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CINCI AT UCONN

KEY RELEASE

10/25/08

2* Uconn +3 over Cincinnati - Lot's of similarities between these two Big East Teams. Cinci has had QB problems this year while Uconn will likely be down to their 3rd stringer Saturday as Zach Frazer looks doubtful as of this writing. (Pike will go for Cinci) Both teams are stingy on the defensive side of the ball and both teams have had similar results against similar competition. If Cinci has an edge it's in the kicking game as they sport some of the best punting  numbers in the country. Likewise, the field goal kicking, where Uconn kicker Tony Ciaravino has been benched after missing a 42 yarder with under two minutes to play at Rutgers which would have given the Huskies the win.

Uconn became "good" in 2003. It's when everything came together for the program and they officially "arrived" on the scene. In that time, 2003 to the present, one thing has remained constant. Uconn has performed poorly on the road yet has been fantastic at home. 2003 was the only year they had a winning road record, going 4-2. Every year since, they have lost on the road. Yet at home, they have been one of the better teams in the entire nation, going 28-7 since 2003. In that time they have been an underdog 16 times, going 11-5 against the number. It's safe to say that Uconn has a significant home field advantage. Uconn returns home this week after 3 straight games on the road........there's no place like home.

 

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Throw in some added motivation to go along with the home field edge and we have the makings of a nice spot for Uconn. That added motivation comes in the form of Uconn having never beaten Cinci. They are 0-4 against the Bearcats with last year being perhaps the worst loss of all as Uconn went to Cinci ranked #16 in the Nation and left with their tail between their legs in a 27-3 loss.

Cinci QB Tony Pike is coming back this week after breaking his non throwing arm. He may have picked the wrong week as Uconn has done a great job getting after the QB with 18 sacks on the year. Count on Pike getting rattled this week. It's tough to come back with that kind of an injury and not worry about getting reinjured. Especially after you find yourself on your back a few times.

Ultimately we don't think this game will be decided by the QB's but rather, the running games and the defensive side of the ball. On a neutral field we'd rate this game dead even. The intangibles mentioned above put Uconn over the top here, with their fantastic home field play, and the added incentive for Coach Edsall and the Juniors and Seniors on this Uconn Team. If it comes down to a last second field goal, we'll be crossing our fingers with Uconn using a new Freshman kicker this week, but we'll take our chances. Watch the number. We like the Huskies straight up here. But if/when they announce for sure that Zach Frazer won't play, you're likely to see an overreaction with the line. Currently there are a few +3's out there and you're likely to see more soon. 2* Uconn +3 (STILL A PLAY AT +2.5)

 

BETTING TRENDS

CINCINNATI
Cincinnati is 7-1 SU in its last 8 games
Cincinnati is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games on the road
Cincinnati is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games on the road

CONNECTICUT
Connecticut is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games
Connecticut is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home


 

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