USF over Cincinnati by 24
Charlie Strong should thank his lucky stars for being chased out of a bad head coaching situation at Texas and somehow landing in the perfect spot at South Florida. It helps when you inherit a team that went 11-2 the previous campaign and you get to coach the best college football quarterback you’ve never heard of, dual-threat Quinton Flowers. How good is Flowers? His 2,989 career rush yards are the most by an FBS QB in Florida, passing Tim Tebow, and his overall play in 2017 has staked the Bulls to a 5-0 SU start, outscoring foes by almost 25 PPG. A closer look, however, shows that USF’s great start has come at the expense of some mediocre competition: San Jose State, Stony Brook, Illinois, Temple and East Carolina. Hell, the Mississippi National Guard could go 3-2 against that chump lineup! The Bearcats aren’t much better (1-5 In the Stats, outgained by 88 YPG in FBS battles this season), but they are 12-5 ATS as dogs of 20-plus points against foes off a win, including following consecutive losses. More support for Cincy comes from the fact that the high-flying Bulls qualify as which puts them on our SMART BOX fade list. They’re also just 3-8 ATS as favorites of 20 or more points when not playing off a SU underdog win. Add the fact that the Bearcats currently stand off a SU loss and we ALMOST want to pull the trigger in Tampa tonight – but not enough to actually do it. Pass.