The 2021 AAC Championship will be decided in a matchup with profound playoff implications: Houston at Cincinnati. BetMGM’s latest college football odds currently have the Bearcats as 10.5-point favorites.
For Cincinnati, the stakes are enormous in this game. If they win, they’ll be one of the nation’s two undefeated football teams, and I think they will likely make the College Football Playoffs.
Can the Cincinnati Bearcats win, and will they cover the spread? Here are some of my predictions for this game.
This pick does not mean that I think Houston wins the game outright, but in my opinion, the Cougars are getting overlooked in this matchup. Cincinnati has the spotlight on them because they’re trying to be the team from the Group of Five in the College Football Playoff, but Houston has quietly had an excellent season themselves. After dropping their opening game to Texas Tech, they have won their last 11 games.
The Cougars present the best offense that Cincinnati has faced all season, with Houston averaging more points per game (38.8) than any of the Bearcats’ previous opponents. The good news for Cincinnati is that Houston ranks 80th at running the ball, whereas the Bearcats’ biggest weakness defensively is stopping the run, so the Cougars will have a hard time exploiting their weakness. Cincinnati ranks 49th in running yards allowed per game and 3rd in passing yards allowed per game.
For Houston, they are 8th in rushing yards allowed per game and 18th in passing yards allowed. Their defense should give Cincinnati some trouble.
With these two teams scoring the most points per game and allowing the fewest points per game in the AAC, I expect Houston to not go down quietly in this game and remain competitive.
I lean under the total because I expect this to be a physical football game with the defense coming into play.
The most points that Cincinnati has given up in a game this year was 28 points to South Florida, but that was when they scored 45 themselves.
Houston’s defense allows only 19.8 points per game, putting them in the top 20 in NCAA Football. Other than their games against SMU (37 points) and USF (42), Houston hasn’t given up more than 24 points.
I believe that both defenses will hold the other team in check, leading to a low-scoring game. If either team breaks out and scores 30 or more points, I don’t think the other team will score 24 points to push this game over 53.5.
Cincinnati By 1-6 (+450)
Like I said above, I expect this to be a close game. If you agree with me, this bet offers some juicy odds.
I think Cincinnati will win this game by a field goal, so getting +450 odds here makes sense. Of course, there’s the possibility that they win by more, but I don’t believe Houston’s defense will allow the Bearcats to get too far ahead in this game.
Make Your Houston at Cincinnati Predictions
Who do you think will win the Houston at Cincinnati game? Do you think my bet recommendations on this game are correct?
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