Louisville Cardinals vs. Cincinnati Bearcats Betting Pick
Opening Line: Louisville -3
Time: 7:30 PM EST Thursday December 5, 2013 on ESPN / WatchESPN
The winner of the American Athletic Conference will snag an automatic BCS berth, but the scenario is not a simple one. If UCF loses to SMU on Saturday the winner of this game will get the berth, but UCF wins then Cincinnati will only get it with a win since Louisville lost to UCF earlier this season. However, Cincinnati would have to finish higher than UCF in the BCS rankings since they do not face them this season. Pretty simple right?
The winner of this game will win the Keg of Nails trophy and it may be the last one since Louisville is heading to the ACC next season.
While QB Teddy Bridgewater has gotten most of the press for Louisville this season as a possible Heisman candidate and No.1 selection in the next NFL draft it is the Cardinals' 3rd ranked defense that is the strength of the team. His Heisman stock has taken a hit in the last few weeks, as in the last 3 games he only has 2 TD.
Cincinnati has won 6 straight games and they also have a solid defense ranking 10th in the nation only allowing 18.5 ppg.
Louisville will be the first ranked team Cincinnati has faced this season.
In their last games Cincinnati beat Houston 24-17 and Louisville beat Memphis 24-17.
Louisville is 4-7 ATS with an Over/Under record of 2-9 and Cincinnati is 6-5 ATS with an Over/Under record of 6-5.
The Bearcats have won 16 of their last 18 home games.
Bridgewater threw for 416 yards with 2 TD in last year's 34-31 win over Cincinnati. He has a good WR corps led by big play WR Devante Parker, who is averaging 17.3 yards per catch on the season. Cincinnati's pass defense ranks 24th in the nation, but their 16th ranked pass rush may be more important facing a Louisville offensive line that has given up 8 sacks in their last 3 games.
Louisville is a pass first offense with a rushing offense ranking 84th in the nation. Lead RB Dominique Brown struggled in the win over Memphis and will be facing a strong Cincy run defense that ranks 4th in the nation.
The Bearcats' offense is similar to the Cardinals, as their strength is the aerial attack. QB Brandon Kay has passed for over 400 yards in 2 straight games, but has 5 INT in his last 3 games. RB Hosey Williams has been playing well as of late and while racking up a ton of yards he has averaged over 6 yards per carry in 3 straight games.
Louisville has a stacked and balanced defense ranking 2nd in the nation in both pass and run defense and they have the nation's top ranked pass rush.Betting Trends
Louisville is 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games overall, 0-4 ATS vs. a team with a winning record, and they have an Under record of 4-0 in their last 4 games.
Cincinnati is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall, 9-4 ATS in their last 13 home games, and they have an Over record of 7-2 in their last 9 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
Cincinnati is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games facing Louisville.
Against the Spread Pick
Take the Cincinnati Bearcats +3 at Bovada