The #25 overall Cincinnati Bearcats (4-1) travel to Texas this weekend to battle the Houston Cougars (2-3). Kickoff is set for 3:30 PM EST on Saturday, October 12th at TDECU Stadium and the game will be televised on ESPN2.
Taking a look at the Week 7 college football odds, Houston opened as a 5.5-point home underdog earlier this week. That spread has increased by a full point after early betting, as the Cougars are currently listed at +6.5. The total for the game is sitting at 55 points.
Vegas Betting Preview & Game Odds: Houston vs Cincinnati
Cincinnati won their third straight game last Friday, narrowly edging out UCF 27-24 to move to 4-1 overall on the season. The Bearcats trailed 16-10 at the half but really came out strong in the third quarter, scoring ten unanswered points en route to a huge home victory. QB Desmond Ridder had an average outing, going 19/31 for 149 yards and two touchdowns. RB Michael Warren II turned in a monster performance on the ground, rushing for 133 yards on the ground on a team-high 23 carries. Josiah Deguara led the way for the receiving corps, hauling in five receptions for 64 yards. As a whole, Cincinnati gained almost 350 total yards of offense and scored two touchdowns.
The Bearcats defense was very solid in Week 6, holding the high-flying UCF offense to under 450 total yards of offense and giving up just two touchdowns. Cincinnati was fantastic defending against the pass, forcing three interceptions and allowing Knights QB Dillon Gabriel to throw for just a single touchdown through the air.
Houston snapped a two game losing streak their last time out, beating North Texas 46-25 on the road to improve to 2-3 on the season overall. The Cougars scored 14 unanswered points in the first quarter and never looked back, outscoring the Mean Green 32-25 over the final 45 minutes of the game. QB Clayton Tune went 16/20 for 124 passing yards and one touchdown through the air while also racking up 100 rushing yards on the ground over nine carries. RB Patrick Carr was an absolute beast out of the backfield, finding the end zone three times and rushing for 139 yards on a team-high 16 carries. Overall, Houston generated almost 400 total yards of offense and scored four touchdowns against a below average North Texas defense.
The Cougars were somewhat average defensively against the Mean Green, giving up over 450 total yards of offense and three touchdowns. Houston really had a tough time defending against the pass, as the North Texas receiving trio of Michael Lawrence, Jason Pirtle, and Jyaire Shorter combined for 223 yards and two touchdowns.
NCAA Football Betting Predictions & Free Pick: Cincinnati -6.5
I’m somewhat surprised that Cincinnati is favored by less than a full touchdown in this matchup against Houston, as they have definitely been the far superior team on the defensive side of the ball so far this season. The Bearcats have scored at least 35 points in two out of their last three games while also holding their opponents to between 13 to 24 points over that same time span. On the other side, the Cougars have given up 94 combined points over their last three outings. As long as this spread stays under seven points, I think Cincinnati offers the best value despite having to play on the road here in Week 7.
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The Bearcats have also dominated Houston against the spread as of late, going 6-2-1 ATS over their last nine meetings. Cincinnati is also a very solid 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall. On the other side, the Cougars are just 2-5 straight up over their last seven outings overall. Even if Houston can do enough on offense to keep this game close for several quarters, I really think that Cincinnati should be able to pull away late against a below average Cougars defense. I’ll lay the 6.5 points and roll with the slight road favorite to cover on Saturday afternoon – give me the Bearcats!