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Free Pick Breakdown, Odds & Prediction: Tulane vs. Cincinnati (11/25/2022)

By Ace Margolis
November 21, 2022
Photo by: Stephen Lew - USA TODAY Sports

Tulane vs Cincinnati (11/25/22 – 12:00 pm EST)

Line: Cincinnati -2.0
O/U: 46.5

We’re finally getting to the end of the regular season in college football with teams scrambling for final positions to win their conferences. It’s no different in the American Athletic Conference where the 21st-ranked Tulane Green Wave head into Nippert Stadium to take on the 25th-ranked Cincinnati Bearcats this Saturday for a huge AAU matchup. The Green Wave come into this go off a big 59-24 win over the SMU Mustangs at home while the Bearcats were on the road and defeated Temple 23-3.

Tulane Analysis

Tulane has had a marvelous season, one that very few expected as they were left off just about everyone’s preseason Top 25 lists as Cincinnati was the majority favorite for the press coming into 2022. However, here is the Green Wave sitting at a surprising 9-2, and even more crucial, 6-1 in the AAU where they’re in a two-way tie with the Bear Cats for first place. Against the spread this season, Tulane has an impressive 9-2 although they’ve been mediocre against the over/under at 5-6.

The season didn’t start off with a lot of fireworks for Tulane as they would open up the 2022 campaign with a win over FCS team Alcorn State before notching one of their big wins of the year, a 17-10 victory over the Big 12’s Kansas State. After that game, however, the Green Wave suffered a fluke loss to Southern Mississippi 27-24, one of only two losses on the season, with the other coming two weeks ago against a hot Central Florida team. On that note, however, Tulane recuperated fast as they pummeled a strong offensive SMU team at home last week, beating them handily to remain in first place in the AAU.

One thing the Green Wave deserves a ton of credit for is their ability to get it done on the road where they’ve gone 4-0 so far on the season, with their last game away from home a 27-13 victory over Tulsa. Tulane has gotten it done with an offense that puts up 35.1 points a contest, good for 26th in the country, as well as a 39th-ranked rushing attack that chews up 189.4 yards per game on the ground. Their strength is on the defensive side of the ball, however, where they’re only allowing 19.5 points a contest, 18th in the nation, and give up 189.5 yards of passing to opposing quarterbacks, which ranks 21st overall.

Cincinnati Analysis

For the Bearcats, they were the only AAU team that was on anyone’s map going into the 2022 season as Cincinnati made a few preseason Top 25 lists but mainly in the 20-25 range where they currently sit. That being said, the Bearcats have had a great year so far as they’ve gone 9-2 as well as 6-1 in the AAU where they’re tied for first place with Tulane. Cincinnati has gone undefeated at home where they’re 5-0, however, they’re only 3-7-1 against the spread and 4-6-1 versus the over/under.

How has Cincinnati done it in 2022? The season did not get off to the start they wanted as the Bearcats would lose the opening game in a hard-fought game to Arkansas, 31-24. After that, however, Cincinnati would go on a great run, winning six in a row before succumbing to Central Florida 25-21 on the last weekend of October. Since then the Bearcats have gone on a three-game winning streak, beating Navy, Eastern Michigan, and Temple over the last three weeks. Now they face their toughest test of the season in a first-place battle against Tulane for what could be the deciding game to win the AAU.

Cincinnati has a strong defense just like Tulane while their offense also does a solid job of moving the ball and scoring points. With 31.7 points a contest, the Bearcats’ offense ranks 42nd overall but their ability to protect the ball is what makes them so good as their four turnovers on the season are 25th in college football. On the defensive side of the ball, Cincinnati’s secondary does a great job preventing a lot of passing yards as they’re only allowing 186.6 yards through the air, 19th overall, while they’re 22nd in the country at points allowed with only 19.7 per game.

Free Pick – Over 46.5

Look, both of these teams are about as even as it gets and, with both at 9-2 and 6-1 in the conference, it’s difficult to give the edge to either team based on the performance this season. Don’t forget that both of these squads lost to UCF, a common opponent. The defenses are close but Tulane’s offense is a tad bit better, especially with a ground game that goes for almost 190 yards a game whereas Cincinnati just doesn’t give up many points, allowing a little less than 20 per contest. One fact of note here is that the Bearcats have won the last four games in this series but this is a far different Green Wave team. With both squads averaging more than 30 points a game, it’s hard to see this particular match going below the total even with both defenses being pretty good. We’re picking Over 46.5.

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