Cincinnati Bearcats (13-0) vs. Alabama Crimson Tide (12-1)
December 31, 2021 3:30 pm EDT
The Line: Alabama Crimson Tide -13.5 / Cincinnati Bearcats +13.5; Over/Under: 58
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The Alabama Crimson Tide and Cincinnati Bearcats meet Friday afternoon in the Cotton Bowl College Football Playoffs at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. The Cincinnati Bearcats have lost just one game since the start of last season. The Alabama Crimson Tide look to build on their seven-game winning streak.
The Cincinnati Bearcats are 6-0 SU this season in non-home games. Desmond Ridder is completing 65.9 percent of his passes for 3,190 yards, 30 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. Alec Pierce and Tyler Scott have combined for 1,344 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns, while Tre Tucker has 32 receptions. The Cincinnati Bearcats ground game is averaging 179.8 yards per contest, and Jerome Ford leads the way with 1,242 yards and 19 touchdowns. Defensively, Cincinnati is allowing 16.1 points and 304.9 yards per game. Joel Dublanko leads the Cincinnati Bearcats with 106 tackles, Curtis Brooks has 7.5 sacks and Deshawn Pace had 4 interceptions.
The Alabama Crimson Tide have won three straight non-home games. Bryce Young is completing 68 percent of his passes for 4,322 yards, 43 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. Jameson Williams and John Metchie III have combined for 2,567 receiving yards and 23 touchdowns, while Slade Bolden has 32 receptions. The Alabama Crimson Tide ground game is averaging 147.1 yards per contest, and Brian Robinson Jr. leads the way with 1,071 yards and 14 touchdowns. Defensively, Alabama is allowing 20.2 points and 304.6 yards per game. Henry To’oTo’o leads the Alabama Crimson Tide with 100 tackles, Will Anderson Jr. has 15.5 sacks and Jalyn Armour-Davis has 3 interceptions.
The Bearcats are 2-6-1 ATS in their last 9 games in December and 7-1 ATS in their last 8 Friday games. The Crimson Tide are 0-6 ATS in their last 6 Friday games and 5-2 ATS in their last 7 neutral site games. The under is 5-2 in Bearcats last 7 games overall. The under is 3-1-1 in Crimson Tide last 5 bowl games.
The Alabama Crimson Tide are obviously the better team here, they should be favored by a decent margin and the Heisman curse has died down a bit. In fact, the last two Heisman winners have won the national title, so that’s great news for Young and Alabama. However, Cincinnati isn’t undefeated by luck. The Cincinnati Bearcats have a well above average defense across the board, and Ridder is a gamer of a quarterback who isn’t shy of the moment. Let’s not forget, Cincinnati was in this spot last year, and it gave Georgia all it could handle in the Peach Bowl. These Bearcats are better than they were a year ago. This game will be tight. Give me the points.