defense Fickell has fielded in his four years at Cincinnati, as the Bearcats are 11th in Success Rate, 10th in Havoc and fourth in Finishing Drives. Opponents are scoring just 1.8 points per trip inside the 40-yard line.
On offense, QB Desmond Ridder is posting his most disciplined campaign yet. He’s got a pedestrian 7:4 touchdown-to-interception rate, but just three sacks with minimal fumbles and an average of 10.9 yards per carry have made the Cincinnati offense explosive on the ground.
— Cincinnati Football (@GoBearcatsFB) October 25, 2020
The Cincinnati defense is fourth in the country in Defensive Finishing Drives, always a strength for this team under Fickell. But the offense is now holding up its end of the bargain. The Bearcats rank 20th in Finishing Drives, averaging 4.4 points per trip inside the opponent’s 40.
Betting Analysis & Pick
These two teams know each other quite well after meeting in the final week of AAC play and then again in the AAC Championship Game last season.
Memphis head coach Ryan Silverfield has been with the Tigers offense since 2016, which has provided a number of tough matchups for Fickell, Cincy’s defensive-minded head coach.
These two teams run a much different pace of offense, with the Bearcats at 27.4 seconds per play and the Tigers at 22.4.
The Bearcats play slow, but 42 points against SMU came with a boatload of explosive plays. Cincinnati finished with a 31% Explosive Drive Rate, far beyond the national average of 13%.
The Memphis defense is 41st in defensive rushing expected points and 87th against the pass. Throw in the flailing secondary and lack of stopping power in the red zone, and everything points over.
Memphis can keep up on offense with a pace that ranks 14th. There are not many weaknesses in this Cincinnati defense, but a Sack Rate of 57th suggests Brady White will have plenty of time in the pocket.
In passing attempts without blitzing or pressure, White has completed at least 72% of passes with a 7:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio.
Memphis should keep pace and keep this a one-possession game. If the Tigers happen to catch a two-possession lead, it will be interesting to see if Fickell continues to play slow on offense while trying to get back into it.
Either way, White will be taking shots down the field without pressure in the pocket.
Pick: Over 55 or better; Memphis +7 or better