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Houston vs Cincinnati College Football Betting Odds and Prediction for AAC Championship Game

After each capping off a perfect regular season in the American Athletic Conference, the Houston Cougars and Cincinnati Bearcats will square off in the AAC Championship Game on Saturday afternoon. Although the AAC is among the “Group of 5” leagues in FBS, this game does carry massive implications nationally. It’s no secret that a win on Saturday could result in Cincinnati qualifying for this year’s College Football Playoff. Both schools will be gunning to win their second AAC Championship since the conference instituted a football title game in 2015. The college football betting odds heavily favor the unbeaten hosts ahead of this Houston vs Cincinnati showdown.

The following Houston vs Cincinnati college football betting preview will give you the current odds, betting trends and picks for Saturday afternoon’s AAC Championship Game matchup.

Houston vs Cincinnati College Football Betting Preview

2021 Sun Belt Conference Championship Game
Houston Cougars (11-1, 8-0 AAC) vs. Cincinnati Bearcats (12-0, 8-0 AAC)
Date: Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021
Time: 4 p.m. EST
Venue: Nippert Stadium — Cincinnati, OH
Coverage: ABC

Houston Cougars Preview

After head coach Dana Holgorsen was forced to eat a piece of humble pie in a season-opening loss to Texas Tech, his Houston Cougars team got their act together in a big way. Houston never lost again en route to an 11-1 campaign and a perfect 8-0 mark in the American Athletic Conference. Furthermore, the Cougs were convincing in doing so. Only three of their games all season were decided by less than 10 points. The result has given this talent-laden bunch a shot at the AAC Championship and the opportunity to play the spoiler role when it comes to Cincinnati’s undefeated season and College Football Playoff dreams.

Houston’s offense is led by the big arm of Clayton Tune who finished the regular season with over 3000 yards passing. While Tune has proven prone to making mistakes in previous years, he improved on his decision-making and accuracy during his junior campaign to finish with a 26:8 TD-INT ratio. Sophomore wideout Nathaniel Dell may only be 5’10” and 155 pounds, but he sure can fly up and down the football field. He went for over 1000 yards receiving this season and caught 11 touchdowns. The Cougars will need their defense to continue its strong season on Saturday if they hope to pull off the college football betting upset. Houston was the only AAC team to allow fewer than 300 yards per game defensively.

Cincinnati Bearcats Preview

Well, it all comes down to this AAC Championship Game for Luke Fickell and Cincinnati. A season that began with massive expectations has seen the Bearcats knock off every challenger to date. A win in Saturday’s conference title game and Cincinnati will put themselves in position to become the first Group of 5 team to make the College Football Playoff. The Bearcats enter the AAC Championship ranked No. 4 in the CFP Committee Rankings and No. 3 in the AP Poll. A regular season that saw them fall short of covering numerous college football betting spreads closed with back-to-back blowout wins over SMU and East Carolina, two of the better teams in the American Conference. Just one hurdle remains between UC and possible history being made.

While quarterback Desmond Ridder is no longer among the favorites to win the Heisman Trophy, he has still had a stellar season leading the Bearcats’ offense. Along with junior RB Jerome Ford, Cincinnati has challenged opposing defenses with a balanced offensive attack. Ford went over the 1000-yard rushing mark on the year last week with an 85-yard effort against ECU. While the Bearcats defense has had some shaky games, perhaps expectations were set a bit too high by the college football betting public. Cincy still closed the season with an AAC-best 15.8 points allowed per game. That mark also ranks as a top-five scoring defense nationally.

Desmond Ridder Houston vs Cincinnati prediction AAC Championship college football betting odds
Credit: Aaron Doster/USA TODAY Sports

Houston vs Cincinnati Odds and Spread

College football betting odds for Houston vs Cincinnati are taken from BetMGM Sportsbook.

Moneyline: HOU: (+350) | CIN: (-450)
Spread:
HOU: +10.5 (-115) | CIN: -10.5 (-105)
Total:
52.5 — Over: (-115) | Under: (-105)
Public (Spread) Betting
via Action Network: HOU: (64%) | CIN: (36%)

Houston vs Cincinnati College Football Betting Trends

  • Cougars went 7-5 ATS and 7-5 to the over this season.
  • Bearcats went 7-5 ATS and 5-7 to the over this season.
  • Cougars are 0-4 ATS over the last five years when playing in the month of December.
  • Bearcats are 11-4 ATS in their last 15 home games following a blowout win of 20 points or more.
  • Bearcats are 5-1-1 ATS in their last seven head-to-head matchups against the Cougars.

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Houston vs Cincinnati Stats

  • Houston is averaging 38.8 points per game (PPG) this season (No. 2 in the AAC).
  • Houston is surrendering 19.8 PPG this season (No. 2 in the AAC).
  • Cincinnati is averaging 39.6 PPG this season (No. 1 in the AAC).
  • Cincinnati is surrendering 15.8 PPG this season (No. 1 in the AAC).

Houston vs Cincinnati Prediction

This Houston vs Cincinnati college football betting prediction uses the ESPN Football Power Index (FPI). It gives Cincinnati an 82.6% chance to win the AAC Championship Game.


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