The Cincinnati Bearcats travel to face the Oklahoma State Cowboys in a Saturday night Big 12 Conference game. After a 2-0 start, things have gone downhill in a hurry for Cincinnati, which has lost its last five games straight-up and against the spread. The Cowboys have won three straight games and covered the spread in all three. Oklahoma State is on a roll, but with the Sooners up next, how focused will they be on the Bearcats? That could be a big factor in the outcome. The Cincinnati vs Oklahoma St odds see the Cowboys favored by 7.5 points and the total on the game is 53.5 points.
Line: Oklahoma State -7.5
Cincinnati’s Numbers Not That Bad
How the Bearcats are 2-5 straight-up and against the spread doesn’t appear to make a lot of sense when you look at the stats. Cincinnati is averaging 27 points per game against teams allowing 26.5 points. The Bearcats allow 26 points per game to teams averaging 26.4 points. Yet the Bearcats are tied for last in the Big 12 Conference’s NCAA football standings with UCF.
The Bearcats rushed for 214.9 yards per game against NCAAF teams that allowed an average of 150.4 yards. Cincinnati’s 5.0 yards per carry is well above their opponents’ average of allowing 4.2 yards per rush. The Bearcats are pretty average in the passing game, throwing for 230 yards per contest against teams allowing 238.6 yards. Cincinnati’s biggest problem area has been its -4 in turnovers, which has helped lead to the Bearcats needing 16.5 yards to score a point.
On defense, Cincinnati allows 3.4 yards per rush, but its opponents average just 3.7 yards per carry. Cincinnati has held its last four opponents to less than 3.5 yards per carry. The Bearcats allow 242.4 passing yards to teams averaging 242 yards, so Cincinnati is pretty close there.
Cincinnati has been a little overpriced on the NCAAF odds the last few seasons. In the last three years, the Bearcats are 1-7 against the spread as an underdog and just 6-14 ATS in conference games.
Cowboys Put Things Together
Oklahoma State’s three-game winning streak has come as an underdog each time. In this game, the Cowboys are favored by just over a touchdown and have the Sooners on deck. So this isn’t a great spot for Oklahoma State. Teams off three straight underdog victories are 10-16-1 ATS over the years when favored by more than 7 points.
The Cowboys run the ball well, averaging 5.2 yards per carry against teams allowing 4.1 yards. Oklahoma State runs the ball 31.9 times per game, so they’re averaging 166.9 rushing yards a game. The Cowboys pass for 238.7 yards per game against teams who allow 234.1 yards. Oklahoma State is +3 in turnovers for the season.
Defensively, the Cowboys are allowing 26 points to teams averaging 27.1 points. Oklahoma State allows 404.9 total yards to teams averaging 403.5 yards, so the Cowboys are pretty much an average team. Oklahoma State has done a better job defending the run than the pass. But the difference isn’t that big.
What to Expect
The Bearcats are going to come out and try to run the ball. It’s what they do best and the Cowboys are a little better than average against the run. Cincinnati runs 43 times per game and passes 32 times, so the Bearcats will look to keep that ratio going. Cincinnati has rushed for more than 240 yards in three of its last five games but found itself on the wrong side of the college football scores in all three contests.
The Cowboys throw 39.4 times per game, which is 7.5 more times per game than they run the ball. Oklahoma State has gained more than 1,000 yards of offense in its last two games, so things are coming together and the Cowboys can become bowl-eligible with a win.
Who to Bet On?
The Cincinnati vs Oklahoma St odds of Cowboys -7.5 seem to be a little on the low side. Especially when you take recent form into consideration. The Bearcats aren’t playing well and the Cowboys are, so you’d expect the line to be a little bit higher. But it’s tough to back Oklahoma State the week before Oklahoma, even if they appear to offer a little value.
The Cincinnati vs Oklahoma St odds of 53.5 on the total is about right. Both squads are decent on both sides of the ball. The big difference is the Cowboys have managed to translate that into wins, while the Bearcats have not. Strictly for value, the way to play this one is on the under 53.5. There should be enough running plays to keep the clock moving and keep the points down enough for the under to come through.