The 7th ranked Cincinnati Bearcats need three straight wins in their quest for an undefeated season. The Bearcats will have to go through the UFC Knights and their potent offense on Saturday to keep their College Football Playoff hopes alive.
Cincinnati is coming off a 55-17 blowout win over East Carolina. UCF is on a three-game winning streak after dropping close contests against Tulsa and Memphis.
Cincinnati Betting Preview: Playoff Hopes
The Bearcats are still in the conversation for a shot at the College Football Playoff. Three road games against UCF, Temple, and Tulsa are the last regular season obstacles.
They will need a win in the AAC Championship game in Greensboro, North Carolina, to pull off the 11-0 season. The Bearcats would need a little help, but a berth in the Playoff is a real possibility.
Cincinnati prefers to do it with runnings and solid defense, but quarterback Desmond Ridder has been up to the task when called on. He has completed 122-of-183 passes for 1,483 yards with 14 touchdowns and six interceptions. For good measure, he has carried the ball 53 times for 469 yards and nine touchdowns.
The Bearcats run game has propelled them to the 7-0 start. They are averaging 247 yards per game on the ground. Gerrid Doaks leads the team with 563 yards on 109 carries with seven touchdowns.
Cincinnati has been outstanding on the defensive side of the ball. They are limiting their opponents to 300 yards of total offense and only 12.4 points per game. Austin Peay is the only team to score 20 points on this Bearcats defense.
UCF Betting Preview: Powerful Offense
The Knights offense is just as deadly as it has been for the last few years. They are averaging a ridiculous 619 yards of total offense and 44 points per game.
Quarterback Dillon Gabriel has completed 179-of-283 passes for 2,774 yards with 23 touchdowns and two interceptions. Marlon Williams has been his favorite target with 63 catches for 942 yards and eight touchdowns.
The run game is no slouch either, averaging over 220 yards per game. They are led by Otis Anderson, who has carried the ball 97 times for 563 yards and four touchdowns.
Defensively is where UCF has struggled, keeping them from competing for another AAC title. Opponents are averaging 447 yards of total offense and 28.7 points per game.
Boilermakers at Golden Gophers Betting Odds & Lines
Mybookie has the Bearcats as 5-point favorites.
Free Betting Pick
This Bearcats defense is no joke, and they limited UCF to 24 points last season. I expect them to pressure Gabriel and keep him from putting up his video game-like numbers.
Cincinnati will use the run game to keep the Knights off the field as they escape in a close on and keep the undefeated season going.
Cincinnati 33, UCF 27