It’s all about clawing, pawing and biting when the Memphis Tigers (3-0, 0-0 AAC) host the Cincinnati Bearcats (2-1, 0-1 AAC) this Thursday in a Week 4 College Football encounter. Given this a nationally televised game that features Cincinnati, the media’s preseason pick to win the American Athletic Conference, and Memphis, the current leaders in the AAC West, a great football showdown can be expected from the two teams. Here is a guide on how to place your wagers in this game’s college football betting lines.
How To Bet the Tigers vs Bearcats NCAA Football Odds, TV & Game Info/h2>
Venue: Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, Memphis, TN
Date: Thursday, September 24, 2015
Time: 7:30 PM ET
TV: ESPN/ WATCH ESPN
NCAAF Odds: Cincinnati (+10) at Memphis (-11)
— American Football (@American_FB) September 23, 2015
Breaking Down the Bearcats and Tigers Strenghts and Weaknesses Prior to their Bout
Cincinnati’s starter Gunner Kiel, who was knocked out of last week’s game against Miami (OH) after suffering a head injury, is expected to be healthy in time to regain his position in the starting line-up over backup Hayden Moore, who had an erratic performance, but made amends by leading his team to a game-winning drive and a hard-earned 37-33 come-from-behind victory. “I’m not going to count him out, but with a five-day turnaround it’s going to be awfully hard,” Cincinnati coach Tommy Tuberville said after the game about Kiel’s availability for Thursday’s clash.
Speaking on Monday, Tuberville said, “We’re not going to rush anything. We’re going to make sure going into every practice if they have any problems from the shoulders up. He’ll be evaluated. A lot of it is on him [Kiel], how he feels…I’m not going to predict anything one way or the other. I’ll let the doctors make the decision on that along with Gunner and his parents.”
In the event that Kiel’s is not available, Moore will be charged with the responsibility of leading the team, as he seeks to put in a better shift of work. When he came on for Kiel in the third quarter against Miami, Moore looked really shaky. In the fourth quarter alone, he threw two interceptions and lost two fumbles, allowing Miami to go ahead 33-30 with 4:14 to go. However, with the game depending on his arms, Moore hit all three of his passes for 50 yards to cap the winning touchdown drive with 1:13 to go. For the game, Moore finished 7 of 14 for 118 yards, while Kiel was 15 of 26 for 145 yards before getting hurt.
With a support system that includes running back Tion Green and receivers Shaq Washington, Chris Moore and Mike Boone in the offense, and star linebacker Eric Wilson leading the defense, the Bearcats have good enough pieces to back whoever starts at QB.
It should, however, be noted that it not going to be smooth-sailing for the Bearcats in Memphis. For starters, Cincy lost team leader and senior cornerback Adrian Witty, who suffered a serious left leg injury against Miami. Senior cornerback Leviticus Payne is also hurt, having missed the game against Miami. The depletion in the defense was evident last Saturday, as Miami hung 448 yards on the Bearcats after Cincinnati had held Temple to 296 yards the previous week.
So How Do You Battle Memphis
Going against an unbeaten Memphis team that ranks fifth-best in the nation in scoring offense at 54.0 points per game, and is also ranked eighth in the nation in total offensive yards at 570.3 yards per game, the Bearcats will need to lock it in the defense, or they could easily end up leaving Memphis with a blowout loss. The biggest concern for Cincinnati will, of course, be the 6-foot-7 Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch, a player who’s been a dominant force in the Tigers’ wins over Missouri State, Kansas and Bowling Green so far in the season.
Lynch impressively ranks fourth in the country in completion percentage (76.6), and has passed for 818 yards and six touchdowns, showing how much of a havoc-wrecker he is. Being that this will be the first conference game of the season for Memphis and a chance for them to break into the Top-25, you can expect the versatile Lynch-led offense to throw everything at Cincinnati’s embattled defense.
The fact that Cincinnati ranks No. 7 nationally in total offense (579.3 YPG) means that the Tigers have their work cut out for them in the defense. Even so, after Kiel threw four interceptions against Temple and Moore finished last week’s relief performance with the four turnovers, the Memphis defense that is allowing an average of 354.3 yards and 23.7 points in their first three games should be able to stymie down the visitors well enough. Needless to say, the Tigers also have some defensive concerns to deal with after allowing 41 points in last week’s road win over Bowling Green, but if the defense can take advantage of their home support, a good showing from the D should be in the books.
Key Memphis vs Cincinnati Betting Trends
• The Bearcats are 0-4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall
• The Tigers are 1-5 ATS their last 6 meetings.
• The Bearcats are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games in September.
• The Bearcats are 0-4-1 ATS in their last 5 games on fieldturf
• The OVER is 5-0 in the Tigers last 5 games following a SU win
• The OVER is 4-0 in the Tigers last 4 games after accumulating more than 280 yards passing in their previous game
• The OVER is 6-0 in the Tigers last 6 games after allowing more than 450 total yards in their previous game
My Expert Cincinnati @ Memphis Betting Prediction
Both Kiel and Moore are too turnover-prone, so although the Tigers have some defensive concerns, Lynch and his unit should be able to capitalize on the Cincinnati mistakes to sail for a comfortable double-digit victory and cover of the spread. Both teams are well-endowed with the capacity and talent to light up the scoreboard, so an OVER total looks likely here, as the two teams deliver a memorable back-and-forth Thursday Night Primetime clash.