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Bearcats vs Cardinals Betting Preview

The Louisville Cardinals must be thinking about “what if?” as they head into their regular-season finale Thursday night against the Cincinnati Bearcats at Nippert Stadium.

Louisville is 10-1 and ranked No. 19 in this week's BCS standings. Its only loss came against Central Florida in October, a game the Cards led 28-7 in the third quarter and by a field goal in the final minute.

But a late drive for the winning score by the Knights might cost the 'Ville a spot in a BCS bowl.

The Cardinals and Bearcats are tied for second place in the American Athletic Conference, one game behind first-place Central Florida.

Cincinnati had beaten Louisville four times in a row, but the Cardinals won in overtime last year 34-31.

In the early betting Louisville was favored by 3.5 points over Cincy at BetOnline.

They will face the 10-1 Cardinals, who own a 4-7 ATS mark on the season. In totals betting, the Bearcats are 6-5 favoring the UNDER so far this season while the Cardinals are 2-9 favoring the OVER.

View Louisville Cardinals vs Cincinnati Bearcats Odds and Stats.

Sportsbooks such as TopBet had the Bearcats pegged as 6.5-point underdogs in this matchup. The total, meanwhile, had yet to be posted as of writing - check the lines shortly.

It's a betting matchup between the No. 40-rated Bearcats and the No. 6-ranked Cardinals, according to the NCAAF Power Rankings here at Odds Shark. Predictive-scoring models run on this game indicate a potential 45-38 result in favor of the Cardinals.

Louisville was a 24-17 winner in their most recent outing at home against Memphis. They failed to cover the 23-point spread as favorites, while the total score (41) made winners of UNDER bettors. In Cincinnati's last outing, Brendon Kay threw for 386 yards to lead the Bearcats over Houston 24-17 at Reliant Stadium.

How They Match Up:
The game also pits Cincinnati's No. 34-ranked offense, averaging 34.18 PPG, against a Cardinals defense that ranks No. 3 this week at 11.36 PPG. The Bearcats aerial game is averaging 314.73 yards per game, more than the Cardinals secondary allows through the air, 159.64 YPG per game.

Defensively, the Cardinals feature the league's No. 1-rated road run defense, allowing 76.5 yards per game. Cincinnati, meanwhile, ranks No. 41 in rushing offense at home.

A few Cardinals at Bearcats trends to consider:
Louisville is 1-6 ATS in its last 7 games
Louisville is 12-1 SU in its last 13 games
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Louisville's last 7 games
Louisville is 18-7 ATS in its last 25 games on the road
Cincinnati is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games
Cincinnati is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Cincinnati's last 6 games
Cincinnati is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games at home