NCAA Football Picks and American Athletic Conference Week 9 Betting Report
by Dave Schwab - 10/22/2014
After coming up on the wrong end of my last three weekly picks for the AAC, I got back to my winning ways with the correct call in Cincinnati's 41-3 dismantling of SMU as 14-point road favorite this past Saturday. I am now 4-4 on the year, but still in the red $170 with my unit plays using Doc's Sports Unit Betting System.
The following is a brief betting report for all the games this week in the AAC as well as my top pick for Week 9 of the season. All the lines quoted have been provided by 5Dimes.
Thursday, October 23
Connecticut Huskies vs. East Carolina Pirates (-27.5)
Total Line: 55.5
The Huskies current straight up losing streak reached four games with a 12-3 loss to Tulane back on Oct. 11 as 3.5-point road underdogs. Connecticut is now 1-5 on the year, and it has yet to cover in any of its first six games, with the total staying "under" in four of those contests. This offense has managed to score an average of just 12.8 points a game.
East Carolina is currently ranked No. 18 in the AP's latest Top 25 after extending its SU winning streak to four games with a 28-17 win against South Florida two weeks ago as a 17-point road favorite. The 5-1 Pirates have failed to cover hefty spreads in their last two games to fall to 4-2 ATS on the year. This offense is ranked 12th in the nation in scoring with 41 points a game.
Friday, October 24
South Florida Bulls vs. Cincinnati Bearcats (-11)
South Florida outlasted Tulsa 38-30 last Saturday as a 2.5-point road favorite to move to 3-4 SU on the year. After covering in their last four games, the Bulls are a profitable 5-2 ATS overall. The total went over the 50-point closing line in that game after staying under in four of their previous six games. This was just the second time this year the Bulls' offense eclipsed the 30-point mark.
The Bearcats romp over SMU snapped a three-game skid and evened their SU record this season at 3-3. It was also the first time they covered ATS in their last five games. Cincinnati is averaging 34.3 points a game, but the issue has been a defense that is allowing an average of 34.5 points, which is ranked 103rd in Division IA.
Saturday, October 25
Temple Owls vs. Central Florida Knights (-9)
Total Line: 48
Temple's bid for this season's AAC title after a fast 2-0 start in conference play was dealt a setback in last Friday's 31-10 loss to Houston as a 9.5-point road underdog. The Owls are still 4-2 SU(3-3 ATS) on the year, which is a vast improvement from their two-win tally in 2013. The key to the turnaround has been a defense that is holding opponents to an average of 17.2 points a game.
Central Florida's offense may not be nearly as potent this season with Justin Holman at quarterback, but the team continues to find ways to win with a four-game SU winning streak heading into Saturday's contest. The Knights are also getting it done on defense by holding teams to 20 points a game. Last week UCF hammered out a 20-13 victory over Tulane, but it came nowhere close to covering as a 17-point favorite at home. This team is now 4-2 SU with a 3-3 record ATS.
AAC Pick of the Week
Memphis Tigers (-23) vs. SMU Mustangs
Total Line: 49.5
The Tigers have been one of the bigger surprises in the AAC this season after going 1-7 in conference play last season as part of an overall record of 3-9. Memphis is only 3-3 SU (4-2 ATS) this season, but it played both UCLA and Ole Miss tough, and it rolled over Cincinnati 41-14 as a three-point road underdog in early October. The Tigers' offense has been able to average 33.7 points a game, and its defense is ranked 27th in the nation in points allowed (20.8).
SMU has not only fallen to the bottom of this conference with a 0-2 start in AAC play, but it has established itself as arguably the worst team in D-IA football. The Mustangs are ranked dead last (128th) in the nation in both scoring (6.5 points a game) and points allowed (48.0) as part of an overall record of 0-6 SU (1-5 ATS). There is no reason to believe that things will be any different this Saturday against a Memphis team that is looking to quickly erase the memory of a tough four-point loss to Houston its last time out.
YTD: 4-4 (-170)
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