Free Week 5 Prediction: Bulls vs. #15 Bearcats Odds
Looking for South Florida Bulls vs. Cincinnati Bearcats free picks? Week 5 betting sees the Bulls take on the Bearcats on Saturday, October 3rd at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio. Cappers Picks provides complimentary handicapping picks all NCAA football season long so stay tuned for more FREE college football predictions like this Bulls Bearcats Week 4 free pick.
College Football Handicapping: Week 5
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South Florida had the last week off due to positive Covid-19 results there week 3 opponent, Notre Dame. That was the last time we saw USF, and they got demolished by the Fighting Irish by a score of 52-0.
This extra week gave the Bulls more time to create a gameplan for their matchup with Cincinnati, but will it help them keep this game close?
South Florida Bulls
The Bulls have yet to decide on a starting quarterback, so they are still feeling out which quarterback of their four will lead the way this season.
This season, Jordan McCloud has seen the majority of snaps but has not done particularly well with them (19/30, 132 Yards, 1 TD). Taking snaps away is transfer student Noah Johnson (7/16, 85 Yards), who has done most of his damage on the ground with 13 attempts for 61 yards and a touchdown.
Next up is Katravis Marsh (4/8, 10 Yards), a true Freshman. Then there is actually a fourth candidate. Cade Fortin is a transfer from North Carolina, and USF Head Coach Jeff Scott has said that Cade will also be in the discussion when he becomes available, which he is this weekend versus Cincinnati.
So the quarterback room is a mess, and everyone that has played so far has an average yard per pass attempt of 4.2 through two games and not one higher than 5.3 yards per attempt from Noah Johnson.
USF has shown from its 72 rushing attempts this year that it is going to focus on running the ball. That is 72 rushing attempts versus only 54 passing attempts. They have had some success as a team averaging 5.7 yards per attempt. The main contributor has been Sophomore Johnny Ford, who has 15 attempts for 141 yards.
His stats are a bit inflated as he has gone for a couple of huge runs, including a 42 yard run versus Notre Dame. Notre Dame played stellar defense holding the Bull’s rushing attack to only 106 yards and the passing attack to 125 yards.
For the Bulls to stay close in this one, they need continued success from their secondary, develop a functional rushing defense, and have a quarterback step up.
#15 Cincinnati Bearcats
The Bearcats are coming off of a solid top 25 win, beating then #22 Army 24-10. For Cincinnati, the rushing offense was never really apart of the gameplan versus Army. They finished with 35 carries for only 69 yards. Army was able to control the run all game. It seemed Cincinnati wanted to attack through the air and exploit the 1-1 matchups they had on the outside.
Army is always a tough out, and their defense is part of that reason as they have guys that play smart and physical. This strategy seemed to get by, but Ridder was clearly not at his best.
On the opening drive, he made a risky decision to pitch the ball on an option play that was simply not there. The army defender was right there, swatting the backward pass to force a fumble and score.
Ridder rebounded on the next drive leading his team down for a touchdown, but he finished the game 18/33 for 258 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 fumble, 1 interception, and an abysmal quarterback rating of 38.8.
The saving grace for Cincinnati was their stellar work on defense. It is hard for most teams to stop the triple-option Army runs, as it has averaged 398.5 yards rushing coming into this game.
The Bearcats were able to hold Army to just 182 rushing yards and no offensive touchdowns. That is tough to do versus what is usually a dynamic triple-option offense.
NCAA Football Handicapping Trends*
- USF are 6-15 ATS in their last 21 conference games.
- USF is 5-0 ATS in their last five games vs the Bearcats
- Under is 8-1 in CIN last 9 home games.
- Under is 8-1 in CIN last 9 games on fieldturf.
- Under is 36-15-1 in CIN last 52 games in October.
- Cincinnati is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games
- Home team is 6-2 ATS in their last 8 meetings.
Free Week 5 NCAA Football Prediction:
I am not one to lay the points on huge favorites, but in this spot, I think Cincinnati is an overwhelming opponent for a USF team that just has not found an identity yet, let alone a quarterback. It will not get as out of hand as the Notre Dame game, and USF will be able to get some points on the board, but I see Cincinnati controlling this game from the snap.
The Cincinnati defense will stop the run as it did against Army and cause a USF quarterback to throw the ball, leading to turnovers. Desmond Ridder will be better this week and we will see Cincinnati establish the run and have success against the struggling USF rushing defense.
Shop for the best lines below as it would be nice to grab the Bearcats at the key number of -21 or even -20.5 if you can find it, but I still like them at the current number of -21.5.
Free NCAA Betting Pick: Cincinnati -21.5
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