Miami (OH) vs. Cincinnati Betting Odds, Picks, Predictions: Bet Cincy Early in Week 1 (Saturday, Sept. 4)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images. Pictured: Sauce Gardner.
- Luke Fickell and the Cincinnati Bearcats look to face MAC opponent Miami (OH) in college football action on Saturday afternoon.
- Fickell has a huge winning streak against the RedHawks, and he hopes to continue that streak when all is said and done tonight.
- Check out Doug Ziefel's full betting guide with odds, picks, and predictions for the game.
Miami (OH) vs. Cincinnati Odds
What better way to start the season than with an in-state rivalry game?
The all-time series is tight, as the RedHawks hold the edge at 59-58-7. Though it has not been much of a rivalry of late, as the Bearcats have taken home the Victory Bell each of the last 14 meetings.
Miami (OH) showed promise in its shortened 2020 season, but does it have enough to knock off the eighth- ranked Cincinnati Bearcats and end its losing streak?
Chuck Martin enters his eighth season as head coach in Miami (OH). He has turned the RedHawks into a MAC powerhouse as they currently hold a 25-9 record against conference opponents since 2016.
This may also be Martin’s best team with 19 starters returning. This group should play with plenty of confidence as they won the MAC in 2019 and gave last year’s MAC champion, Ball State, its only loss of the season.
The RedHawks offense will be led by sophomore quarterback, and Blaine Gabbert’s younger brother, Brett Gabbert.
Brett is much more than just Blaine’s brother, as in 2019 he became the first true freshman in program history to start a season opener. Last season, Gabbert came back from injury to have the best game of his career so far. He threw for 308 yards and four touchdowns to lead his team in a win over Akron. Gabbert is now poised to have his best season yet as his top nine receiving options return.
The offense is bolstered by the return of its leading rushers from 2019 that both missed last season. Jaylon Bester and Tyre Shelton combined for 1,318 yards over 14 games in 2019. Coach Martin’s offense showed steady improvement during the absence of his running back tandem. The RedHawks can only become a more potent offense this season.
In 2020, the RedHawks had a couple of bright spots on defense. They managed to get to the quarterback 13 times over three games and only allowed 3.5 yards per carry on the ground.
Those two marks put the defensive unit at first in FBS in sack rate and second in Rushing Success Rate. While it should be noted that those metrics are from a very small sample size, they are impressive nonetheless. This year they return 10 starters, and the group could be formidable if what we saw last season remains true.
The Cincinnati Bearcats come off of one the best seasons in recent school history as they went 9-1 and earned an appearance in the Peach Bowl. They suffered a narrow defeat to Georgia but certainly proved that they can hang with Power Five programs.
Fifth-year head coach Luke Fickell has brought the Bearcats from the depths of the AAC to national-title contender. The turn-around began with the arrival of Desmond Ridder. Ridder took over in 2018, and the Bearcats are 32-5 since.
Last season, Ridder led an offense that averaged 37.5 points per game while also gaining an average of 451 yards of total offense each game. Ridder may be relied upon even more this season as the Bearcats lost their leading rusher and No. 1 pass-catcher to the NFL. The added load on Ridder may just catapult him into being a Heisman candidate.
The old saying is that defense wins championships, and this Cincinnati defense is the reason why some believe the Bearcats could make some noise in the College Football Playoff.
The defense has a line that is touted as a top-10 unit in the nation to go along with what may arguably be the best secondary in the nation. These two units’ efforts combined to lead all FBS teams in Defensive Passing Success Rate and Defensive Finishing Drives Rate in 2020. They also ranked eighth in opponent yards per carry and finished fourth in opponents average passer rating. This year’s unit may prove to be just as formidable with seven starters returning.
Miami (OH) vs. Cincinnati Matchup Analysis
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Miami (OH) Offense vs. Cincinnati Defense
Cincinnati Offense vs. Miami (OH) Defense
Pace of Play / Other
These two teams are quite the mismatch on paper. The Bearcats possess one of the top defenses in the county and will cause numerous problems for the RedHawks offense. They have an elite answer for any type of scheme that Miami could try to deploy.
On the other end of the field, Desmond Ridder is a matchup problem for any defense he goes up against. His dual-threat ability is going to be a tall task for the RedHawks defense, to say the least.
We did see that Miami’s defensive line has the potential to get to the quarterback, but that was against MAC opponents. Their only hope is to create pressure and contain Ridder in the pocket. That should be their defensive philosophy as they can only hope to contain him.
Miami (OH) vs. Cincinnati Betting Pick
The Cincinnati Bearcats will keep possession of the Victory Bell for the 15th year in a row. The RedHawks are going to have issues moving the ball and will do very little, if any, scoring.
The last game between these two was a 21-0 victory by the Bearcats. This game should be in line with the last 14, as over that span, Cincinnati has beaten Miami by an average of 20 points.
The line for this game is currently sitting at 23.5. Our Action Network projection makes the line at 25.2. While there is value on the game line, the majority of the scoring in this game should come early. That makes me much more comfortable taking Cincy to cover in the first half.