This weekend features several intriguing college football games for fans and bettors to take in, including the Cincinnati Bearcats squaring off against the Houston Cougars for the AAC Championship.
Both teams have put together terrific campaigns thus far. Cincinnati (3) has yet to lose a game this year and will likely secure a spot in the College Football Playoff with a win here. Houston (16) has been nearly as hot, winning 11 straight since its season-opening loss to Texas Tech.
These two teams have not played each other yet this season, however, and this is shaping up to be Cincinnati’s biggest test since their game against Notre Dame back in October.
Without further adieu, here are our picks and predictions for the AAC Championship Game, which is set for 4 PM EST on Saturday, December 4. Please note that all odds and lines are current as of 3 PM EST on Monday, November 29.
Houston vs Cincinnati Prediction
Cincinnati dominated on both sides of the ball this year, scoring 39.6 points per game while permitting just 15.8. They were consistently excellent week in and week out, playing just two single-possession games all season and never winning by fewer than seven points.
Houston, on the other hand, was a bit more inconsistent. Their offense overwhelmed teams by routinely scoring 40+ points, but their defense struggled at times before coming on strong down the stretch. Over their last three games, the Cougars allowed just 38 points combined.
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Houston will need another strong defensive effort here against Desmond Ridder, who thew for 3,000 yards this season with a stellar 27:8 TD/INT ratio. He’ll face a Cougars defense allowing 191.6 yards per game through the air this season — 16th-fewest.
Clayton Tune posted nearly identical numbers to Ridder, compiling 3,013 passing yards with a 26:8 TD/INT ratio. He may find himself limited by Cincinnati’s stellar pass defense, however, which held opponents to the third-fewest passing yards per game this year (161.5).
Given how strong both defenses are, we may see a lower-scoring game than both teams are accustomed to. Houston’s defense has already been roasted for 30+ points on three separate occasions this year, however, so Ridder and co. should find a way to put enough points on the board to prevail here.
Houston vs Cincinnati Prediction: Cincinnati 28, Houston 21
Houston vs Cincinnati Best Bets
Best Bet: Cincinnati Moneyline (-440) at Caesars
It’s not going to be a blowout for Cincinnati, but they should still be able to get the job done against Houston.
While the Cougars’ defense is one of the nation’s best, I still like Cincy to score 30+ points here, which they’ve done in nine of their 12 games this season. They’ve also scored at least 35 points in each of their last three games, averaging 42.7 per contest during that span.
The Bearcats’ defense has also been close to impenetrable this year, yielding more than 20 points just three times all season. While Tune will likely be the best quarterback they’ve faced thus far, Cincinnati should do enough on both sides of the ball to come out on top in our CFB bet of the day.
Best Bet: Houston +10.5 (-110) at Caesars
While Cincinnati should win this game, it’ll be relatively close and I have Houston losing by seven. A double-digit spread is a lot for any team to cover, so I’m taking the Cougars against the spread on our CFB gameday odds.
As noted, the Cougars’ defense has been tremendous lately and should be able to keep the game close. This will likely be a one-possession game given the defensive talent on both sides.
Thanks for reading our AAC Championship Prediction & Best Bets! For more CFB betting tips, check out our CFB Conference Championship Predictions.