No. 25 West Virginia Mountaineers at No. 5 Cincinnati Bearcats

NCAA Football Betting Preview
No. 25 West Virginia Mountaineers at No. 5 Cincinnati Bearcats
Friday November 13th, 8:00PM Eastern betting line – Cincinnati -9

Are the Bearcats BCS Bowl Bound? All indications from the Big East top rated team point to yes. However, Cincinnati still has a tough 3 game stretch to end the season including an extremely important finale against the Pittsburgh Panthers who are undefeated in the conference. The Bearcats 9-0 mark has helped them reach the no. 5 ranking in America and if a lot of bizarre scenarios were to happen they may even have a shot at a National Championship.

However, the Bearcats should remain focus on the Big East as the latter is more of a fairytale. Cincinnati faces a big test on the Friday night stage this week as they will host the 25th ranked West Virginia Mountaineers. West Virginia was taken down two weeks ago by South Florida, but rebounded last week 17-9 over Louisville. The Mountaineers only two losses have been on the road this year, but they will try to take down their biggest road opponent this Friday night by knocking off a top 5 ranked opponent.

Cincinnati sports one of the most dangerous offensive attacks in the country. The Bearcats pass offense ranks 6th nationally averaging 324 yards per game and 3rd in total offense averaging 482 yards per game. The offense has also produced 40 points per game behind their success and they will be a tough force for the West Virginia defense. QB Tony Pike has missed several weeks after such a great start to the season, but an injury to his non throwing arm will keep him out again this Friday night. QB Zach Collaros has not exactly been a liability filling in for Pike.

In fact, Collaros has kept the same pace throwing 8 touchdowns without any interceptions in the 3 starts since. Collaros threw for a career high and shocking 480 yards in last week’s shootout with Connecticut and the Bearcats would love to see similar numbers again this week. WR Mardy Gilyard remains the big playmaker catching the football. Gilyard has 908 yards with 8 touchdowns on the year and if a few things go right he could eclipse the 1,000 yard receiving plateau. The West Virginia pass defense has relinquished 220 yards on average this year and the Cincinnati offense will look to damage those numbers even more.

Most betting lines opened around the 10 point mark favoring the Bearcats, but have shifted slightly throughout the week and stand at just 9 points even currently. The reason may be that West Virginia is a solid football team that could present some unexpected challenges to the nation’s 5th ranked team. One thing the Mountaineers do very well is getting pressure on the quarterback. West Virginia is averaging 2.67 sacks per game and if the defense can put some pressure on Collaros perhaps they can frustrate the young quarterback for the first time this year.

However as good as the defense must be, the offense will have to be as well. Cincinnati has given up 125 yards per game and that could be a good sign of hope with running back Noel Devine. Devine reached the 1,000 yard mark last week against Louisville and has 10 touchdowns on the season while sporting 6 yards per carry for the year. Devine could give them a chance to control tempo, but QB Jarrett Brown will still have to make some plays through the air especially if the Bearcats keep pace with their 32 points per game. Brown is completing a solid 65% on the year with 10 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. Brown is coming off one of the worse performances of the year throwing 9 for 17 for 94 yards, and the Mountaineers must get the passing game involved often this Friday night.

Pick – Cincinnati defensive line will prevent the Mountaineers from much success on the ground as well as get pressure on Brown in the passing game. Take Cincinnati and consider a play on the under.

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