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THURSDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
Re: THURSDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
CINCINNATI (+2.5) 26 S. Florida 23
Both of these teams are coming off upset losses but Cincinnati’s credibility was hurt more by losing 16-40 at U Conn, which looks much worse than USF’s 20-24 loss at Louisville. Cincy’s loss, however, was more about being -6 in turnovers in that game than being dominated by Connecticut, as the Bearcats were only out-gained 4.4 yppl to 4.8 yppl and had to play ½ the game with their 3rd string quarterback. That will be the case again here, as 2nd string QB Tony Pike will not play after losing feeling in his broken non-throwing arm, which kept him out the previous month. Chazz Anderson started 2 games in place of Pike and original starter Grutza, and his numbers aren’t nearly as good – averaging just 5.3 yards per pass play despite facing teams that would combine to allow 7.1 yppp to an average quarterback. The Bearcats are 0.8 yards per play worse than average offensively with Anderson at quarterback, but they have a good defense (0.6 yppl better than average) and very good special teams – so they are still capable of beating an overrated South Florida team that is just 0.3 yppl better than average offensively and 0.1 yppl worse than average on defense (5.0 yppl allowed to teams that would average 5.1 yppl against an average team). The Bulls simply aren’t good defensively, despite their reputation of being a good defensive team. All-American George Selvie isn’t putting up the ridiculous numbers he posted last season, although he does have 5 sacks and 5 other tackles for loss, and South Florida sorely misses last year’s two great cornerbacks, who are both in the NFL this season. South Florida also has a few injuries on the defensive side of the ball, as starters SS Carlton Williams and DL Terrell McClain are both listed as questionable. I make this game a pick with Anderson at quarterback for Cincinnati and the Bearcats apply to a solid 104-48-2 ATS bounce-back situation. South Florida doesn’t apply to any general situations, but the Bulls are 16-9 ATS after a loss, which dampens my enthusiasm a bit. I like the Bearcats plus the points and I’d consider Cincinnati a Strong Opinion at +3 or more.