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Cincinnati vs. South Florida Football Pick with Analysis
South Florida hosts the Cincinnati Bearcats on Saturday in a Big East contest that equates to a must win for the South Florida Bulls. The Bulls are currently favored by 3 with a total of 55.
If you take a 3 game stretch where South Florida beat the likes of Ball State, Florida A&M and UTEP out of the picture, South Florida doesn't look so impressive. What you're left with is a 23-20 win over Notre Dame in a game that was delayed for over 3 hours by storms, a 44-17 loss to Pitt and a 16-10 loss to UCONN.
The Bearcats on the other hand are 5-1 with their only loss coming against Tennessee. They crushed the teams they were supposed to crush, such as Austin Peay and Akron but also crushed North Carolina State and recently scored more on Louisville than any other team this year.
The point being, simply, that comparing these two teams body of work thus far, Cincinnati has been the more impressive of the two. They have averaged 45 points per game, good for 12th in the nation. They give up 17, good for 15th overall. They are 4th in the nation against the run and have a turnover margin of +12, near best in the nation. South Florida is not exactly a slouch in any of those categories and Cinci does lack in the passing game on both sides of the ball, but overall, simply more impressive.
Cincinnati has a blistering yards per point number on offense of 10, 3 points better than South Florida's still decent number of 13, but a n even bigger edge defensively for Cinci with a 20 which places them among the best in the nation using this stat. South Florida has a defensive number of 16.
Last week Cinci running back Isaiah Pead finished with 151 yards off 20 carries with one TD and that was against one of the best run defenses in the country. The Cinci defense also kept Louisville out of the end zone making it 8 straight quarters without giving up an offensive touchdown as all of the Cardinals scores were field goals and one touchdown off an interception.
Our score prediction model has Cincinnati winning this game straight up by a score of 29-25 and we're going to agree. We think the better team is getting points here and while it's far from a mismatch, we like our chances with Cinci. Cincinnati +3
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