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Predictions For Betting Pittsburgh Cincinnati – Panthers And Bearcats Play High-Stakes September Game

Posted by Blake Frazier on 9/4/2012 2:13:10 AM

The pressure of college football is most centrally found in the fact that eight months of waiting can lead to a season-defining moment at the very beginning of a campaign in early September.

Pittsburgh Panthers @ Cincinnati Bearcats – Thursday, September 6    
Online sports betting line: No line

Why Pittsburgh Will Win

No college football betting expert would contest the notion that Cincinnati has talent. However, the Bearcats will have to win this year with a quarterback who is better at running than throwing. Munchie Legaux will be the team's quarterback, a dual-threat performer whose running ability is more impressive than his right arm. For this reason, the Bearcats' offense – which flourished under the guidance of dropback pocket passer Zach Collaros in recent years – will now take on a different look.

Legaux will probably figure out the quarterback position as he continues to get snaps this year. Moreover, he showed an appreciable amount of confidence last season. Yet, Legaux is not yet a polished product, and in a week one game, he's going to be rusty. He'll likely make poor decisions and commit a few turnovers. This will give Pittsburgh the opening it needs on the road.

Why Cincinnati Will Win

The best betting reason to take the Bearcats in this game is that Pittsburgh has not enjoyed much of any continuity in recent years. Dave Wannstedt, Pittsburgh's coach for several seasons, got fired near the end of the 2010 season. Mike Haywood came from Miami of Ohio to become the new coach in late December of 2010.

Under two weeks later, however, Haywood resigned after being charged with domestic violence in an incident with his wife that demanded police intervention. Todd Graham was selected to replace Haywood, coming from Tulsa to pronounce Pittsburgh as his "dream job." Roughly 11 months later, Graham – despite being given the chance to coach in a BCS conference for the first time – bolted from the program when the job at Arizona State became available following the Sun Devils' firing of then-coach Dennis Erickson.

The abrupt move meant that Pittsburgh's athletic department had to move quickly yet again to hire a coach, Paul Chryst, and it put in place an unsettling fact: Pitt's senior class had to deal with its fourth coach overall and its third on-field coach in a four-year span. No program is ever meant to have that level of turnover. It's enough of a project for one coach to install one pair of offensive and defensive systems in a three-year span. Now, the Panthers are staring at a third consecutive season with a different head coach and a different set of playbooks. This can't help them in a season-opener. Pittsburgh needed to play Cincinnati in the middle of the season, not at the beginning of it.

Who Will Win

It’s going to be a markedly sloppy and ugly game between these two Big East rivals. Expect a lot of turnovers. The team that commits fewer severe mistakes is the one that will win. A turnover at the opponent's 30-yard line won't matter as much as a turnover inside one's own 20. Pittsburgh will commit more of those mistakes, and Cincinnati will prevail as a result.

College Football Betting Pick: Cincinnati

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