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Cincinnati vs Temple Odds, Spread and Picks

Ryan Bolta

by Ryan Bolta in College Football

Updated Oct 6, 2021 · 6:06 AM PDT

Cincinnati football
Cincinnati cornerback Ahmad Gardner (1) and head coach Luke Fickell, right, prepare to lead their team onto the field prior to an NCAA college football game against Miami (Ohio) Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Jeff Dean)
  • Cincinnati (4-0) hosts Temple (3-2) at Nippert Stadium Friday at 7 PM Eastern on ESPN
  • The Bearcats are ranked in the top five for the first time since 2009
  • Below are the odds and team previews to help settle on the best bet available

#5 Cincinnati takes aim at back-to-back statement victories under the lights Friday night on ESPN.

They are coming off a big win over Notre Dame and while this weeks opponent isn’t nearly as strong, it’s still a national audience they need to impress. The Bearcats are favored by 29.5 points against Temple, which is one point higher than the opening line earlier in the week.

Temple vs Cincinnati Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Temple Owls +29.5 (-110) +1800 O 54.5 (-106)
Cincinnati Bearcats -29.5 (-110) -8000 U 54.5 (-114)

Odds as of October 6th at FanDuel

Cincinnati’s win over Brian Kelly and the Fighting Irish boosted them to 5th in the latest AP poll. It’s the Bearcats first top five ranking in the poll since 2009 – when Brian Kelly was the head coach.

That makes them deserving big favorites in this one, but is there value at betting this high of a spread? Let’s dive in to both programs to find the answer.

Bearcats Elite on Both Sides of the Ball

Cincinnati head coach Luke Fickell is known as a defensive coach but his team is excelling on both sides of the ball. They’ve ridden a fast, structured defense and a more than capable offense to wins over Notre Dame, Indiana, Murray State and Miami of Ohio. It’s not the most impressive run of victories, but paired with their successful 2020 season it’s quite clear Fickell has the program trending in a positive direction.

Quarterback Desmond Ridder has excelled as a dual threat this season. He’s completing 62.5% of his passes and has nine touchdowns with only two interceptions. In addition to his stats through the air, he also has three rushing touchdowns and 98 yards on the ground. They aren’t eye popping numbers, but his athleticism is more than enough to keep defenses honest. Ridder has led the Bearcats to 38.3 points per game which ranks 16th in the country.

Two other Cincinnati players to watch are running back Jerome Ford and wide receiver Alec Pierce. Ford has 371 rushing yards and six touchdowns, while Pierce has racked up 294 receiving yards. Pierce is one of three receivers averaging more than 18 yards per reception, which is a credit to Ridder’s ability to exploit opposing defenses.

Temple Has Struggled Against Quality Opponents

Temple has a winning record this year but that’s thanks to wins over Memphis, Akron and Wagner. Their losses to Rutgers and Boston College were by a combined 72 points. No offense to any fans of those two programs, but they aren’t exactly title contenders. Cincinnati is a giant leap above those teams, which could make this a tough night.

One bright spot for the Owls has been quarterback D’Wan Mathis. The Georgia transfer has completed 61.9% of his passes this season and has five touchdowns with only one interception. His favorite target has been Jose Barbon who has 280 receiving yards and a touchdown.


A key injury concern for Temple is wide receiver Randle Jones. He’s hoping to play but has missed the last two games with a knee injury. Despite those missed games, Randle still has 240 receiving yards and two scores this year. With the Owls almost non-existent running attack, Randle not only needs to play but needs to hit the ground running if Temple has any chance of keeping this game close.

Trust Fickell to Have Cincinnati Ready on Friday Night

This game may have let down written all over it but it’s tough to bet against Fickell. His name is being mentioned at big time programs and for good reason. With this being one of the Bearcats few games to be played on a national stage, it seems more than likely they’ll be ready to showcase their stuff.

If Temple got run off the field by the likes of Boston College and Rutgers, they should struggle in this one as well. There’s already been line movement and there could be more before kickoff, so get your wagers on Cincinnati in sooner rather than later.

The Pick: Cincinnati -29.5 (-110)

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