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The Cincinnati Bearcats (10-2, 7-1 AAC) meet the Memphis Tigers (11-1, 7-1 ACC) at the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis, Tennessee on Saturday, December 7 in the American Athletic Conference championship game. The winner is likely to land a spot in the Cotton Bowl. The Tigers defeated the Bearcats 34-24 in the final game of the regular season to earn the right to host the ACC title game. Memphis will be led by quarterback Brady White who has thrown for over 3,307 yards, 32 touchdowns, and eight interceptions, while Cincinnati starting quarterback Desmond Ridder was held out against Memphis with an ailing shoulder that that could have an effect on the Bearcats offense on Saturday if he is not 100%.
Bearcat revengeBen Bryant got the start last week against Memphis and he struggled under center. In 32 pass attempts, he threw for 229 yards with two interceptions. He was sacked five times and never showed up when it mattered for the Bearcats. The game was on the shoulders of Michael Warren II, who rushed 21 times for 122 yards and a score. He’ll get a ton of carries in this upcoming game and rightfully so.
The Memphis Tigers are weaker against the pass than the run and Warren II is one of the best running backs in all of college football. He has the speed to outrun anybody, but isn’t afraid to play it tough between the tackles. If Cincinnati gets ahead in this game, we can expect a healthy dosing of Warren and Gerrid Doaks. If they fall behind, Ben Bryant will be looking for Alec Pierce and Josiah Deguara at receiver. All in all, Ben Bryant will need to step up if Cincy wants a shot at beating Memphis.
Tigers Title TakedownThe Memphis Tigers are 9.5 point favorites and playing the same team they beat in the same stadium just a week ago by 10 points. It may seem boring to play the same team in back to back weeks, but it’ll show just how good each of these coaching staffs are and where their weakness lies. Kenneth Gainwell and Patrick Taylor Jr. are two of the best running backs in the nation and both can put up 100 yards in any match-up. Gainwell, Taylor, along with Gibson, combined for 182 yards against this defensive front last week. Brady White threw for another 233 yards with 145 of them and a score to Damonte Coxie. He’s one of the best receivers in the nation, finishing the regular season with 979 yards and nine scorer. He’ll look to go over a thousand yards on the season in this game.
On the season, White has thrown for 3,307 yards with 32 TDs and 8 INTs. The Tigers are averaging 41.5 point per game to rank eighth in the nation and 483.5 yards per game overall (11th). They pass for 287.1 yards per game (23rd) and rush for 196.4 yards per contest (34th). Defensively, they are allowing 24.4 points per game, 365.5 yards and 198 yards in the air.
- Memphis are 0-6 ATS in their last 6 games when playing at home against Cincinnati.
- Memphis are 0-6 ATS in their last 6 games played in December.
- Cincinnati are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games against Memphis.
- The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Cincinnati's last 10 games on the road.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Bearcats were down by just three points with four minutes to go in last game and I expect them to keep it close once again. This spread is just a reaction off of Memphis winning by 10 points last weekend. That game was extremely close and I don’t hate the Cincinnati moneyline. Ben Bryant should look a lot better in his second start against Memphis and I’m a fan of Cincy bouncing back in this one.
Prediction: Cincy +9.5
Full-Game Total Pick
These teams just threw everything they had at each other, so they’re going to be prepared for anything. I expect more of a defensive, low-scoring game this time around and Cincy has a better defenses than Memphis. I look for both teams to play solid defense and for the under to comfortably hit.
Prediction: Under 57.7