Cincinnati remains on the outside looking in when it comes to the playoff chase, but it is not on the outside by much. The Bearcats still seem one dominating performance away from reviving their genuine chances at the playoff, but that dominating performance has eluded them for nearly a month now.
Facing one of the AAC’s doormats may help that cause, though the Bulls are 4-2 ATS in their last six, meaning Cincinnati could just remain on the margins for another week or two.
Here are our free college football picks and predictions for Cincinnati at South Florida on November 12, with kickoff set for 6:00 ET.
Cincinnati vs South Florida odds
Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.
Cincinnati opened as a 24-point favorite on Sunday before that number quickly fell to, and remained at, -23.5. Similarly, the total opened at 58.5 before dipping slightly to 57.5 or 57.0, depending on which book you consult. Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until kickoff and be sure to check out the full college football odds before placing your bets.
Cincinnati vs South Florida picks
Picks made on 11/11/2021 at 4:02 p.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.
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Cincinnati vs South Florida game info
• Location: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL
• Date: Friday, November 12, 2021
• Time: 6:00 p.m. ET
• TV: ESPN 2
Cincinnati vs South Florida betting preview
Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our NCAA football weather info.
Cincinnati: Jerome Ford RB (Questionable), Cole Smith K (Questionable).
South Florida: Christian Helms WR (Out), Latrell Williams WR (Out), Darrien Grant DL (Out), Isaiah Cromarty DB (Out).
Find our latest NCAA football injury reports.
Betting trend to know
Cincinnati is 0-3 ATS in its last three, and the Under has cashed in all three times. South Florida is 4-0 ATS in its last four home games as an underdog, three of which came this season. Find more NCAA betting trends for Cincinnati vs. South Florida.
Cincinnati vs South Florida predictions
South Florida +23.0 (-110)
As of Thursday afternoon, some locations still have this at +23.5, but it is more widely available at +23.0, so let’s stick with that number.
If you injected the Covers.com assignment editor with some version of truth serum, he would probably tell you he never expected to see this handicap. After I predicted Cincinnati to cover a 28-point spread against Navy, only for the Bearcats to squeak by 27-20, he assigned another Cincinnati preview. I predicted the Bearcats could handle being favored by 22.5 points against Tulsa, but instead they found a 28-20 win. Sandwiched between those two he gave me respite, not that it mattered as Cincinnati could not cover four touchdowns at Tulane.
And here we are again, that assignment editor clearly expecting me to make a fool of myself by siding with Cincinnati once more.
Once is an incident, twice a coincidence, and three times a pattern. These inflated spreads are beyond the Bearcats' abilities, and their failures may well cost them a playoff spot.
South Florida does little well. If there is any opponent for Cincinnati to find its form against, it should be the Bulls. But fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice? Shame on me.
The Bearcats will not fool anyone thrice.
Under 57.5 (-110)
Cincinnati’s problem has not been its defense. Holding Navy to 20 points, Tulane to 12 and Tulsa to 20 should have given the offense a chance to run up the score. Those allowances are a total of 15.9 points below Navy’s, Tulane’s and Tulsa’s combined season averages.
The Bearcats offense, however, cannot find a high gear. Since running up the score in back-to-back weeks against Temple and Central Florida, cracking 50 in each game, Cincinnati has averaged just 28.7 points.
What changed is anyone’s guess. All three of those opponents give up an average of more than 30 points, lowlighted by Tulane’s 37.9 points allowed per game. The Bearcats should have feasted lately.
Until proven otherwise, it seems it is best to assume Cincinnati’s offense will continue along in third gear, even if the left-hand lane is wide open to test out the fifth-gear’s upper reaches.
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