The Cincinnati Bearcats (10-3) travel to Alabama in early January to battle the Boston College Eagles (6-6) in the 2020 Birmingham Bowl. Kickoff is set for 3:00 PM EST on January 2nd at Legion Field and the game will be nationally televised on ESPN.
Taking a look at the full list of college bowl betting odds, Cincinnati is currently listed as a 7-point favorite. The total for the game is sitting at 55.5 points. You can also click here to check out our 2019-20 bowl predictions page.
Birmingham Bowl Vegas Odds Preview: Cincinnati vs Boston College
Boston College snapped a two game losing streak their last time out, beating Pitt 26-19 on the road to improve to 6-6 overall and become bowl eligible. The Eagles led 13-9 at the half and managed to hold on down the stretch, outscoring the Panthers 13-10 over the final two quarters of the game. QB Dennis Grosel went 9/19 for 123 passing yards and a touchdown through the air while also adding ten carries for 51 rushing yards on the ground as well. Hunter Long led the way for the receiving corps, hauling in two catches for 36 yards and a touchdown. Overall, Boston College averaged 31 points and over 350 total yards of offense per game through their first 12 outings.
The Eagles really struggled on the other side of the ball this year, giving up over 30 points and 475 total yards of offense per game. Boston College couldn’t find a way to slow down opposing offenses through the air, allowing 300 passing yards on a weekly basis.
Cincinnati lost back to back games against Memphis to close out the regular season, falling on the road at the end of November before coming up short in the AAC Championship Game in early December. The Bearcats led 14-10 at the half but unraveled over the final two quarters of the game, getting outscored by the Tigers 19-10. QB Desmond Ridder certainly wasn’t at his best, throwing an interception and going just 16/36 for 233 passing yards and no touchdowns through the air. However, Ridder was impressive running the football, racking up 113 rushing yards and a touchdown on just 11 carries. As a whole, Cincinnati averaged 29 points and just under 400 total yards of offense per game during the regular season.
The Bearcats were above average defensively this year, limiting their opponents to 22 points and around 375 total yards of offense per game. Cincinnati really did a fantastic job shutting down opposing offenses on the ground, surrendering less than 145 rushing yards per outing.
2020 Birmingham Bowl Free Betting Pick & Predictions: Cincinnati -7
I think that the Bearcats definitely offer the best overall value against the spread in the 2020 Birmingham Bowl, as they only lost three games straight up during the regular season while also going a rock solid 8-5 against the spread. Cincinnati really did a great job away from Nippert Stadium as well, covering the number in five out of their last eight outings on the road or at a neutral site. Boston College wasn’t nearly as impressive, as they needed to win their last game of the year in order to lock up a spot in a bowl game. The Eagles also gave up an average of almost ten more points per game on defense than Cincinnati, which certainly doesn’t bode well for them heading into Thursday evening.
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The Bearcats have been unbeatable when favored before kickoff over the past couple of seasons, going a perfect 19-0 outright. Cincinnati had also won ten out of their first eleven games before a two-game losing streak against a tough Memphis squad. On the other side, Boston College has given up at least 38 points in two out of their last three outings overall. I’m going to lay the touchdown and take my chances with the Bearcats against the spread in this particular spot – give me Cincinnati to cover the number in the 2020 Birmingham Bowl!