Cincinnati vs. East Carolina Betting Odds & Preview: CFP On The Line For Bearcats

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A dominant performance against SMU did the trick for Cincinnati. With Oregon losing last weekend, it appears that was enough for the College Football Playoff committee to bump the Bearcats up to No. 4 in the rankings. So, if the College Football Playoffs were to occur this weekend, a Group of Five team would be taking part for the first time in CFP history.

But going into this weekend’s game against East Carolina as 14-point favorites, even an unimpressive win might be enough to knock them out of the playoffs. PointsBet and FanDuel were among the books with Cincinnati -14.

However, Cincinnati has not had much trouble with East Carolina in recent years, winning nine of the last ten meetings between the two. But the Pirates have kept it competitive on their home field. Cincinnati has won three of the last four in North Carolina, but by less than a touchdown in each. 

 

 

CIN Cincinnati vs ECU East Carolina Odds NCAAF Odds

NCAAF · Fri (11/26) @ 3:30pm ET

CIN Cincinnati at ECU East Carolina
Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, Greenville, NC

Our Pick: CIN Cincinnati at -14.5 (0). New DraftKings customers: Bet $1, win $100 in free bets!

Cincinnati Bearcats (11-0 SU, 6-5 ATS)

The win over Notre Dame made Cincinnati a legitimate national championship contender in the eyes of many. But it was a win over SMU that appears to have convinced the College Football Playoff committee. However, some may criticize the move because SMU is just another Group of Five team—but it was how the Bearcats beat them that mattered.

SMU has one of the most productive offenses in the country this season, averaging 475 yards and 39 points a game, but the Cincinnati defense shut it down. The Bearcats have a top-10 defense this season, so that is not entirely shocking. But when a defense can hold an offense as potent as SMU’s to less than 200 yards and just 14 points—that’s impressive.

As for Cincinnati’s offensive prowess, it has been on display all season. There were a few games where the Bearcats offense was not at its best. But it always did more than enough to win. By stomping on SMU’s defense with 544 total yards and 48 points, the offense gave the committee the convincing win it needed to see.

Cincinnati is a dominant team that deserves to be in the top four. Now the Bearcats just need to continue to be that team to make sure it remains. For a team that ranks No. 1 in the conference in several statistical categories on both sides of the ball, that should not be too difficult.

If the Bearcats bring their best effort, Cincinnati will beat East Carolina in impressive fashion and hold on to the No. 4 spot in the rankings heading into the AAC Championship game against Houston.

Bet TypeSpreads
Open

East Carolina Pirates (7-4 SU, 7-3-1 ATS)

East Carolina is not going to be a pushover for the Bearcats. The Pirates offense is capable and has been productive throughout the season by averaging 446.9 yards and 31.2 points per game. Quarterback Holton Athers is coming off a 405-yard, three-touchdown performance against Navy, where he was not sacked and hurried only once.

East Carolina ranks second to last in the conference in sacks allowed.

Of course, the Navy defense does not compare to Cincinnati’s. But when things work, the East Carolina offense is a force to be reckoned with. It had some turnover issues in the five games leading up to last week’s Navy game (2+ turnovers in each). But the Pirates did not turn the ball over once against the Midshipmen.

Turnovers gained is one of the many categories Cincinnati leads the conference in.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Pirates have held teams to less than 400 yards of offense per game this season (sixth in the conference; Cincinnati averages 430.1) and 25.5 points (third in the AAC). It is not hard to envision them having some success against the Bearcats offense—but they will not stop it altogether.

Betting Analysis

If Cincinnati comes out flat or does not bring its “A” game, East Carolina is good enough to hang around and make a game of it. But after finally getting some well-deserved respect from the CFP committee, the Bearcats are going to be fired up for this game and looking to make a big statement.

Head Coach Luke Fickell will not let this opportunity slip past Cincinnati.  

About the Author

Travis Pulver

Travis Pulver is a lifelong football fan, something he says comes naturally having been born in the football-crazy state of Texas. Through the years, his love of sports has extended into baseball, basketball, golf, and rugby. Life currently finds him in Indiana with his wife and two kids.

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