CFB: West Virginia at Cincinnati (8:00 PM ET, ESPN)


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CFB: West Virginia at Cincinnati (8:00 PM ET, ESPN)
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CFB: West Virginia at Cincinnati (8:00 PM ET, ESPN)

West Virginia (7-2, 2-6 ATS) is in a unique situation in the Big East. They can make themselves conference champions by knocking off Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and Rutgers in their remaining games. So far the Mountaineers have flown under the radar. That will


2009-11-13

West Virginia (7-2, 2-6 ATS) is in a unique situation in the Big East. They can make themselves conference champions by knocking off Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and Rutgers in their remaining games. So far the Mountaineers have flown under the radar. That will no longer be the case if the upset the Bearcats as 9-1/2 point dogs on Friday night. Sportsbook.com bettors are backing the favorites at a 75% rate however, believing an upset isn't going to happen.

A WVU loss to either the Bearcats or Panthers would help determine who eventually is named champion or beating those two schools, but losing at Rutgers would be the cruelest fate of all. West Virginia's offense has slowed, after scoring 30 or more points in their first five games; as they have not managed to climb to that barrier since.

The Mountaineers defense, once a fixture in the Top 30, now allows far too many big plays of 20 or more yards, which is a real issue having to deal with Cincinnati offense. West Virginia will need A-game and is 11-4 ATS in road encounters in Nov/Dec. regular season contests.

The Bearcats are 9-0 for the first time in 58 years and brimming with confidence. Coach Brian Kelly is a noted taskmaster, yet his in-game demeanor has been much calmer this season. Cincinnati (6-3 ATS) players always look to be prepared and seem to enjoy playing, something not always seen from others on a week to week basis. A win here and just two games remain, a final home contest in non-conference action against Illinois and a likely huge showdown at Pittsburgh.

Cincy can't ignore a mildly underachieving West Virginia squad who is capable of big upset. That's where the defense had to play smart and whoever is the quarterback has to remain composed. The latest information has sophomore Zach Collaros making his fourth straight start as the Bearcats chase the first 10-0 start in school history. Coach Kelly has still waffled a little this week about who his starter will be once Tony Pike is healthy. Pike is expected to see playing time in this Big East battle. The Bearcats are 7-0 ATS when playing against a team with win percentage of 75 percent or higher over the last three seasons.

Sportsbook.com has West Virginia as 9.5-point underdogs, with total of 55. The Mountaineers are 14-2-1 SU against Cincy and will be an underdog for the first time since the ‘Cats joined the Big East.

West Virginia's offense has taken notice that the two best rushing attacks Cincinnati has faced, Fresno State and UConn, both went over 200 yards on the ground. Can the ‘Teers take advantage on a short week, since they are 1-5 ATS on Friday nights? The Bearcats have shown ability to rebound off a weak defensive effort and are 8-1-1 ATS after conceding 200 or more yards on the ground. Coach Kelly teams are 7-0 ATS at home after ringing up 37 or more points.

ESPN2 will bring this Big East confrontation into viewers living rooms, with the visitor is 5-1-1 ATS and the Under is on 4-1 run.

The StatFox Power Line shows Cincinnati by 12. If you agree, hit the confirm button for that side of the wager at Sportsbook.com.

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