Cincinnati Bearcats Betting: 2021 Win Totals

No team from a group of five conferences has broken through to make the College Football Playoff. Cincinnati made a compelling argument to be the first team to break that mold in 2020.

The Bearcats had an undefeated regular season on a shortened schedule and lost on a field goal as time expired against the Georgia Bulldogs in the Peach Bowl.

Luke Fickell’s squad won 11 games in each of the previous two seasons, and despite interest from power five programs, Fickell remains at Cincinnati to build on the success the team has experienced under their current head coach.

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The Schedule

At Indiana (9/18): Most non-power conference playoff arguments begin to fall apart due to their lack of scheduling. Cincinnati has two chances this season to make statements against Indiana and last year’s playoff participant, Notre Dame. The Hoosiers and Tom Allen had success during the COVID shortened Big Ten season, and quarterback Michael Penix Jr. returns after suffering a torn ACL towards the end of last season.

Indiana may not be a traditional college football power, but the Hoosiers are trending in the right direction, and for Cincinnati, this represents a chance to put a game for the committee to compare against other possible contenders. 

At Notre Dame (10/2): The second of two out of “prove yourself” out of conference matchups for the Bearcats comes in South Bend after a week off. The Irish will be replacing a good amount of starters from a team that a season ago found themselves at the end of year bracket. Jack Coan, quarterback transfer from Wisconsin, takes over for Brian Kelly as he faces his former school (head coach from 2007-2009).

Notre Dame faces a challenging schedule and gets Cincinnati within a tough stretch of games, while Luke Fickell’s team will be coming off a week of rest. If the Bearcats want to be taken seriously as a national contender and candidates for a playoff berth, this becomes a must-win game. 

UCF (10/16): A game that will likely help determine the conference champion in the American Athletic Conference, both of these schools have tried to make their names known on the national stage in recent years. The winner of this matchup has gone on to play in the conference championship game in each of the past four seasons, and this year will likely end in a similar fashion.

Former Auburn head coach, Gus Malzahn, takes over with quarterback Dillon Gabriel running the offense. If Malzahn can recreate some of the offensive success he had in the SEC, the Knights should be a force within the AAC. 

The Team

Desmond Ridder is the focal point of the Bearcats offense as the fifth-year quarterback returns to lead Cincinnati’s charge to the postseason. Backfield running mate Jerome Ford, the one time Alabama running back, comes off a successful Peach Bowl against a vaunted Georgia defense and hopes to pick up where he left off.

On the defensive side, the Bearcats project upperclassman at all 11 spots. Fickell’s experience as an assistant and interim head coach at Ohio State should give the Bearcats an additional edge if the committee places Cincinnati in the College Football Playoff come December. 

The Bet: Over 10 wins

BetUS has this line set at 10 (-115), and the lack of the additional 0.5 wins makes this worth taking the over. Bovada also has the line set at 10 (-125).

The Bearcats would have to lose three games for this bet to lose, and with this schedule and returning cast, they should be able to avoid that result, and at worst, the bet should push. 

Other Bets

Desmond Ridder Heisman Trophy Winner: If Cincinnati makes a playoff push, quarterback Desmond Ridder will be the main driver behind that success. BetUS has the signal-caller down their betting odds list at +8000.

The award has long been heralded a quarterback award, despite a wide receiver taking home the honor last season, and quarterbacks on playoff teams have shown to be prime candidates to end up in New York at the Heisman Trophy ceremony. Bovada is a little more bullish on Ridder’s success as the oddsmakers have his odds set at +4000. 

Cincinnati National Champions: As with every team, the first step to winning a title is to make the playoffs. Once in the field of four, anything is possible. The underdog Bearcats are currently +8000 on both Bovada and BetUS.

This would certainly make history, but the belief is that most of Cincinnati’s goals will revolve around history-making events.

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