It will be an uphill climb for the Cincinnati Bearcats when they face the Alabama Crimson Tide in the Cotton Bowl. Both teams have solid defenses and prolific offenses, which could make for an entertaining start to the College Football Playoff. That could also mean opportunities for bettors to profit — if they pick the right props.
The following are some of our favorite props from around the betting market.
Cincinnati vs. Alabama Game Props
First to Score In The Cotton Bowl: Cincinnati +150 (Caesars), Alabama -175 (DraftKings)
The Bearcats scored eight times this season on their first drive of the game — seven touchdowns and a field goal. Of those touchdowns, two came on big plays of 50+ yards. It is easier to see them scoring first on Alabama via a big play rather than driving the ball down the field.
The Alabama defense gave up points on opponents’ first drive three times (two field goals and one touchdown).
The Crimson Tide, meanwhile, scored six times on their first possession of the game, including a kick return for a touchdown in one. But they have not scored on their opening drive in the last five games; in fact, they did not score their first points against Georgia until the second quarter.
Race to 10 Points: Cincinnati +230 (BetMGM), Alabama -350 (BetMGM)
Alabama beat its opponents to 10 points nine times this season; Cincinnati did so 10 times. However, there were several occasions where the Bearcats didn’t crack 10 until the second quarter. Alabama beat its first five opponents to 10 points but did so only four times over the last eight games.
To Score 2+ Touchdowns In The Cotton Bowl (FanDuel)
Jameson Williams +220
Williams scored in nine of 13 games this season and had more than one touchdown in four (including three of his last four games). With John Metchie out, there is a strong chance even more of the Alabama passing game goes through him. However, Cincinnati has given up 10 passing touchdowns all season and will likely focus on stopping Williams.
Brian Robinson +230
Robinson has not been in the end zone since the New Mexico State game in mid-November, when he rushed nine times for 99 yards and two touchdowns. It was his fifth multi-touchdown game (three vs. Tennessee, three vs. Mississippi State, four vs. Mississippi, two vs. Florida). As a threat in the run and passing game, his chances improve, and it does not hurt that Alabama’s run game goes almost entirely through him.
Cameron Latu +1300
Latu has two multi-touchdown games on his resume this season, but both were early in the year (vs. Miami and Southern Miss). Since then, the tight end has had multiple receptions in only two games (vs. Tennessee and Arkansas). There is always the possibility he becomes a more significant part of the offense with Metchie out since Cincinnati will undoubtedly focus on Jameson Williams.
Bryce Young +2900
Young is not a dual-threat quarterback. With his 71 rushing attempts, he gained just 31 yards. He is capable, though, as he proved against Tennessee (10 carries for 42 yards and two touchdowns) and Georgia (three carries for 40 yards and a touchdown). As one of Alabama’s top playmakers, it would not be shocking to see him try to make a few more plays with his legs in the biggest game of the year.
Jerome Ford +490
Ford scored in every game but one this season and had multiple touchdowns in six (including the AAC title game against Houston). Cincinnati will not abandon the run just because Alabama happens to be one of the best run defenses in the country. Next to Riddler, he is the team’s top playmaker, making it likely his number gets called early and often.
Desmond Riddler +1800
This season, Riddler did not have a multi-rushing touchdown game, but the Bearcats will not hesitate to have their star quarterback run the ball. He ranks second on the team in rush attempts with 100 (Ford had 200). With a chance to continue making history by beating Alabama and making it to the title game, Riddler will do everything in his power to have the best game of his life.
Josh Whyle +3500
Whyle has had multiple touchdowns twice this season (two vs. Navy and Tulane) but was held to one reception in five games. Tight ends make for great targets in the red zone. However, Cincinnati is more likely to turn to Ford than Whyle when the Bearcats get within scoring range (or anyone else in the passing game).