On New Year’s Eve, #1 Alabama takes on #4 Cincinnati in the first College Football Semifinal in the annual Cotton Bowl at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. Alabama has drifted from a -11 favorite all the way to a -14 chalk. The Crimson Tide boast Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young and a top defense. Will the Tide blow out Cincinnati on their way to another National Championship trip? Or will the Bearcats keep this game close? See below for College Football Bowl odds, analysis, and a free pick for Alabama versus Cincinnati.
CFP Semifinal at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic: Cincinnati versus Alabama Betting Analysis
Cotton Bowl Odds | Cincinnati Bearcats vs Alabama Crimson Tide
- When: Friday, Dec. 31 at 3:30 pm ET
- Where: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX
- TV / Streaming: ESPN / ESPN+
- ATS Odds: Alabama -14
- Moneyline Odds: Cincinnati +380 / Alabama -565
- Over/Under Odds: 58
Why bet on Cincinnati versus Alabama?
The Bearcats boast one of the better defenses in the nation. Cincinnati holds opponents to less than 305 yards per and around 16 points each game. On offense, Cincinnati leans on a top quarterback in Desmond Ridder. The Bearcats signal-caller didn’t post the stats Young did, but he led the AAC winners to an undefeated season.
Cincinnati Bearcats Offensive Averages
- Total Yards: 428.5
- Passing Yards: 248.7
- Rushing Yards: 179.8
- Points Scored: 39.2
- Turnovers: 10
Cincinnati Bearcats Defensive Averages
- Total Yards: 304.9
- Passing Yards: 167.5
- Rushing Yards: 137.5
- Points Scored: 16.1
- Takeaways: 18
Why bet on Alabama versus Cincinnati?
Alabama quarterback Bryce Young is unstoppable. Young can dominate you with both his arm and his legs. During the season, the Heisman Trophy winner threw for 4,322 yards and 43 TDs. He completed 68% of his passes. Bama’s offensive line has a real shot of giving Young all day to throw, which means Bryce will pick apart the Cincinnati secondary.
Alabama Crimson Tide Offensive Averages
- Total Yards: 495.0
- Passing Yards: 347.9
- Rushing Yards: 147.1
- Points Scored: 42.5
- Turnovers: 7
Alabama Crimson Tide Defensive Averages
- Total Yards: 304.6
- Passing Yards: 223.2
- Rushing Yards: 81.4
- Points Scored: 20.2
- Takeaways: 15
Relevant Trends for Cincinnati Bearcats vs Alabama Crimson Tide
- Bearcats are 6-0 ATS versus a team with a winning record
- Cincinnati is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 non-conference games
- Under is 4-0 in the Bearcats’ last 4 neutral site games as an underdog
- Crimson Tide is 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games on field turf
- Alabama is 5-2 ATS in their last 7 neutral site games
- Under is 3-1-1 in the Crimson Tide’s last 5 neutral site games
Cotton Bowl Final Betting Prediction
Alabama’s offense will score a lot of points, but that doesn’t mean the Bearcats don’t cover the spread. Alabama’s defense is terrific. Desmond Ridder and the Bearcats’ offense, though, is also great.
Ridder will move the ball versus Alabama. Even though the Crimson Tide held Georgia to few rushing yards, the Bulldogs don’t have the passing attack that the Bearcats’ possess. Ridder threw for 3,190 yards and Cincinnati averaged over 39 points per game.
If Bama commits to stopping Ridder and the passing game, Cincinnati can lean on a rushing attack that went for close to 180 each game. The Bearcats will push the Tide in this one. Of course, that doesn’t mean Cincinnati wins this straight up. But it does mean we should take the points.
Cotton Bowl Pick: Cincinnati Bearcats