Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 10:00 AM EST. Odds subject to change.
Cincinnati +14 -110 over Oklahoma
Nippert Stadium – Cincinnati, OH
12:00 PM EST. Oklahoma’s stock is high, as they have won and covered in their first three games this season. The Sooners beat Arkansas State 73-0 (-37), SMU 28-11 (as a 16½-point favorite), and 66-17 at Tulsa (28-point favorite). Oklahoma pulverized a bunch of nobodies of which Cincinnati is not. There is almost always a price to pay for scheduling games against weak competition and now, because of a bunch of skewed results and statistics, Oklahoma is spotting more points than they should be.
Cincinnati lost 31-24 at home last week to Miami Ohio in the Battle for the Victory Bell. The Bearcats were a 14-point favorite. It’s very likely that the Bearcats were looking ahead to this game, as a showdown with Oklahoma is like another trip to the College Football Playoff or a New Year’s Six Bowl even if it’s now a Big 12 Conference Game. By contrast, to Miami Ohio, beating Cincinnati was huge. The Redhawks had not defeated their arch rival in 18 years (16-game losing streak to Cinci). Essentially, Miami OH brought their A-game and Cincinnati brought their C-game. It happens but the Bearcats could still have won, but fell victim to red zone miscues in that upset loss.
This week Cincinnati is a 14-point dog at the time of this writing, which is a 28-point swing/overreaction to last weeks’ debacle. This Cincinnati team is clearly capable of transitioning into Power 5 play as a new member of Big 12. They traveled to Pittsburgh (ACC) two weeks ago and won outright 27-21 as a 6½-point dog. The Bearcats also destroyed Eastern Kentucky (66-13) in their opener before beating Pitt. They are certainly more battle tested under new head coach Scott Satterfield, who returns six starters from a defense last year that was ranked 27th in **EPA in the nation. Satterfield comes to Cincinnati from Louisville, where he also took with him his defensive coordinator, Bryan Brown, whose Cardinals' unit finished 17th in EPA and ninth in EPA in defending the pass last season. That Bearcats defense is loaded with NFL-quality talent, and you will hear the names of Dontay "The Godfather" Corleone, Jowon Briggs, and Deshawn Pace called come April when the NFL Draft hits downtown Kansas City. The Bearcats still have a massively disruptive defensive front.
It is worth noting that #16 Oklahoma opened as a 13½-point favorite on the road at unranked Cincinnati. When you play a ranked team v an unranked team, there is almost always a premium to pay. The Bearcats are a difficult out, they’re talented and they cannot be receiving this amount of points in their own barn against a team that hasn’t broken or sweat or that has even been remotely challenged.
***Expected Points Added Definition (EPA)
The statistic is used to try and define how many points a player or play is worth to a team. Every play is considered with context in mind, meaning down distance and field position are used to evaluate the amount of EPA compared to the actual result of the play
Cincinnati +14 -110 (Risking 2.2 units - To Win: 2.00)