Tulane vs. Cincinnati Odds
Tulane and Cincinnati will meet on Friday in a game with some of the most important consequences of the season. The winner of this game will host the AAC Championship next weekend, and the loser will most likely be eliminated.
Heading to Nippert Stadium to play the Bearcats is always tricky. The Green Wave will have to go there and win this weekend if they want a shot at the conference title.
Cincinnati has won 32 straight games at Nippert, the second longest streak in the nation. Securing home advantage for the second weekend in a row will go a long way for the Bearcats to defend their conference crown.
The loser of this game will receive a potential tie for second place in the AAC.
UCF and Houston are hot on the heels of both of these teams. If one or both of them win, they will share second place in the conference. If both lose then next weekend we have a Tulane-Cincinnati rematch for the AAC Championship.
A two-way tie for second place will result in a head-to-head tie-break. UCF defeated both of these teams and won the tie-break. Tulane defeated Houston and the Cougars didn’t play Cincinnati. In the event of a three-way tie, the tiebreaker goes to the highest ranked team in the college football playoff rankings.
This game will be critical in determining who wins the conference this year, but Cincinnati’s key injury could weigh on his chances. In what was supposed to be a physical battle between two strong defenders, it can feel like an old-school football game.
Successful passing of the ball will be key for Tulane. The Green Wave is ranked 24th in PPA success and 32nd in success. However, they don’t have a lot of big games in this area as they are ranked 74th in terms of passability.
This team often works with the ball. In fact, it ranks 34th in the country. Tulane only ranks 64th in the ground success rankings, but due to the explosive power of this ground attack, he is ranked 28th in the Rushing PPA.
The Cincinnati defense is strong on both sides of the game, so Tulane will need to be successful wherever he can to score points on the board.
Green wave protection
Tulane’s defense has been solid overall, but he’s really brilliant at stopping explosive plays. The Green Wave is ranked 13th in allowed explosive power on the pass, 21st in allowed explosive power, and 10th overall in allowed explosive power.
This can make it difficult for the Bearcats to keep up unless they are generating the normal success they usually have. This is especially true of Cincinnati quarterback Ben Bryant, who was put on the list of questionable players after suffering an injury last week.
This defense ranks 61st in the overall success rankings, including 53rd against running and 63rd in the air.
Tulane is ranked the fourth best cover unit in the country by the PFF and is ranked 18th best defensive unit overall. SP+ is also relatively high in this defense, ranking 31st nationally.
bear cat attack
Cincinnati is impressive again this year. He’s back in the AAC Championship despite losing a ton of talent from last year’s college football playoff team.
Bryant led the team this season, but the Bearcats may have to win this big game without him.
Bryant was injured in the second quarter against Temple last week and his status this week remains unknown. The fact that he was standing on the touchline with crutches and a slipper does not inspire confidence that he will participate.
If Bryant fails to leave, he will most likely be replaced by Evan Prather. Prater had yet to start his career and was in limited action until Saturday.
Against Temple, the former four-star recruit passed 12 of 17 for 127 yards. Prather also gained 24 yards on nine ground attempts in the Bearcats’ 23-3 win.
Overall, the Cincinnati offense has already struggled this year, finishing 66th overall in SP+ and 88th in offensive hits.
However, they deal most of their damage through the air, so the potential loss of Bryant could be large. Cincinnati passes with the 21st highest score in the nation and is ranked 31st in PPA passing, 35th in explosiveness, and 54th in passing success.
The running game didn’t help the Bearcats in any way. They are ranked 118th in the successful snatch rankings, 95th in the Rushing PPA, and 98th in explosive power.
Cincinnati’s inefficiency in the run game is likely why it has relied so heavily on passing offense this year. If Bryant isn’t 100% or Prather can’t replicate his explosiveness in the air, the Cincinnati offense could be in trouble.
Protecting bear cats
Defense is without a doubt the strength of this Cincinnati team. The Bearcats are ranked 13th in defensive success, 15th in SP+, and ranked 11th best defense in PFF.
This pass rush is one of the best units in the country and is a big part of their success. Cincinnati are third in passing in the PFF and are 14th in Havoc.
The Bearcats are ranked 19th in the number of successful passes and 32nd in the PPA. Their main weakness was that they allowed for high stakes as they are ranked 100th in passing explosiveness. Tulane is not a team that usually uses explosive passes, so this game will most likely not be an issue.
The Bearcats run defense is strong on its own, ranking 19th in the success rankings and 16th in the PPA.
This fast Cincinnati defense also has the third highest PFF speed rating. He also ranks 45th in explosive attack, which will help him counter Tulane’s rushing assault.
Match analysis Tulane and Cincinnati
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Tulane and Cincinnati match statistically:
Tulane Offense vs. Cincinnati Defense
Cincinnati Assault vs. Tulane Defense
Pace of play / Other
|SP+ special teams||77||16|
|Seconds per game||26.8 (77)||26.2 (57)|
|Haste speed||59.2% (26)||48.0% (102)|
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.
Tulane vs. Cincinnati betting choices
With or without Bryant, I see it as a tough and physical matchup between two talented teams. On both sides, the defense was stronger than the attack of the enemy.
If Bryant doesn’t play at all or plays but not 100%, the underwriter becomes even more attractive and looks promising until Prater is a revelation for the Bearcats.
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