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No. 13 Cincy Opens Season Against FCS Foe Austin Peay

Austin Peay vs Cincinnati Betting Odds

Expectations are high in Cincinnati, where the Bearcats return the core of a team that went 11-3 last year. They’ll ease into the 2020 campaign with a home game against Austin Peay (0-2 SU, 1-1 ATS), which was blown out 55-0 last week at Pittsburgh.

Austin Peay Governors vs Cincinnati Bearcats
  • Date/Time: September 19, 12 noon ET
  • Stadium: Nippert Stadium
  • TV Coverage: ESPN+
  • Opening Odds: Cincinnati -31.5 | O/U 52.5 (Line History)
  • Austin Peay vs Cincinnati Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

The Bearcats haven’t been a great bet as huge favorites recently, going 2-6 ATS in their last eight as chalk of 30-plus points and 0-4 ATS when favored by 40-plus. Austin Peay was on a 7-0 ATS run before last week’s lopsided loss in Pittsburgh.

Austin Peay News & Notes

Just three weeks into the 2020 campaign, the Governors are already playing their season finale — sort of. This visit to Cincinnati is the final game on Austin Peay’s fall schedule, although the Governors may take the field again early next year if the Ohio Valley Conference moves forward with a winter slate.

Austin Peay might not mind a bit of a break after dropping its first two games, including last week’s blowout in Pittsburgh. The Governors were limited to just 10 rushing yards on the day, while quarterback Jeremiah Oatsvall completed only seven of his 18 passes for 96 yards and an interception. Austin Peay trailed 42-0 at halftime, prompting the teams to agree to play 10-minute quarters in the second half.

There’s not much reason to expect a different fate for the Governors this week as they take on another FBS school. Austin Peay is 1-25 SU against higher-tiered opponents since 1980, and the Govs have lost 21 of their last 23 games overall.

Cincinnati News & Notes

The Bearcats kick off their season as the highest-ranked team not in one of the power conferences, sitting 13th in the latest AP Top 25 poll. Cincinnati returns the majority of last year’s 11-3 squad, including 10 starters from a defensive unit that allowed just 20.6 points per game and generated 26 takeaways.

Cincy’s offense wasn’t nearly as dominant last year, relying heavily on star running back Michael Warren II and a ground game that ranked 33rd in the nation. With Warren now gone to the NFL, the Bearcats hope Alabama transfer Jerome Ford and senior Gerrid Doaks can fill his shoes.

Returning quarterback Desmond Ridder also accounted for 4.5 yards per carry and five touchdowns on the ground last year, although he and the Bearcats averaged less than 190 passing yards per game in 2019.

Cincinnati is one of just seven teams in the FBS to go undefeated at home over the past two seasons, averaging a 19.08-point margin of victory in its 12 consecutive wins at Nippert Stadium.

That home-field advantage might be lessened a bit this year, however, as the school isn’t allowing spectators due to the pandemic. Cincy set a school record for attendance in 2019, averaging close to 36,000 fans per contest.

Betting Pick: Austin Peay +31.5

Whether or not the Bearcats cover this number will likely be determined by whether Cincinnati takes its foot off the gas in the second half. With a much bigger game on deck next week against No. 22 Army, I could see Cincy pulling its starters once it builds a comfortable lead.

Shark Bites
  • Austin Peay is 2-21 SU in its last 23 games.
  • Cincinnati is 6-2 ATS in its last 8 games in September.
  • The UNDER is 5-0 in Cincinnati’s last 5 home games.