The Friday night (8:00pm ET) game of the week features a pair of Big East rivals squaring off with the Cincinnati Bearcats (5-1) traveling to Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium in Louisville, KT to take on their 14th ranked and undefeated host Louisville Cardinals (7-0). The Bearcats are 3-2 ATS this season, and come into this contest one a two-game losing streak ATS with a 29-23 loss at Toledo last week. The Cardinals are 3-4 ATS this season, and failed to cover last week in a 27-25 win over South Florida with a 6 point spread.
The Cincinnati offense has averaged 34.7 points per game, good for 35th among all FBS teams, and has averaged 467.5 yards per contest (24th in the nation) of total offense with dual-threat signal caller Munchie Legaux (1,435 yards passing, 12 TDs, 264 yards rushing, 3 TDs) under center. The Bearcat defense has been outstanding as well this season, ranking 20th nationally in scoring defense with 16.8 PPG allowed and 38th in total defense with 352.7 YPG allowed.
Louisville has not been a dominant team this season despite their unblemished record, the Cardinals rank 46th in scoring offense with 32.4 PPG and 61st in total offense with 405.6 YPG. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (1,694 yards passing, 11 TDs, 3 INTs) has stepped up his game in his second season as a starter, and has been the difference make for the Cardinals so far this season. Their defense has been solid, ranking 36th nationally with 21.9 PPG allowed and 32nd in total defense with 339 YPG allowed.
Cincinnati vs. Louisville Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Cincinnati Bearcats +3.5
@ Louisville Cardinals -3.5
Over 52.5 (-110)
Under 52.5 (-110)
Betting odds taken from Bovada.lv
Cincinnati vs. Louisville Pick:
Cincinnati has gone 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games overall, 4-9 ATS in their last 13 games against winning teams, and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 Friday games. The Cardinals are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games against teams with a winning record, 6-13 ATS in their last 19 home games, and 4-9 ATS in their last 13 Friday games. The under is 5-1 in Cincinnati’s last 6 Big East games, 4-1 in their last 5 road games and 19-7-1 in their last 27 October games. The under is 10-2 in Louisville’s last 12 home games, 19-7 in their last 26 October games and 5-2-1 in their last 8 games against a team with a winning record. In head-to-head play, the road team is 6-1 ATS in the last 7 meetings between the two teams, and the favorite is 11-4 ATS in their last 15 meetings. The Bearcats have won 4 straight games outright in the series, including last season at home when they failed to cover a 13 point line in their 25-16 win over the Cardinals.
These two teams are very evenly matched statistically, and the Bearcats are coming off a tough defeat last week to a Toledo team that is having an outstanding season, while the Cardinals have been living dangerously all season long with many close games. The Cardinals have not been a good bet ATS this season in general, and in this series in particular. The call here is that Louisville’s luck will run out in this game against a motivated Bearcat team that wants to avenge their loss last week and has dominated the Cardinals in this series in recent years. Take the underdog Bearcats in this game and the points.
PICK = Cincinnati +3.5