The Cincinnati Bearcats will look to build off a very close win against East Carolina last Friday as they hit the road to face Temple.
Cincinnati was down by one point entering the fourth quarter last week but kicked a field goal with 9:42 left to take a 27-25 lead it wouldn’t relinquish. Cincinnati was dominated for a lot of the game, as the Pirates out-gained the Bearcats 454-310 in total yards. Quarterback Ben Bryant had an especially rough night, as he completed only 14 of 30 passes.
Temple is coming off a tough loss last week, as the Owls gave the Houston Cougars all they wanted before falling 43-36. Temple took a 36-35 lead with less than two minutes left in the game but gave up a touchdown in the final seconds. Quarterback E.J. Warner had the best game of his young career, throwing for 486 yards and three touchdowns.
Caesars Sportsbook lists the Bearcats as a 17-point favorite with an over/under of 51.
Let’s take a closer look at the odds and trends:
Navy Midshipmen at Cincinnati Bearcats
Time/TV: 4 p.m. ET Saturday, ESPNU
Point spread (from Caesars Sportsbook): Cincinnati -17
Money line: Cincinnati -900, Temple +600
Analysis: The Bearcats had to dig deep last week to get the win, but this has been a pretty good team the entire season. Last season’s team lost a ton of players to the NFL draft, including the No. 4 overall pick, cornerback Sauce Gardner, and Jim Thorpe Award-winning cornerback Coby Bryant, but the defense has been resilient. The Bearcats rank 25 in passing yards allowed (190.8 yards) and should be able to show the young quarterback Warner defensive looks he hasn’t seen this year.
If the last name Warner sounds familiar, it is because the Owls’ starting quarterback is the son of NFL Hall of Famer Kurt Warner. His performance against Houston was obviously the best of his career, but outside of that game, he has thrown 10 touchdowns and nine interceptions. One positive is a 72% completion rate in November, compared to just 58% on the season.
Temple has shown some fight in its last three games, but Cincinnati is a different-level team that is still playing for a lot. Look for the Bearcats big on Saturday.
Prediction: Cincinnati 38, Temple 17