NCAA Football Betting Preview
No. 5 Cincinnati Bearcats (11-0) at No. 14 Pittsburgh Panthers (9-2)
Saturday December 5th, 12:00PM Eastern
Betus.com betting line – Cincinnati -2, 58 ½ O/U
The 5th ranked Cincinnati Bearcats have had a great undefeated season as they stand at 11-0 on the year with the taste of a BCS Bowl Game on their tongue. However, for much of the 2nd half of the season they have been on a collision course with the no. 14 Pittsburgh Panthers who until last week were also undefeated in Big East play. The Panthers were upset by West Virginia last week, but they still have the chance to win the conference title outright with a head to head victory over the Bearcats this Saturday.
The Bearcats own one of the most dangerous offenses east of the Mississippi averaging 40 points per contest. QB Tony Pike was getting a lot of Heisman consideration before injuring his wrist this season. However, Pike battled his way back to start behind center last week and was very impressive completing 32 of 46 for 399 yards with a career high 6 touchdown passes. WR Mardy Gilyard had another big outing with 7 catches for 102 yards putting him over the 1,000 yard mark this season. Gilyard is the big play factor that the Panthers must maintain, but the Bearcats have plenty of talent in the receiving core that has the ability to have a big night.
Pittsburgh has given up over 200 yards per game through the air which should mean Pike will have the opportunity to move the ball up and down the field again through the air. Bearcats running back Isaiah Pead has not posted huge numbers, but can give the offense plenty of balance averaging 6.5 yards per carry. Pead is usually very effective when the Bearcats can complete a few passes in a row and then pop the defense with a run up the middle. If the Bearcats offense can do that, it will really frustrate the Pittsburgh defensive efforts.
The Panthers offense has one of the best running threats in the conference or the nation for that matter averaging 183 yards per game. Freshman running back Dion Lewis may just be one of those special rare talents that has a very bright future. Lewis ranks 5th in the country in individual rushing yards with 1,446 yards total this season and 13 touchdowns. Outside the running game, the Panthers are plenty affective in the passing game as well. QB Bill Stull is a proven veteran who has completed 65% with 19 touchdowns and 6 interceptions this season while accumulating 2,294 yards in the process.
Wide outs Jonathan Baldwin and Dorin Dickerson are the main targets on the outside. Dickerson leads the team with 10 touchdowns while grabbing 45 passes. However, Baldwin has been the big play threat averaging over 20 yards a reception with 48 catches on the season to go along with 6 touchdowns. So which side of the offense will be most effective against the Bearcats? The best scenario would be to establish the ground game with Lewis because if that happens it helps keep the Bearcats dangerous offense off the field. If Pittsburgh establishes ball control, it will help the efforts tremendously.
Betting Trends -
The Bearcats have reached the over total in 6 of his last 9 games while holding a 4-1 ATS mark in the last 5 games. Pittsburgh is 4-2 ATS in their last 6 games and reached the under total in 6 of the last 7 games including the under in 4 of the last 5 games at home.
Pick – Pittsburgh +2