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Cincinnati vs Louisville Prediction, Odds and College Football Betting Picks for Fenway Bowl

A busy Saturday of college football bowl games gets underway at Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox. One of the most iconic stadiums in sports will host the Cincinnati Bearcats and the Louisville Cardinals in the Fenway Bowl. This matchup may also be the most ironic of the bowl season thanks to the coaching carousel movement that has transpired between the two schools. The Cincinnati vs Louisville odds and college football betting picks give a slight edge to the ACC representative.

The following game preview provides the college football betting odds, trends and FEI Index ratings before sharing our official Cincinnati vs Louisville prediction for the Fenway Bowl matchup.

Cincinnati vs Louisville Prediction | College Football Betting Picks

Fenway Bowl
Cincinnati Bearcats (9-3, 6-2 AAC) vs. Louisville Cardinals (7-5, 4-4 ACC)
Date: Saturday, December 17, 2022
Time: 11 a.m. EST
Venue: Fenway Park — Boston, MA
Coverage: ESPN

Cincinnati is just one year removed from becoming the first Group of 5 team to reach the College Football Playoff. For some Bearcats fans, that historic run may seem like a distant memory. Although UC only lost three games, a home defeat at the hands of Tulane in the regular season finale prevented the Bearcats from making it back to the AAC Championship Game. Then, head coach Luke Fickell left to take the Wisconsin job. Cincinnati will also be without several pass-catchers in the Fenway Bowl.

After getting off to a slow start, Louisville managed to win five of their final six ACC games to clinch bowl eligibility. However, the Cardinals roster and coaching staff for the Fenway Bowl will be much different than it was for much of the season. The irony of head coach Scott Satterfield leaving the program to take over in the same role at Cincinnati is truly incredible. Louisville will also be without quarterback Malik Cunningham and top corner Kei’Trel Clark who opted out to prepare for the NFL Draft.

Yasir Abdullah Cincinnati vs Louisville prediction odds college football betting picks Fenway Bowl game predictions
Credit: Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Cincinnati vs Louisville College Football Betting Picks and Odds

All college football betting odds for Cincinnati vs Louisville can be found at BetOnline Sportsbook.

Moneyline: CIN: (+105) | LOU: (-125)
Point Spread: CIN: +2 (-112) | LOU: -2 (-108)
Total: 39.5 — Over: (-112) | Under: (-108)

College Football FEI Ratings

The following table shares the Fremeau Efficiency Index rankings for both teams involved in this Fenway Bowl matchup. The purpose of the FEI ratings is to represent the per-possession scoring advantage that a team would be expected to have on a neutral field against an average opponent. The rankings for offense and defense are out of 131 total FBS-level teams.

Fremeau Efficiency Index (FEI) ratings are froFootball Outsiders

TeamOverall FEI (Rk)OFEI (Rk)DFEI (Rk)
Cincinnati.23 (46)-.16 (76).41 (33)
Louisville.44 (26).07 (60).74 (15)
  • Bearcats are 1-6-1 ATS in their last eight games overall.
  • The OVER is 3-0-1 in the Bearcats’ last four non-conference games.
  • The UNDER is 5-1 in the Bearcats’ last six games after rushing for more than 200 yards in their previous game.
  • Cardinals are 4-0 ATS in their last four games following a straight up loss.
  • Each of the Cardinals’ last four games has stayed UNDER the total.
  • Cardinals are 11-3-1 ATS in their last 15 games against efficient offenses averaging less than 13.20 yards per point.
  • Dating back to 2000, betting favorites are 9-4-1 ATS in head-to-head meetings between Cincinnati and Louisville.

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Cincinnati vs Louisville Prediction | College Football Betting Picks

Like countless other bowl games, the Fenway Bowl has sadly become a shell of the matchup that most were hoping for when it was first announced. Both Cincinnati and Louisville have been subject to coaching changes and numerous player opt-outs. None is more noteworthy than Cardinals quarterback Malik Cunningham, who has been a mainstay under center ever since the Lamar Jackson days.

While Cunningham’s prowess as a dual-threat QB allowed him to pile up plenty of eye-popping statistics, he isn’t the only key offensive piece that will be sitting out on Saturday. After finishing second in the ACC with 1,034 receiving yards, Tyler Hudson will not play in the Fenway Bowl. The same is true of lead running back, Tiyon Evans.

Meanwhile, Cincinnati also will be shorthanded offensively, particularly in the passing game. Wideouts Tyler Scott and Tre Tucker have both opted out to prep for the NFL Draft, as have tight ends Josh Whyle and Leonard Taylor. That quartet accounted for over 150 receptions for the Bearcats this season. As such, quarterback Ben Bryant will be left to rely on other, less-experienced pass-catchers.

As both offenses will be quite depleted, one has to believe that this will be a defensive-oriented affair. The Cincinnati vs Lousiville odds certainly agree as the game total has dropped several points relative to the opening line. It should be noted that the move has transpired despite the vast majority of public bettors taking the Over.

To be clear, Louisville didn’t rank 13th in the country in scoring defense (20.2 points per game) and 15th in adjusted efficiency by accident. While top cornerback Kei’Trel Clark opting out hurts, the Cardinals’ other NFL hopefuls in the front seven are largely expected to play. Players like Yasir Abdullah and MoMo Sanogo have a great opportunity to boost their draft stock with a strong showing in the Fenway Bowl.

UNDER THE TOTAL will be our official college football betting Cincinnati vs Louisville prediction for the Fenway Bowl.

For what it’s worth, the ESPN Matchup Predictor gives Louisville a 55.4% chance to win this game outright.

Bet: UNDER 39.5 (-108 at BetOnline Sportsbook)

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