CFB Betting – Cincinnati Bearcats at Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Written by:
Phil Simon
Published on:

The Cincinnati Bearcats are the latest college football Group of Five flavor of the month. Following in the footsteps of Boise State and UCF, the Bearcats have cracked the top-10 and face a huge obstacle in their quest to reach the CFP. Well, another big obstacle. The first of course is the committee that will never allow a G5 team into the 4-team playoff. The Bearcats can control only what they can control, and right now that’s winning football games, and Cincinnati is favored in its top-10 showdown with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.  Bookmaker offers a generous welcome bonus (max bonus $1000).

Cincinnati Bearcats at Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Date and Time: Saturday, October 2, 2021, 2:30 p.m. ET
Location: Notre Dame Stadium, Notre Dame, IN
CFB Odds: Cincinnati -2, O/U 49.5
Cincinnati at Notre Dame TV Coverage: NBC

Odds Analysis

The Bearcats are enjoying their success and all that comes with being a top-10 program. They better get used to it with a spot in the Big 12 in their future. The stage isn’t too big, but they haven’t been on a stage quite like what they’ll experience on Saturday. And adding pressure to their situation is that oddsmakers pegged them as a 2-point favorite on the college football betting line. UC is coming off a bye getting additional time to prepare for this matchup. They also enter on the heels of a nice comeback road win against Indiana. They fell behind 14-0 before pulling out the 38-24 decision and covering the 4.5-point line moving to 3-0 SU and 2-1 ATS.

Notre Dame stayed unbeaten with its 41-13 win over Wisconsin last week, but don’t let the score fool you. There’s a reason why the Irish are catching points on the current line. They had to dip down to No. 3 on the QB depth chart against the Badgers and three defensive/special teams touchdowns made the score more lopsided than it actually was. Still, the Irish did what they had to covering for the second straight game while cashing the OVER for the third time in four outings.

Cincinnati Bearcats

This is a great opportunity for the Bearcats to prove their ranking. Not only are they fighting for respect as a G5 program, they face an old friend in former defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman. UC should be familiar with the defensive schemes and that should help QB Desmond Ridder, who overcame his own mistakes to lead the comeback at Indiana. Ridder tossed a pick and lost a fumble leading to the early deficit. But he made up for it in the second half by throwing and running for a touchdown.

The team experienced some jitters playing on the road for the first time with a number of false starts and uncharacteristic miscues offensively. It’s a good thing the defense remained solid. The Bearcats rank among the top-20 nationally in yards and points allowed and they clamped down in the second half against a decent Hoosiers offense. The bye could be a blessing or a curse depending on how Cincy uses the time. They were rolling outscoring its three opponents by an average of four touchdowns. But they also get extra time to prep for a top-10 opponent.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish

The Irish keep winning games and they are in a position to make a serious CFP run based on their opponents over the next few weeks. They knocked off one tough cookie last week beating Wisconsin outright 41-13 as a 6-point dog. And we’ll see if the Irish are for real with a test against Cincinnati. ND has one thing going for it on Saturday. They’ve been unbeatable at home over their last 26 games going 15-11 ATS. They were catching points just twice in that span pulling off impressive wins over Clemson last season and knocking off Michigan in the 2018 opener. Don’t be blinded by the score of the Wisconsin game, though.

You could say the Irish were up to the task defensively forcing five turnovers with two of their four interceptions returned for touchdowns. Special teams also contributed with Chris Tyree starting a 31-0 fourth quarter spurt with a 96-yard kickoff return touchdown. And the Irish needed those contributions since the offense sputtered. Jack Coan left with an ankle injury, though he’s likely to play on Saturday. Backup Tyler Buchner was unavailable leaving third-stringer Drew Pyne to finish up. Though Coan will start if he’s able, there are concerns on the line. The Irish managed only three net rushing yards on 32 attempts and allowed six sacks.

Bet Cincinnati at Notre Dame at

I don’t think Cincy is going to be as philanthropic as Wisconsin was last week, and if the Irish don’t figure things out on offense it could be a rough afternoon. The Bearcats are legit and their defense is stout making things difficult for ND to score points. That’s why I’m backing the visitors minus the points on the road and the UNDER.

CFB Score Prediction: Cincinnati 26, Notre Dame 19

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