College Football Betting News and Notes Thursday, December 5

College Football Betting News and Notes Thursday, December 5

LOUISVILLE (10 - 1) at CINCINNATI (9 - 2) - 12/5/2013, 7:30 PM

There are no Top Trends with records of significance that apply to this game.

Head-to-Head Series History
LOUISVILLE is 1-0 against the spread versus CINCINNATI over the last 3 seasons
CINCINNATI is 1-1 straight up against LOUISVILLE over the last 3 seasons
1 of 2 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

Louisville is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Cincinnati
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Louisville's last 7 games   
Cincinnati is 5-10 SU in its last 15 games when playing Louisville
Cincinnati is 1-6 ATS in its last 7 games when playing at home against Louisville

Louisville at Cincinnati
Louisville: 4-13 ATS after failing to cover the spread in 5 or 6 out of their last 7
Cincinnati: 19-7 ATS after scoring 20 pts or more in the first half in 2 straight games

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Re: College Football Betting News and Notes Thursday, December 5

Louisville at Cincinnati
By Joe Nelson

The final Thursday night NCAA matchup of the regular season is not the conference championship deciding game many expected it to be before the season started, but there is still a lot on the line in this American Athletic Conference game between Louisville and Cincinnati. Both teams have great records, but through soft scheduling and in most scenarios this game will determine the #2 team in the league.

Match-up: Louisville Cardinals at Cincinnati Bearcats
Venue: Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio (fieldturf)
Date: Thursday, December 5, 2013
Time/TV: 7:30 PM ET - ESPN
Line: Louisville -3½, Over/Under 51
Last Meeting: 2012 at Louisville, Louisville (-3½) 34-31 OT

With Central Florida's narrow comeback win last week, Louisville is out of the running for the AAC title and while a win puts the Cardinals at 11-1, there is no realistic shot for a BCS bowl opportunity. In most scenarios, Louisville will get to play one of its future ACC foes in the Russell Athletic Bowl or the Belk Bowl on December 28 regardless of what happens in this game, despite being a team most expected to run away with the AAC Championship and even be in that national title picture with a likely undefeated season.

The same bowl scenarios are lined up for Cincinnati as this is essentially the second place game in the AAC, though there is a chance Cincinnati could pass UCF for the top spot and the BCS bid with a win if the Knights fall to SMU on Saturday. There is also a chance Cincinnati could get passed by Houston and fall to #4 in the AAC picture if they lose badly, even though they will end up with a better conference record either way. That scenario would mean a cold weather Pinstripe Bowl trip also on December 28. Cincinnati and UCF did not play in the AAC schedule, so the tiebreaker will be the final BCS rankings and to get by the Knights, Cincinnati would need to win impressively in this game and count on a big upset Saturday.

Both of these teams have played extremely weak schedules this season, but Cincinnati has a bit of late season momentum with six straight wins and ATS wins in four of the last five games after some shaky early season performances. Louisville has covered just once in the last seven games, but there are fairly substantial statistical edges for the Cardinals on both sides of the ball. On the season, Louisville has gained 6.8 yards per play on offense compared with 6.4 for Cincinnati. On defense, Louisville allows just 4.1 yards per play compared with 4.7 for Cincinnati. Louisville is in the top 15 nationally in both categories, including third nationally on defense.

Against common opponents in six AAC games, the numbers are pretty similar with slight edges for the Cardinals. Louisville has out-gained those teams by 196.5 yards per game while out-scoring them by 17.1 points per game. Cincinnati has been nearly as dominant, out-gaining those foes by 186.3 yards per game while out-scoring them by 15.3 points per game. The big difference is that Cincinnati only went 5-1 in those games, inexplicably losing to South Florida, but the Bulls had two defensive touchdowns in that game. Cincinnati's statistics in conference play may also be helped by not having to play the best team, UCF, the one team Louisville lost to.

As in any game, quarterback play is at the forefront and while potential top 5 NFL draft pick Teddy Bridgewater has not had a Heisman Trophy caliber season, despite being one of the early season favorites, he has had a tremendous season. Bridgewater has passed for over 3,200 yards this season with 25 touchdown passes against just three interceptions. His 71 percent completion mark has the NFL scouts impressed as his accuracy has been top notch and has improved each season.

After an early season injury to Munchie Legaux, Brendon Kay has led the way for the Bearcats. He has also produced great numbers with over 70 percent completions on the season, passing for nearly 2,800 yards with 22 touchdown passes. Kay has thrown five interceptions in the last four games as his numbers have been a little inconsistent in conference play. The same can be said for Bridgewater, however, as he has just two touchdown passes in the last three games, failing to top 300 yards in any of those games as the scoring has dropped for the Cardinals late in the season.

The weather will be something to keep an eye with both teams leaning on the passing game in most situations. Rain is almost a certainty Thursday night in Cincinnati with the temperature expected to drop severely in the evening hours, going from a high around 60 to likely close to just 30 degrees for the second half of the game.

Last Meeting: This game went to overtime last season, though Louisville had a big yardage edge coming back from a halftime deficit. Cincinnati had three turnovers in the game as they missed an opportunity for what would have been a solid upset over a then undefeated team that was ranked #16 in the nation at the time. Bridgewater had just 58 percent completions in the game, despite throwing for over 400 yards and Kay did not play as Leguax struggled with three interceptions. Cincinnati ran the ball effectively last season in the matchup, out-gaining Louisville on the ground 196-108.

Series History: The overtime win for Louisville last season was the first in the series since 2007 as Cincinnati is 4-1 S/U and ATS the last five years in this matchup. Going back to 1988, Louisville is 14-8 S/U and 12-10 ATS in this series and they are 8-3 ATS at Cincinnati since 1986, while going 5-0 ATS in the last five instances as a road favorite.

Louisville Historical Trends: After an 11-1 ATS run on the road from mid-2009 through 2011, Louisville is just 2-6 ATS in the last eight road games. Louisville is just 10-15 ATS as a road favorite since 2005.

Cincinnati Historical Trends: Cincinnati is 24-6 S/U but just 14-15 ATS at home since 2009. Cincinnati is 6-1 ATS in the last seven and 14-6 ATS the last 20 instances as a home underdog. The Bearcats have not been a home underdog since 2010.

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Re: College Football Betting News and Notes Thursday, December 5

Louisville at Cincinnati: What Bettors Need to Know

Louisville Cardinals at Cincinnati Bearcats (+3.5, 51)

Cincinnati looks to keep its faint BCS bowl hopes alive Thursday when the No. 23 Bearcats host 16th-ranked Louisville, which has recorded back-to-back 10-win seasons for the first time in school history. Cincinnati's hopes of receiving the American Athletic Conference’s automatic bowl berth hinges on a win over Louisville and having Southern Methodist defeat Central Florida on Saturday. If that happens, the league’s bid will go to whichever team between Cincinnati and Central Florida is ranked higher in the final BCS standings.

Louisville appears headed for the Russell Athletic Bowl on Dec. 28 after having its BCS dreams dashed with a 38-35 loss to Central Florida on Oct. 18. The Cardinals have won four straight since the disappointing loss, and are eager to maintain control of the Keg of Nails rivalry trophy. “We’ll walk into a sellout and a hostile environment,” Louisville coach Charlie Strong said. “We need to control their crowd with our defense. We can't allow them to get out and have a fast start."

WEATHER: Temperatures in the low 40s with a 59 percent chance of rain and winds blowing NNW crossfield at 7 mph.

LINE: Louisville opened -3.5 and has remained steady. The total opened as high as 51.5 and dropped to 51 points.

ABOUT LOUISVILLE (10-1, 4-7 ATS): Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has been named one of 10 finalists for the Manning Award after throwing for 3,268 yards and 25 touchdowns, with only three interceptions. Louisville's defense, ranked second in the country while allowing 242.5 yards per game, forced its 24th turnover in a 24-17 victory over Memphis on Nov. 23. The unit is led by linebacker Preston Brown (team-high 83 tackles) and defensive end Marcus Smith, who leads the Cardinals with 12.5 sacks.

ABOUT CINCINNATI (9-2, 6-5 ATS): The Bearcats are bowl-eligible for the seventh time in eight years and carry a six-game winning streak into Thursday’s showdown. Quarterback Brendon Kay recorded his fourth 300-yard passing game of the season Nov. 23, when Cincinnati posted 573 yards of total offense in a 24-17 victory at Houston. Defensive end Silverberry Mouhon has 8.5 sacks and linebacker Nick Temple has 11.0 tackles for a loss to lead the Bearcats, who rank eighth nationally in total defense at 302.4 yards per game.


* Cardinals are 6-1 ATS in their last seven meetings in Cincinnati.
* Favorite is 11-5 ATS in their last 16 meetings.
* Cardinals are 1-4 ATS in their last five meetings.
* Road team is 7-1 ATS in their last eight meetings.


1. Louisville starting safety Calvin Pryor is expected to return Thursday after missing one game due to suspension for violating a team rule.

2. Cincinnati leads the series 30-22-1, but Louisville won last year’s contest 34-31 in overtime.

3. Louisville has outscored its opponents 82-6 in the first quarter.

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Re: College Football Betting News and Notes Thursday, December 5

NCAAF Week 15

Road team covered seven of last eight Louisville-Cincinnati games; Bearcats won four of last five games with rival Louisville, with all four wins by 8+ points. Cardinals lost 25-16/41-10 in last two visits here, where favorites covered six of last eight series games. Louisville is 10-1, with only loss 38-35 as a 14-point home favorite to UCF; they’re 4-0 SU on road, 1-2-1 as road favorites, but 27-13 win at Kentucky was closest of the four games. Cincy won last six games, covered four of last five; they won last two games SU as road dogs, only time they’ve been a dog this season. Bearcats are 5-0 at home, but were favored in every game (2-2 as HF); they struggled to beat SMU 28-25 in last home game.

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