Week 12 of the 2012 college football season features a compelling match up in the Big East Saturday afternoon (12:00pm ET) from Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati, OH with the 22nd ranked Scarlet Knights of Rutgers (8-1) taking on the host Cincinnati Bearcats (7-2). The Scarlet Knights have a record of 6-3 ATS this season, and are on a major hot streak having covered in six of their last seven games including a 28-7 win over Army last week to cover a 17 point line. Cincinnati is 6-2 ATS this year, and has covered in their last three games including a 34-10 win at Temple last week as an 8 point favorite, and a 35-24 win over Syracuse the previous week as a 5 point favorite.
This season the Scarlet Knight offense ranks 77th among FBS teams in scoring with 26.2 points per game; and 100th in the nation in total offense with 347.6 yards per contest. Quarterback Gary Nova (1,939 yards passing, 18 TDs, 10 INTs) has been effective in spurts, and running back Jawan Jamison (953 yards rushing) has been dealing with a sprained ankle but is expected to play Saturday against Rutgers. The defense has been outstanding for Rutgers this season, ranking 5th among FBS teams in scoring defense with 13.4 PPG allowed and 14th in total defense with 309.4 YPG allowed.
Cincinnati has been effective on offense this season, ranking 35th in the nation in scoring offense with 34.2 PPG and 33rd in total offense with 455.6 YPG. Dual-threat QB Munchie Legaux (1,716 yards passing, 13 TDs, 9 INTs; 335 yards rushing, 4 TDs) and running back George Winn (980 yards rushing, 9 TDs) are the primary cogs in a unit that ranks 16th in the country in rushing offense with 226.8 YPG. The Bearcat defense ranks 21st in scoring defense with 18.8 PPG allowed and 46 in total defense with 376.2 YPG allowed.
Rutgers vs. Cincinnati Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Rutgers Scarlet Knights +6.5
@ Cincinnati Bearcats -6.5
Over 48 (-110)
Under 48 (-110)
Betting odds taken from Bovada.lv
Rutgers vs. Cincinnati Pick:
Rutgers has a 4-0 record ATS in their last 4 Big East games, a 9-3-1 record ATS in their last 13 games against a team with a winning record and a 6-1 record ATS in their last 7 games overall. The Bearcats are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 Big East games, 5-1 ATS in their last 6 home games and 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games overall. The under is 8-3 in Rutgers’ last 11 Big East games, 7-3 in their last 10 road games and 13-5 in their last 18 games overall. The under is 7-1 in Cincinnati’s last 8 November games and 9-4 in their last 1 Big East games, while the over is 4-1 in their last 5 home games. The underdog is 5-1 ATS in the last 6 head-to-head meetings between the two teams. Rutgers won last season’s meeting 20-3 at home as a 3 point underdog to the Bearcats.
The Scarlet Knights come into this game as one of the hottest teams in the country, with only an upset loss to a surprising Kent State team two weeks ago as a blemish on their record. Cincinnati has lost to the two best teams they have played this season, Louisville (34-31 on October 26) and Toledo (29-23 on October 20), and other than a mediocre Virginia Tech team they have not beaten an opponent near the quality of Rutgers. Rutgers snapped a 5 game losing streak to the Bearcats last season, and this Cincinnati team is not near the quality of the previous teams that owned the Scarlet Knights. The Bearcats edge in the series is the main reason they are favored here, but this season is what counts not the past. Take advantage of the points and take the Scarlet Knights in this game.
PICK = Rutgers +6.5