With Cincinnati having already clinched a berth in the AAC Championship Game, the Bearcats don’t have much to play for against Memphis in the season finale on Black Friday. The opposite is true for the Tigers, who need a win or a loss by Navy in order to earn a rematch against the Bearcats next week.
Memphis has won five straight since a 30-28 loss to Temple on October 12. Cincinnati has won 10 in a row since a 42-0 loss to top-ranked Ohio State all the way back on September 7. Things have been getting dicey the past two weeks for the Bearcats, who defeated USF and Temple by a combined five points. Home victories over Navy and SNY have the Tigers in position to win the division.
We break down the line and offer our best bets and analysis for this matchup between these in AAC foes.
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Cincinnati vs. Memphis Game Details
*All odds are courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook
This line opened at Memphis -12 and has been bet down slightly to Memphis -11.5 at most books, according to VegasInsider.com. The action is split with the Tigers getting 61% of the bets and Bearcats receiving 53% of the money, according to The Action Network.
The total opened at 57.5 and has mostly stayed put wit the bets dead even over and 51% of the money on the under.
- Cincinnati is 10-1 SU and 6-5 ATS this season
- Memphis is 10-1 SU and 8-3 ATS this season
- Under is 8-3 in Cincinnati games this season
- Over is 8-3 in Memphis games this season
- Cincinnati is 4-1 SU and 2-3 ATS on the road this season
- Memphis is 5-0 SU and 4-1 ATS at home this season
- Over is 3-2 in Cincinnati road games this season
- Over is 4-1 in Memphis home games this season
*All betting trends are courtesy of Covers
Analysis & Pick
This game all comes down to motivation. The Bearcats chief concern on Friday is to stay healthy and don’t give the Tigers too much on tape to chew on before the real match up goes down next Saturday in the AAC Championship Game. The only caveat which could throw a wrinkle in that is home-field advantage. Unlike other conference championship games that are played at a neutral site, the AAC awards the home field to the team with the best record. If Memphis wins, then they would also host next week’s championship rematch, which would be an edge for the Tigers. That being said, I still think Cincinnati takes a conservative approach to this possible championship preview and the line indicates that as well. With the Tigers laying almost two touchdowns against the best defense in the conference is alarming, and the value bettors would go with Cincinnati here. But when you’re betting on 18-to-22-year-old college students, motivation plays a huge factor. Also, the Bearcats have been on the ropes the past couple of weeks and are “due” for a loss before regrouping for the conference title game. Despite the line being inflated, I can’t back Cincinnati since I do not think they have a chance to win the game. Swallow the points.
PICK: Memphis -11.5 (-110)
Follow Jared Smith on Twitter: @jaredleesmith