East Carolina Pirates vs. Cincinnati Bearcats Betting Odds - Free Point Spread Pick
The East Carolina Pirates and the Cincinnati Bearcats are set to battle it out this Thursday night at Paul Brown Stadium in a huge showdown in the AAC title race. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. (ET) and the game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN2.
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The Pirates' climb in the national rankings ended abruptly with a stunning 20-10 loss to Temple on Nov. 1 as 10-point road favorites so last week's bye probably came at the perfect time. Overall, East Carolina is 6-2 straight-up on the year with the only other loss coming in Week 2 to South Carolina. It is now an 4-4 against the spread after failing to cover in its last four outings and the total has stayed UNDER in its last three games.
East Carolina came over from Conference USA this year and it has quickly established itself as the cream of the crop in the AAC behind an offense that is ranked third in the nation in passing yards per game (361.3). Quarterback Shane Carden has thrown for 2,791 yards and 18 touchdowns while completing 63.8 percent of his 357 attempts. Justin Hardy remains his top target with 65 receptions for 814 yards and six scores. The Pirates' defense has also carried it weight by holding teams to just 23 points a game.
Cincinnati has been a tough team to figure out this season. It has rolled over the teams it was supposed to in its five SU wins, but that was wrapped around a three-game losing streak that included a costly 41-14 beatdown at the hands of Memphis as a three-point home favorite. The Bearcats are 4-4 ATS after covering in their last three games and the total has stayed UNDER in four of their last five games.
Also coming off a bye, Cincinnati heads into this conference showdown with a solid passing game as well that is averaging 308.5 yards a game. Munchie Legaux took over for an injured Gunner Kiel in the Bearcats last outing against Tulane and helped lead the team to a 38-14 victory as a 4.5-point road favorite with 211 yards passing and three touchdown throws. Both quarterbacks should be available for this game so we could be in for an aerial duel at Paul Brown Stadium on Thursday night.
The Pirates are 3-6 ATS in their last nine road games and the total has stayed UNDER in four of their last five games on the road.
The Bearcats have won 15 of their last 18 home games SU, but they are 2-4 ATS in their last six games at home. The total has stayed UNDER in four of their last six home games.
These two have not met since 2004 with East Carolina holding the slight 4-3 SU edge in the previous seven meetings and Cincinnati holding the 4-3 edge ATS. The total stayed UNDER in five of those seven games.
East Carolina vs. Cincinnati Game Point Spread Pick
I would look for a tight, hard-fought game battle between these two conference foes come this Thursday night, but in the end stick with the more all-around talented team as the Pirates bounce-back in a big way with the SU win on the road that covers the two points.