The Cotton Bowl is upon us, and this year, the Cincinnati Bearcats are taking on the Alabama Crimson Tide.
At the time of writing, BetMGM’s latest NCAAF odds have the Crimson Tide as 13.5 point favorites.
Will they cover the spread? Here are some of my predictions for the Cotton Bowl.
Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic Game Information
Before we dive into my predictions, let’s look at the game information that you should know about the Cotton Bowl:
- Date: Friday, Dec. 31st
- Time: 3:30 P.M. EST
- Venue: AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX
- Participants: Alabama Crimson Tide and Cincinnati Bearcats
I cannot bet against Nick Saban when he has had almost four weeks to prepare for an opponent. Alabama’s performance in the SEC Championship Game against Georgia convinced me that Alabama once again has what it takes to make a run at the championship. In that game, the Tide limited the Bulldogs’ offense to 5.8 yards per play while hanging 41 points on Georgia’s top-ranked defense.
Both Cincinnati and Alabama’s offenses average more than 38 points per game, and both defenses allow 21 points or fewer per game.
However, I believe that the difference between these teams is the strength of competition both teams played throughout the season. In my opinion, Alabama played a tougher schedule, beating teams with elite defenses and offenses this season. The Bearcats have a respectable defense, ranking fourth in the country in points allowed per game (16.08). However, Alabama faced Georgia and Texas A&M, two of the three teams ahead of Cincinnati in points allowed per game.
In those two games, the Crimson Tide put up a combined total of 79 points.
Alabama has a Heisman-winning quarterback, one of the best deep threat wide receivers in the country in Jameson Williams, and a defense that only allows 20.23 points per game. I believe that they’ll cover in this game.
I expect this game to go over, given everything I just said about Alabama. I think they can put up 40-plus points by themselves in this game, considering they have already done that twice against elite defenses.
I think part of the reason this line is not higher is that Alabama WR John Metchie has a torn ACL. However, I do not believe this loss will slow them down too much.
Alabama still has Jameson Williams, who had seven catches for 184 receiving yards and two touchdown receptions in the SEC Championship Game.
In five of his last six games, Williams has recorded at least six catches and at least 123 receiving yards. He’s caught eight touchdown receptions in his previous six games.
As for Cincinnati, I do not think they are completely hopeless here against Alabama’s defense. They just beat Houston, which has the 28th ranked defense, in the AAC Championship. In that game, the Bearcats put up 35 points. Cincinnati has a great running back in Jerome Ford — himself a former Alabama player — who has recorded 1,242 yards and averages 6.2 yards per rush. Quarterback Desmond Ridder has 3190 yards, 30 touchdowns and only eight interceptions.
Cincinnati has the talent at skill positions to put up points. I believe that they’ll score enough points to push the total over.
Make Your Cotton Bowl Predictions
Do you think Alabama will cover in the Cotton Bowl? Do you agree that this game will go over the total?
Either way, you can place your bets here at BetMGM, a safe and reliable place for all of your online sports betting needs. Create an account today and receive an initial risk-free bet worth up to $1,000.