Toledo Rockets vs. Cincinnati Bearcats
Betting Pick: Cincinnati -9.5 (September 12th 2014)
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Toledo (1-1) got off to a great start this season with a 54-20 victory over New Hampshire as an 11-point favorite. Many gave it a good chance to upset Missouri last week as it was just a 3.5-point underdog at home, including myself, but it fell by a final of 24-49.
Cincinnati must be chomping at the bit to get its season underway. It was the only team in the country to open with two straight byes to start the season. The Bearcats will only get one more bye the rest of the way as they now play eight straight weeks before receiving it.
One of the biggest reasons I picked Toledo to win the MAC this season was Alabama transfer Phillip Ely. He is a tremendous quarterback, but unfortunately the Rockets lost him to a season-ending knee injury in the loss to Missouri last week. This team is going to struggle without him out there calling the shots.
Quietly, Cincinnati has one of the best home-field advantages in the country. It has gone a combined 48-13 at home over the past 10 years. It has gone 5-1 or better at home in five of the past six seasons. Tommy Tuberville’s bunch won nine games last year and returns 13 starters this year. I actually have the Bearcats winning the AAC in 2014.
Just as I was high on Ely for Toledo, I’m even bigger on sophomore Gunner Kiel of Cincinnati. He was the top QB recruit in the country coming out of high school. Unfortunately, it did not work out for him at Notre Dame, so he decided to transfer here to the Bearcats. He’ll have the luxury of having four of the top five receivers back from last year and seven returning starters on offense in all. The defense gave up just 21.0 points and 316 yards per game last year and should be strong again.
Plays on favorites of 10.5 to 21 points (CINCINNATI) – incredible offense from last season – averaged 450 or more total yards/game are 52-22 (70.3%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. The Bearcats are 14-6 ATS in their last 20 non-conference games. Cincinnati has won 12 straight home openers by an average of 35 points per game. Bet Cincinnati Friday.
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