The top Friday night (8:00pm ET) game features the Cincinnati Bearcats (4-3) and the Tulane Green Wave (2-5) of the American Athletic Conference squaring off at Yulman Stadium in New Orleans, LA. Cincinnati has won two games in a row, defeating South Florida 34-17 at home last week and SMU 41-3 on the road the previous week to end a three-game losing streak. Their losses came against Ohio St. (50-28 on the road), Memphis (41-14 at home) and Miami (55-34 on the road). Tulane had a bye last week and the lost 20-13 at UCF their last time out. They have defeated Southeast Louisiana (35-20) and UConn (12-3), while falling to power conference foes Georgia Tech (38-21), Duke (47-13) and Rutgers (31-6).
The Bearcats rank 35th among all FBS teams in scoring offense with 34.3 points per game and 29th in total offense with 464 yards per game. Quarterbacks Gunner Kiel and Munchie Legaux are both expected to play on Friday night, Kiel suffered bruised ribs against South Florida. Legaux replaced him in that game and looked sharp, throwing for 121 yards on 14 of 15 passing. Cincinnati ranks 93rd nationally in scoring defense with 32 PPG allowed and 29th in total defense with 464 YPG allowed.
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Tulane ranks 116th nationally in scoring offense with 18.7 PPG and 104th in total offense with 354 YPG. The Green Wave will have the services of freshman running back Sherman Badie (83.1 YPG), who suffered and injured ankle against UCF. He will team with Lazedrick Thompson to form the inside-outside tandem that Tulane has utilized to average 164.7 YPG (64th nationally) on the ground. Defensively Tulane ranks 78th nationally in points allowed with 28.1 per game and 104th in total defense with 354 YPG allowed.
Cincinnati vs. Tulane Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Cincinnati Bearcats -4
@Tulane Green Wave +4
Over 57 (-110)
Under 57 (-110)
Betting odds taken from BetOnline.ag
Cincinnati vs. Tulane Pick:
Tulane has not scored more than 13 points in their last 4 games, going 1-3 straight up in the process. Cincinnati is one of the better passing teams in the nation, ranking 12th nationally, and they should be able to throw on Tulane regardless of who takes the snaps even though their secondary has been one of the bright spots for the Green Wave on defense. The Green Wave is incapable of stopping the run, ranking 109th nationally with 213.7 YPG allowed, so most of their opponents have not had to rely on passing the ball to move up and down the field on them. The Bearcats are a passing team, and even if Kiel is slowed down with his bruised ribs, Legaux proved last week that he is back from a horrific knew injury last season and is sharp and adds the dual-threat element to the Cincinnati offense.
Tulane has not been able to compete against the power conference opponents on their schedule; they have averaged a mere 11 PPG in their last 4 games, well below their dismal average. The Bearcats posses an offense that is every bit as potent as Tulane’s recent opponents, and they should put up a point total in line with those teams. Cincinnati comes in to this game hot having averaged over 36 PPG over their last 3 games, and they should be able to continue that trend against a weak Tulane defense. Take the Bearcats and give the points here.