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College Football Pick
The winner of this game could easily end up representing the Big East in a BCS bowl game. Rutgers come in at the top of the conference with a 4-0 record, but have to get by this road trip to Cincy and a date with Louisville in their last game of the season. Cincinnati has a straightforward schedule if they can win this game; they have a solid shot at taking the conference even with a loss at Louisville earlier in the year.
The Bearcats have had the edge in this matchup historically, but Rutgers was able to win 20-3 last year as underdogs. This game should be very much like that one with two power defenses going against two average offenses. That seems to be how most games go in the Big East these days. Cincinnati comes into this game as 6.5-point favorites at 5 Dimes Sportsbook and Betonline. The betting trends at the world largest sportsbook, sportsbook.ag show 58% of the action thus far is on Rutgers.
Rutgers has not lost on the road yet all season, winning at Temple and maybe more importantly at Arkansas. The environment shouldn't be a problem for the Scarlet Knights. Their offense will be the main problem, only scoring 26 points per game. Gary Nova has 18 TDs and 10 INTs this year, but a lot of those interceptions came in their one loss. He threw six picks against Kent State a couple weeks ago. Besides that, he hasn't thrown more than one in any other game. And besides that Kent State game, Nova has had a very solid season which is why they are 8-1. Wide receiver Brandon Coleman at 6'6" is their main red zone target with eight touchdowns. Jawan Jamison has had a solid season on the ground with 953 rushing yards, but hasn't found the end zone enough with four TDs. He's dealing with an ankle injury and is 50-50 to play in this one. Savon Huggins, who's averaging 3.2 yards per carry this year, will get the call if Jamison can't go.
Cincinnati knows they have to win this game. They'll try and pound the ball all game to limit the throws for Brendon Kay who became the starting QB just last week. Former starter Munchie Legaux wasn't cutting it with six INTs in his last three starts. Kay hasn't thrown an interception yet, but he also hasn't played Rutgers yet. Running back George Winn will see a healthy dose out of the backfield. He has 50 carries, 248 yards and five TDs in his last two games, both wins. If you like watching slow-paced games that are won in the trenches, this is the one for you.
The Scarlet Knights have killed the books this year covering the spread in six of their last seven games. That includes 4-1 ATS on the road and 9-3-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record. The Bearcats have been good as well covering in six of eight games this year and 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games overall. The underdog is 5-1 ATS in their last six meetings. The over has hit a surprising four times in Cincinnati's last five home games while the under is 7-3 in the Scarlet Knights last 10 road games.
Give us a good solid football team getting a handful of points in a big game that they could very well win straight up and we'll take them almost every time. This game breaks down as a toss up. The fact that Brendon Kay will be making only his 2nd career start against a defense like Rutgers, should only help our cause. Our model has Cinci on top by 5 when using season to date stats and by just 2 when using just the last 5 games. We'll grab the points with the Scarlet Knights. Rutgers +6.5
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