In sports, a team is only as good as their last season. Good work done in the past can quickly be forgotten if a team fails to live up to their past successes. With that in mind, this is a critical season for the Cincinnati Bearcats. Last year, they went unbeaten, won the AAC, and made it to the playoffs, which was an amazing accomplishment for a team sitting outside the Power 5. This will be the last season that the Bearcats compete in the AAC, as they will be heading to the Big 12 in 2023, with Texas and Oklahoma moving over to the SEC. That move may be one of the reasons why coach Luke Fickell stayed on board, when he could easily have jumped ship to one of the bigger schools in the Power 5. Part of being successful at the college level means seeing your best players head to the NFL. The Bearcats have some holes to fill this year because of that, but under Fickell, they have done a good job of that. Let’s look ahead to what this season might hold so you can plan your bets against the NCAAF Betting Odds.
Cincinnati Bearcats 2022 Season Betting Guide
Cincinnati Regular Season
The problem that teams outside of the Power 5 have is putting together a schedule that will catch the eye of the Playoff Committee. The Bearcats will start the new season with a road trip to face the Arkansas Razorbacks, who went 9-4 last season. It’s certainly not an easy opening game and is one that could derail them early.
They follow that up with 3 home games, starting with Kennesaw State, which should be a comfortable win. They will then have Miami-Ohio, followed by Indiana, another Power 5 team. This is a stretch of games that should be one than Cincinnati should be able to manage without any real struggle.
The Bearcats then have a trying stretch of games, with 3 of their next 4 played on the road. They start off in Tulsa before facing USF at home. A pair of difficult road trips come next, with visits to SMU and UCF. 3-1 looks to be a reasonable prediction for that run.
The Bearcats will close out the season with 3 of their final 4 games at home, which should give them a very solid advantage coming down the stretch. I think their playoff hopes will be gone by this point, but they will still be looking to secure their spot in the AAC Championship Game. They will have Navy and East Carolina at home, followed by a road trip to face Temple. Cincinnati will then close out the season at home to Tulane.
Regular Season and Beyond
I would definitely be putting some money on the Bearcats to win the AAC Championship for the 3rd straight season, as they still look like the best team in the conference. A second straight trip to the playoffs looks like a bridge too far, and I expect them to close out the regular season ranked in the 10-15 range. That should be good enough to get them a very good bowl game.
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