It’s Week 1 of the College Football season, and we have some very high profile games to kick off the season. One of those games features the 23rd-ranked Cincinnati Bearcats headed to Arkansas to take on the 19th-rated Razorbacks. Cincinnati is out to prove that last season was no fluke, while Arkansas wants to show everyone that they’re ready to become one of the elite programs in the SEC. Let’s preview each of the teams, and then we’ll give you our NCAAF Betting prediction for the game.
A Huge Season Opener in Fayetteville | NCAAF Week 1 Odds: Cincinnati Bearcats at Arkansas
Cincinnati is looking to build off of last season’s success, as the Bearcats became the first non-Power 5 schools to make the College Football Playoffs. Cincinnati had a formidable showing against Alabama but wasn’t strong enough to knock off the SEC powerhouse. Luke Fickell lost a lot of key pieces, including Desmond Ridder and Sauce Gardner, from last year’s team. Even though Cincinnati will have a new quarterback and running back, a majority of last year’s wideouts will return.
Defensively, the Bearcats have a lot of players to replace, as many graduated or left after last season. The defensive line and secondary took the biggest hits. Fortunately for Luke Fickell, he has done a great job of recruiting over the last two seasons, and his recruits, along with some key transfers, will have the Bearcats defense ready for action. This unit more than likely won’t be as good as last year’s defense, but they will still be strong.
Sam Pittman has done a great job of turning the Razorback program into one of the top programs in the SEC. Arkansas is coming off of a 24-10 victory over Penn State in the Outback Bowl. Quarterback KJ Jefferson returns to lead the Razorback offensive attack. While the Hogs have some pieces to replace, this should still be a very dynamic offense.
Arkansas’s defense should be one of the top defenses in the SEC. With numerous linemen returning, along with some key transfers coming in at the linebacker position, this should be a very good group. Arkansas should also have one of the best secondaries in the SEC. They’ll need to have a good defense if they want to survive in the SEC.
Betting Information & Prediction
The Razorbacks come into this one as a six-point home favorite. While Cincinnati is 8-3 against the spread in their last 11 games, they’re 1-4 against the spread in their last five games away from home. Arkansas is 4-1 against the spread in their last five non-conference games. They’ve also done very well against the spread in the month of September, as they’ve gone 9-4 in their last 13 September games.
While we really want to take Cincinnati and the points, we just think that Arkansas is going to be too much for the Bearcats. With this being a road game for Cincinnati, we think that they won’t have the talent to match up with Arkansas. We have the Razorbacks winning 28-20, covering the spread in the process.