Cincinnati is frustrated this week. Bearcats head coach Luke Fickell did not try to hide that when informed his team was No. 6 in the initial Playoff rankings on Tuesday, outright asking, “Who’s the chairman? Did he play football?”
Gary Barta did indeed win three national championships at North Dakota State in the mid-80s, but that should be irrelevant. What is relevant, something Barta alluded to, is that Cincinnati has had trouble putting away opponents of late.
The Bearcats have reason to run up the score these days. Doing so against Tulsa could help their Playoff case.
Here are our free college football picks and predictions for Tulsa at Cincinnati on Saturday, November 6.
Tulsa vs Cincinnati odds
Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.
This line has varied throughout the week based on what book you consult. Some opened with Cincinnati favored by 23.5 on Sunday, others ducked below that key number and posted -22.5. Most trended toward the latter throughout the week, -22.5 becoming the consensus line no later than Thursday.
The total opened at 54.5 and moved up to 55.0 by Thursday.
Tulsa vs Cincinnati picks
Picks made on 11/5/2021 at 1:05 p.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.
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Tulsa vs Cincinnati game info
• Location: Nippert Stadium, Cincinnati, OH
• Date: Saturday, November 6, 2021
• Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
• TV: ESPN2
Tulsa vs Cincinnati betting preview
Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our NCAA football weather info.
Tulsa: Kendarin Ray S (Questionable), Cristian Williams S (Questionable), Keylon Stokes WR (Questionable)
Find our latest NCAA football injury reports.
Betting trend to know
The Over is 4-0-1 in Tulsa’s last five road games, as well as in the last five games following a Hurricanes loss, a stretch that includes four such occurrences this season. Cincinnati is 4-1 ATS in its last five home games. Find more NCAA betting trends for Tulsa vs. Cincinnati.
Tulsa vs Cincinnati predictions
Cincinnati -22.5 (-110)
Handicapping the Bearcats has not changed, despite their falling short ATS the last two weeks. Arguing now, just as then, that they need to run up the scores to impress the Playoff selection committee has not changed, even if that argument led to frustrations these last two weeks.
What may have changed is the tangible evidence of that argument. Previously, it was only assumed. After all, Cincinnati was No. 2 in the AP Top 25. Maybe it simply needed to win.
Now Fickell and the players know better. They need to win and win big. The committee made that very clear on Tuesday.
The Bearcats are capable of such, having hung 52 and 56 on Temple and Central Florida in early October. Another difference between those two games and the lackluster showings later in the month: the scoreboard displays came at home.
Cincinnati returns home this weekend with the motivation to run up the score. Tulsa just has the misfortune of being the opponent.
Over 55.0 (-110)
Maybe the Bearcats will single-handedly torpedo this entire handicap once again, but if this is not the week to return to form, then when will be?
Tulsa already gives up 30.9 points per game, lowlighted by letting Arkansas State drop 41 in late September. The Hurricanes allow 5.64 yards per play and struggle to slow opponents in the red zone.
If Cincinnati wants to run up the score, it should be able to. Maybe it will not break 50 for a third time in the last month, but it should find the end zone enough to propel this total toward the Over.
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