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Cincinnati vs SMU Odds, Spread and Picks

Jack Magruder

by Jack Magruder in College Football

Oct 20, 2022 · 7:00 AM PDT

Cincinnati Bearcats running back Charles McClelland runs with the ball
Oct 8, 2022; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bearcats running back Charles McClelland (10) runs with the ball against the South Florida Bulls in the second half at Nippert Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports
  • No. 21 Cincinnati is a 3.5-point road favorite at SMU in Week 8 on Saturday
  • SMU is 1-5 ATS overall and 0-3 ATS at home this season
  • Read below for Cincinnati vs SMU odds, spread and betting prediction

No. 21 Cincinnati (5-1, 2-0 AAC ) is a 3.5-point road favorite against SMU in an American Athletic Conference game at noon ET Saturday on ESPN. The Bearcats have won five in a row since a season-opening 31-24 loss at Arkansas.

SMU (3-3, 1-1). broke a three-game losing streak in a 40-34 victory over Navy the last time out. The Ponies already have lost to UCF, and another loss would severely damage their title hopes.

Let’s dive into the Cincinnati vs SMU odds and find the best bet for this Week 8 AAC matchup.

Cincinnati vs SMU Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Cincinnati Bearcats -3.5 (-110) -170 Over 58.5 (-115)
SMU Mustangs +3.5 (-110) +145 Under 58.5 (-105)

Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook on Oct 20.

Cincinnati is a 3-point road favorite against SMU, echoing its recent success in the series. The Bearcats are 5-1 SU and 4-2 ATS in the last six against the Mustangs. They have won and covered four of the last five and have won all three previous meetings in Dallas, covering two. The total has been under in all six previous meetings in a series that began in 2013.


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Cincinnati is 1-6-1 ATS in its last eight road games. SMU is 0-5 ATS in its last five and 1-4 ATS in its last five home games. The game was bet up from 3 and bet down from 61.5.

Cincinnati Faces Second True Test

The two-time defending AAC champion Bearcats have not lost since their season opener at Arkansas as they continue to be a distinct favorite in the AAC conference title odds, but they have not faced a team with a winning record since. Their two league victories have come against bottom feeders Tulsa and South Florida, both winless in the league, and they benefited from three turnovers, one a fumble in the end zone, in 45-24 victory over 3-4 Indiana.

New quarterback Ben Bryant has been more erratic than departed Desmond Ridder, but he has completed 66 percent of his passes for 1,561 yards, 15 touchdowns and six interceptions. Halfback Charles McClelland has 502 yards rushing and five touchdowns with a 6.6 average per carry. He had 179 yards rushing and two scores in a 28-24 victory against USF the last time out.

Bryant suffered a concussion in the USF and has returned to practice this week, coach Luke Fickell said, although Bryant’s status for SMU is unclear. Wide receiver Tyler Scott (28 catches, 500 yards, six TDs) also appears questionable after suffering an ankle injury against USF. Backup quarterback Evan Prater has thrown seven passes this season, completing six. No. 2 running back and LSU transfer Corey Kiner is expected back after missing last week with a hand injury.

As has become customary, Cincinnati has shown off on defense. The Bearcats rank No. 19 in total defense, giving up 313.2 yards per game, despite losing four defensive players (and both cornerbacks) in the first four rounds of the 2022 NFL draft. Miami (Ohio) transfer middle linebacker Ivan Pace Jr. has fit right in. He has five sacks and leads the FBS with 12.5 tackles for loss.

SMU Looks to Rebound

The Mustangs broke a three-game losing streak with a 40-34 victory over 2-4 Navy last week and have faced a more difficult first half than Cincinnati. But the transition from TCU defector Sonny Dykes to Brent Lashlee remains a work in progress.

Quarterback Tanner Mordecai’s numbers are good and about what he had last year — 61 percent completion rate, 2,016 yards, 15 touchdowns, six interceptions. His completion rate and touchdown percentage is down, but that may be due to the fact that Rashee Rice is the only one of the four leading receivers who returned.

Rice (toe) is listed as questionable for the game, and his absence would be huge. He is third in Division I in receiving yards per game (126.8 yards) and receptions per game (8.2) and is fourth in total receiving yards (761).  Lead running back Tre Siggers, who has 229 yards rushing and four touchdowns, was held out against Navy and is questionable this week.

The Bearcats blew out SMU 48-14 at home to improve to 11-0 last season. They had 544 yards total offense, nearly an 11-minute advantage in time of possession, and held Mustangs quarterback Tanner Mordecai to 66 yards passing on 26 attempts.

Cincinnati vs SMU Prediction

The Bearcats have reloaded after significant losses but Sonny Dykes’ cross-Metroplex departure seems to have hurt SMU. The separator here is defense. The Bearcats continue to play well on that side of the ball while the Mustangs are giving up 432 yards per game, 109th in Division I.

The injuries to Bryant and Rice bear watching, of course. Cincinnati has shown the ability to win big games, and there is no reason to believe it will not extend its series success here. The best bet here is Cincinnati to cover the spread.

  • Pick: Cincinnati -3.5 (-170), 1 unit
  • Season: 23-21, +11.1 units


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