Cincinnati at East Carolina odds, picks and prediction
The No. 4 Cincinnati Bearcats (11-0, 7-0 AAC) and East Carolina Pirates (7-4, 5-2) tussle in a Friday contest in Greenville, N.C. The regular-season finale at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium is scheduled for a 3:30 p.m. ET kickoff. Below, we look at the Cincinnati vs. East Carolina odds and lines, and make our expert college football picks, predictions and bets.
Cincinnati sports a top-10 defense in terms of yards (305.2 per game) and points allowed (16.0). UC has allowed more than 21 points just once in its last eight games. That Bearcats defense figures to be tested by the Pirates offense, which ranks 26th in total yards (446.9 per game) and 22nd in passing yards (274.6 per game).
The Pirates cranked out 405 passing yards in last Saturday's 38-35 win over Navy. It was East Carolina's second straight game by a slim margin - it won at Memphis 30-29 in overtime Nov. 13. ECU has had its share of close shaves this season with seven games decided by one score, going 4-3 in those contests.
Rankings courtesy of the AFCA Coaches Poll powered by USA TODAY Sports.
Cincinnati at East Carolina odds, spread and lines
- Money line: Cincinnati -600 (bet $600 to win $100) | East Carolina +420 (bet $100 to win $420)
- Against the spread (ATS): Cincinnati -14.5 (-105) | East Carolina +14.5 (-115)
- Over/Under (O/U): 57.5 (O: -108 | U: -112)
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Cincinnati at East odds, lines, picks and predictions
Cincinnati 34, East Carolina 20
The Bearcats took last year's game 55-17 and have won three straight against the Pirates. But ECU has played well of late, and three of the Pirates' four losses have been by one score. By a razor-thin margin, East Carolina is a lukewarm value against the spread. Avoid the extra juice and PASS on the money line.
The Bearcats are 1-6 ATS in their last seven games on grass. The Pirates are 5-0-1 ATS in their last six games as underdogs. The home team is 5-0 ATS in the last five games of this series. Plus, ECU is 8-1 ATS across its last nine games against winning teams.
East Carolina has a capable enough - and improving of late - offense. UC is a steady, stay-ahead-of-the-chains group on that side of the ball, while ECU relies more on big plays.
Last year's meeting included the Pirates being a minus-3 in turnovers and the Bearcats scoring three short-field touchdowns. Look for ECU to be in a closer battle this year.
The half-point tacked onto the 14 is significant. BACK THE PIRATES +14.5 (-115).
The weather forecast calls for a breezy afternoon in Greenville, and as much as the Bearcats may want to style-point this game into four-score territory, the run games and ECU trying for some keep-away figure to tilt this final into the low-50s.
BACK THE UNDER 57.5 (-112).
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