Week four of the 2015 college football season kicks off with a Thursday night (7:30 pm ET) matchup between the Cincinnati Bearcats (2-1) and the host Memphis Bearcats (3-0) from Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis, TN. This is a matchup of two of the most prolific offenses in the nation, as the Bearcats led by quarterback Gunnar Kiel (questionable with an injured shoulder) and Memphis signal caller Paxton Lynch square off under the national spotlight.
Cincinnati opened the season with a 52-10 win over Alabama A&M at home in week one, and defeated Miami of Ohio 37-33 on the road last week. In between, they suffered a 34-26 loss to Temple at home.Kiel has been a prolific passer for Cincinnati, completing 63% of his passes this season, but he did throw 4 big interceptions in the week two loss to Temple. If he is unable to play, freshman Hayden Moore will start under center for the Bearcats. The Bearcats average 579 YPG in total offense to rank 7th nationally in that category. On defense Cincinnati is allowing a conference low 152 YPG passing, but they did lose cornerback Adrian Witty last week for an indefinite period of time.
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Memphis opened their campaign with a 63-7 win over Missouri State at home, and followed up with a 55-23 week two win at Kansas and a 44-41 shootout win over Bowling Green last week. Lynch is a 6 foot 7 inch pocket passer who has completed 76% of his passes for 6 TDs and no INTs this season for the Tigers, who are looking for their 11th consecutive victory. The Memphis offense ranks 8th nationally in total offense with 570 YPG,wide receiver Mose Frazier is their top aerial target with 17 receptions for 232 yards and 2 TDs.
Cincinnati vs. Memphis Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Cincinnati Huskies +10
@Memphis Tigers -10
Over 65.5 (-110)
Under 65.5 (-110)
Betting odds taken from Bovada.lv
Cincinnati vs. Memphis Pick:
Cincinnati is 0-5 ATS in their last 5 September games, 6-1-1 ATS in their last 8 conference games and 0-4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall. The Tigers are 6-1-1 ATS in their last 8 games against teams with a winning record, 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 Thursday games and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall. The over is 6-0 in the Bearcats’ last 6 games on fieldturf, 5-0 in their last 5 games against winning teams and 5-0 in their last 5 games overall. The over is 6-0 in Memphis’ last 6 home games, 5-2 in their last 7 conference games and 6-0 in their last 6 games overall. The Bearcats are 5-1 ATS in the last 6 head-to-head meetings between the two teams, 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings in Memphis and the road team is 5-2 ATS in the last 7 meetings between the two teams.
Cincinnati comes limping into the game with key injuries at quarterback and in the secondary, and both should hurt them against an explosive Memphis team that has been tough to beat since the middle of last season. Although Bearcat head coach Tommy Tuberville expects Kiel to play, he cannot be expected to be at his best. That being said, 10.5 points is too many to lay in a conference game on a short week of preparation, especially with a team as prolific offensively as Cincinnati. Both teams have a strong trend in favor of the over, and with two of the most prolific offenses in the nation it is hard to bet against a high scoring game here. Take the over in this one.
PICK – Over 65.5