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Free Pick: Cincinnati (11-0) at East Carolina (7-4) 11/26/21
Albert Cesare / The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

Free Pick: Cincinnati (11-0) at East Carolina (7-4) 11/26/21

There are some big games on Friday, but none any bigger than this one in regards to the playoffs. With Oregon’s loss last week, the door got significantly wider for the Bearcats to walk through, straight into the Final Four. They have two hurdles to jump over to reach the finish line. The first one is a game in Greenville, against a dangerous East Carolina team who has nothing to lose. This is a much bigger test than most people think. Let’s see what Vegas thinks.


Cincinnati: Total Team Points Total: 37.5 points The Bearcats are putting up 40 points and 430 total yards of offense per game and scored 48 last week in their big win over SMU. They are efficient in the run game and the East Carolina run defense is just average. That might give Cincy an advantage they can exploit. An interesting stat coming into this game; in every road conference game they have scored over 38 points once and that came against last place South Florida. I think they are going to really feel some pressure this week. I like Cincinnati UNDER 37.5 team points.

East Carolina: Total Team Points Total: 20.5 points The Pirates’ offense is underrated and very dangerous. Led by quarterback, Holton Ahlers, they are averaging 275 passing yards per game. They also can run the ball to balance things out. In their last 4 games (all wins), they are averaging 36 points per game. Cincinnati has a very good defense which is a strength of their team, but they will have some trouble with the Pirates. I’m leaning East Carolina OVER 20.5 team points.

OVER/UNDER TEAM TOTALS: 58 Combined Team Points I could see this being a 31-24 kind of game. So, the line is right on the edge for this game. If forced to pick, I would take the UNDER, but I’m staying away from this angle.

POINT SPREAD: Cincinnati is an 14-point favorite Believe me, I’m rooting my butt of for the Bearcats, so perhaps that’s why I am really worried about it. All of the pressure in the world is on them, and that, coupled with the fact that East Carolina is pretty good. could lead to a major upset. I think Cincinnati survives, but it is going to be closer than the spread.

PAPA DUDES PICK: Cincinnati UNDER 37.5 team points

AARON’S PICK: Cincinnati -14

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