Cincinnati Bearcats Football Odds: Conference Realignment, Win Totals, Big 12 Betting
Like many teams this offseason, the winds of college football change blow hard in Cincinnati. Massive coaching turnover brought in Scott Satterfield as the next head coach of the Bearcats, alongside much of his old Louisville staff. Barely any players from the historic 2021 team remain on the roster and UC will even play in a new conference – the Big 12. Everything but the logo on the side of the helmet will be different in 2023 for Cincy college football. Let’s take a look at Cincinnati odds for this coming football season and break down all the changes afoot in the Queen City.
Cincinnati Bearcats Team Profile
*L/5 Recruit: Last five years recruiting average rank, national.
The comedown from being the first-ever Group of Five program to make the College Football Playoff was a big one for Cincinnati. Gone was its All America corner Ahmad Garner, prolific quarterback Desmond Ridder, and another handful of the best players to ever suit up for Cincy. Luke Fickell’s last hurrah in the Queen City wasn’t a total bust, even if it felt flat. The Bearcats finished the season with nine wins and nearly inched their way into the AAC Championship. Nearly.
Defense led the way again, ranking 26th in points per drive allowed. Linebacker Ivan Pace earned first-team All America honors and, once again, the secondary was loaded with all-conference talent. But offensively, the Bearcats couldn’t run the football and played musical chairs between veteran QB Ben Bryant and highly-touted recruit Evan Prater.
Immediately following the season, Fickell packed his bags and moved to Wisconsin, bringing much of his staff along with him. Pace left for the NFL and a majority of the remaining roster hit the transfer portal. Only one offensive starter returns and the talented secondary was stripped of its parts.
Cincinnati sputtered to a 24-7 loss to Louisville in the Fenway Bowl on the back of a lifeless roster.
Cincinnati Bearcats Football Odds: Futures
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Cincinnati Bearcats Big 12 Odds Outlook
Despite a trend in the right direction, patience for Satterfield was wearing thin at Louisville. Instead of fighting the grain, he took a jump to Cincinnati with hopes of leading a bright future for the Bearcats in their new conference. Satterfield brought along with him Bryan Brown – his defensive coordinator at Louisville – and hired on Brad Glenn from Virginia Tech to guide the offense. The coaching changes were met mostly with indifference, although nothing short of stealing Jim Harbaugh from Michigan was going to amply replace the departure of Fickell.
Cincinnati comes into the 2023 college football season with among the longest Big 12 odds (). They only edge out West Virginia of the existing Big 12 members and appear to be on track to fight for a bowl berth rather than a conference championship.
That’s not surprising for a team that returns just 34% of its offensive production from a year ago, sixth-least nationally. The Bearcats open their Big 12 slate at home against Oklahoma and play a favorable conference road slate.
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Win Total and Win Projection
This year’s roster is an amalgamation of transfers and depth pieces from previous seasons. In comes former Florida and Arizona State QB Emory Jones as well as talented receiver Xzavier Henderson. On defense, Cincinnati added productive Utah State pass rusher Daniel Grzesiak and linebacker Dorian Jones, likely a plug-and-play starter. But the most productive pass catcher coming back had four receptions for 65 yards in 2022 and doesn’t crack the summer two-deep.
Thanks to a non-conference at Pitt and their annual rivalry with Miami (OH), Cincinnati plays the 42nd-toughest schedule nationally. They project to play in nine one-score spread games, including every one of their road games. The benefit for Cincy in that spot: a string of luck could have them staring down eight wins; the detriment: they could just as easily be staring down eight losses.
In Big 12 play, they avoid Texas, Kansas State, and TCU. That route should help keep them competitive for a bowl bid. However, their success lands on the shoulders of Satterfield and whether his system of program building really works.
This year, I project 6.3 wins for Cincinnati, although five toss-ups on the schedule (less than 3.5-point spread) waver my confidence a bit. The Bearcats opened with just a 4.5 win total, which quickly was bet up to 5.5 in some sports. Currently, their best number is .
Cincinnati Football Schedule 2023
Kickoff times below are in ET.
|9/2||Eastern Kentucky (FCS)||3:30 p.m.|
|9/16||Miami (OH)||7:00 p.m.|
|9/29||at BYU||10:15 p.m.|
|10/28||at Oklahoma State||TBA|
|11/18||at West Virginia||TBA|