One of the top matchups for this upcoming week 7 of the 2010 college football season will take place Friday night (8:00 pm ET) in Louisville, Kentucky where the Cincinnati Bearcats (2-3) travel to take on the Louisville Cardinals (3-2) in a Big East matchup. The Bearcats rolled over the Cardinals in last year’s matchup by a score of 41-10, and come into their Big East opener looking to maintain the momentum from last week’s 45-3 dismantling of Miami of Ohio after a tough 31-29 loss to then-number 8 ranked Oklahoma the previous week in their only game against a ranked opponent thus far this season. The Cardinals come into the game with momentum as well after destroying Memphis 56-0 last week, but also lost their only game against a ranked opponent this season, losing 35-28 to then-number 25 Oregon St. in week 3.
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The Bearcats are led on offense by junior QB Zach Collaros, who has thrown for 12 TDs and only 1 INT so far this season, totaling 1180 yards through the air and running less than he did in part-time duty last season when he averaged 6.0 YPC. Collaros’ leading receiver is junior D.J. Woods, who is averaging almost 17 yards per reception with 5 TDs. The Bearcats feature more of a balanced attack than they did last season with Tony Pike under center, and junior Isaiah Pead has 41 carries for 402 yards (9.8 YPC) on the year. The Bearcat’s defense has been very good against the run this season, allowing only 84.8 yards per game on the ground, but their Achilles heel has been pass defense with 267.6 yards per game allowed through the air.
Louisville is led on offense by senior Adam Froman at QB, who has thrown for 1,117 yards and 9 TDs with 4 INTS on the season with a 59.4% completion rate. Froman’s main target on offense is receiver Josh Bellamy who is averaging 17.7 yards per reception with 4 TDs, but Froman does an excellent job of spreading the ball around. Running back Bilal Powell has been a force for the Cardinals on the ground with 689 yards rushing on 91 attempts (7.6 YPC) with 7 TDs. New head coach Charlie Strong has the defense playing much better this season, allowing only 19 points per game and 181.8 yards through air per contest, but the Cardinals run defense is only middle of the pack and could have its hands full with Pead.
Cincinnati comes into the game 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games overall and 1-5 ATS in their last six as a favorite. Louisville is only 1-4 ATS in their last five home games, and 2-10 ATS in their last 12 Big East games. The under is 16-4-1 in the Bearcats last 21 games in October, and the favorite is 10-3 ATS in the last 13 meetings between these two opponents.
Cincinnati vs Louisville Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Cincinnati Bearcats -3
@ Louisville Cardinals +3
Over 56.5 (-110)
Under 56.5 (-110)
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Cincinnati vs. Louisville Prediction for Week 7 Friday Evening Game:
Spread Prediction (Top Play) – Cincinnati is the pick here on the road. The trend will end here in terms of the Bearcats not being able to cover their conference games, Cincinnati has been rising and falling to the quality of their opponent this season under a new head coach, it looks like they have finally made the right adjustments after blowing out a decent Miami of Ohio team last week that gave Florida all it could handle down in the Swamp to start the season.
Over/Under Prediction – Take the over here as both teams have weak links in their defense that can and will be exploited. Cincinnati has trouble stopping the pass, and Louisville has had some difficulty with stopping the run. Look for Bearcat running back Bilal Powell to have a big day on the ground, and for Collaros to run more than he has so far this season. Froman from Louisville should also be able to put up some big numbers against the beleaguered Bearcat secondary. This should make for an exciting and high-scoring game down in Louisville this Friday night, with a track that might even be as fast the one over at Churchill Downs.