#4 Cincinnati vs East Carolina

#4 Cincinnati vs East Carolina | NCAAF Betting Predictions

Unbeaten Cincinnati rose to No. 4 in the new College Football Playoff Top 25, meaning the Bearcats could become the first Group of 5 school to play in the national semifinals. They visit a dangerous East Carolina team on Friday with UC a two-TD favorite on the NCAAF odds.

How to Bet Cincinnati at East Carolina NCAA Football Odds & TV Info

  • When: Friday, 3:30 PM ET
  • Where: Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium
  • TV: ABC
  • Stream: ESPN app
  • Radio: Tunein.com
  • Opening NCAAF Lines: Cincinnati -14 (total 57.5)

Last Season

Cincinnati blew out East Carolina 55-17 last year. UC quarterback Desmond Ridder threw for 327 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another score. The Bearcats’ offense produced 653 total yards and averaged nearly 10 yards per play.  ECU had 293 total yards, more than 100 yards below its season average. After passing for 535 yards against the Bearcats in 2019, Holton Ahlers threw for 87 yards with three interceptions. He was sacked four times. East Carolina still leads the all-time series 13-11.

Why Bet on Cincinnati?

The Cincinnati football team made history on Tuesday by being ranked No. 4 in the fourth College Football Playoff Rankings. The Bearcats are the first non-Power 5 team to crack the Top 4 in the history of the CFP (since 2014).

UC (11-0) clinched a spot in the AAC title game with last week’s 48-14 win over SMU – Cincinnati will host Houston in next week’s AAC title game with a win here. Star QB Desmond Ridder threw three touchdowns, rushed for a score and caught his first career touchdown in the win over SMU. He is believed to be the first Bearcat in school history to throw, run and catch a touchdown in a single game.

Ridder, who finished with 274 yards on 17 of 23 passing and 46 rushing yards, was one of 34 seniors who was honored before the game. The four-year UC class registered its 42nd win since 2018, the most in a four-year stretch in UC history.

The win was Cincinnati’s 14th in a row against AAC and 37th straight win against unranked opponents. The Bearcats are 20-2 (.909) since 2019 against AAC opponents, which is the best mark in the conference. UC is 35-2 when leading at the half under Coach Luke Fickell. Ridder can become the third FBS quarterback ever with 43 wins by beating ECU.

Cincinnati and current-No. 1 Georgia are the only two teams in the nation that rank in the Top 10 in both scoring offense (UC – 40.0 ppg, 8th) and scoring defense (UC – 16.0 ppg, 6th). Cincinnati is one just three undefeated teams, joining Georgia and UTSA. UC has nine wins by double digits.

UC is the only team with a double-digit victory over a CFP Top 10 team (24-13 at current CFP No. 7 Notre Dame). Defensively, the Bearcats rank No. 6 in the nation in scoring defense (16.0), No. 1 in pass efficiency defense (94.92), No. 2 in opponent completion percentage (52.8%), No. 2 in pass yards allowed (155.5), No. 3 in interceptions (16), No. 4 in yards per play allowed (4.35), No. 4 in TD passes allowed (7) and No. 6 in total defense (305.2). Cincinnati ranks No. 3 in the country in turnovers gained (26) and No. 5 in turnover margin (+11).

Why Bet on East Carolina?

East Carolina (7-4) beat Navy 38-35 last week. Freshman Owen Daffer drilled a 54-yard field goal as time expired – eclipsing his previous best by 16 yards.  ECU had tied it at 35-35 with 5:01 to play on a Holton Ahlers touchdown pass and two-point conversion before forcing Navy to punt with 1:11 to play.

Ahlers, who threw for 405 yards and three touchdowns, got the Pirates in position to score with a 46-yard pass to Tyler Snead. But after Keaton Mitchell managed just 1 yard, the clock drained down to 4 seconds. A false start penalty moved the ball back to the 36 – a timeout rescued the Pirates from a 10-second runoff and ending regulation. The 54-yarder was the longest game-winner in school history.

Ahlers completed 27 of 32 passes in throwing for 400-plus yards for the fifth time in his career. He also rushed for 48 yards on seven carries. Mitchell surpassed the single-season 1,000-yard mark with a 23-yard rush on the initial snap of the game against Navy, becoming the first East Carolina running back since 2013 to reach four digits in a campaign. East Carolina’s 1,895-yard rushing total in 2021 marks the program’s third-highest 11-game clip since 2000.

A triumph over Cincinnati would give ECU an 8-4 slate, matching its second-best record in the last 10 years (9-3/2013, 8-4/2012, 8-4/2014). A loss against the Bearcats would be the first time since 2007 that East Carolina would be 7-5 after 12 contests.

It will be the Pirates’ first against an opponent ranked in the AP’s Top 4 since facing West Virginia at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium in 2006. East Carolina is 13-62-1 all-time against opponents ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 poll (at the time the game was played). East Carolina is the only Group of 5 program nationally which has hosted ranked AP opponents in each of the last five years.

Game Trends

  • Bearcats are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games as a road favorite.
  • Bearcats are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
  • Bearcats are 4-0 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
  • Pirates are 5-0-1 ATS in their last 6 games as an underdog.
  • Pirates are 8-1 ATS in their last 9 conference games.
  • Bearcats are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 meetings.

Expert Prediction

  • Cincinnati 38, East Carolina 23

 

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