NCAAF Week 9 Top Betting Picks: Keying on Mild AAC Upsets

justin wright tulsa golden hurricane ncaaf
Justin Wright #30 of the Tulsa Golden Hurricane reacts during the first half against the Ole Miss Rebels at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Justin Ford/Getty Images/AFP

A couple of games in the AAC on the Week 9 college football betting slate are ripe for mild upsets and key targets for our top picks.

Cincinnati Bearcats vs. UCF Knights

Saturday, October 29, 2022 – 03:30 PM EDT at FBC Mortgage Stadium

There won’t be any teams from the Group of Five crashing the Collee Football Playoffs this season, but a couple of AAC squads are still hopeful of a New Year’s Six bowl invite, with the Cincinnati Bearcats currently at the top of that list.

Cincinnati, of course, made the CFP a year ago and the Bearcats have a tough roadie coming up as they head to Orlando for a matchup with the UCF Knights in a contest that features some of the tightest college football odds on the Week 9 card.

Knights in Need of Bounce-Back Performance

Since dropping the season opener at Arkansas, the Bearcats have reeled off six consecutive victories, though they failed to cover the last two contests, what would have been a huge upset loss at home to South Florida and holding on last week at SMU.

Central Florida may have been guilty of looking ahead to this matchup with Cincinnati, and laid an egg last week on the road at East Carolina in a 34-13 loss as 5-point road chalk. The Knights turned it over four times, leading to 13 immediate points for the Pirates.

‘Cats in Search of 4th-Straight Win in Rivalry

There isn’t much history between the schools, with Saturday’s tilt just the eighth time for Cincinnati and UCF to meet, but the seven previous matches have come in the last seven years, with the Bearcats winning the three most recent clashes to take a 4-3 lead in the series.

The favorites have covered in five of the seven meetings, with the three games played in Orlando resulting in a 1-2 O/U record.

Cincy Has Won Last 19 AAC Contests

This line started with the Bearcats favored by 1½ before swinging to the Knights being favored by a point at some shops by midweek.

Cincinnati has strung together 19 consecutive conference wins, and if BetMGM wants to give me a point on the Bearcats making it 20 in a row, that’s the way to play it.

NCAAF Pick: Cincinnati +1 (-110) at BetMGM

SMU Mustangs vs. Tulsa Golden Hurricane

Saturday, October 29, 2022 – 03:30 PM EDT at Skelly Field at H.A. Chapman Stadium

Southern Methodist and Tulsa have several things in common. The Mustangs and Golden Hurricane are both 3-4 overall and 1-2 in conference play, and they each gave Cincinnati a tough time of things before ultimately falling to the Bearcats.

Total Has Been Steadily Dropping

One of them will climb back to the .500 mark and keep their hopes of becoming bowl-eligible after this week, and the loser will be forced to win out or else be stuck at home for the holidays.

If the numbers at the best online sportsbooks are correct, it will be the Mustangs leaving the Buckle of the Bible Belt with a win while the Golden Hurricane are left scrambling. Most shops are favoring SMU by 2½, and the total has been on the decline with 64½ for the consensus.

Hurricane Rallies for Road Win at Temple

It was a case of too little, too late for the Mustangs last week when their late charge came up a couple of points short in a 29-27 loss. A failed 2-point conversion with less than two minutes to go kept SMU from knotting the score and potentially forcing overtime.

Tulsa was able to complete its rally on the road at Temple in a Friday night matchup on the Week 8 college football betting slate, as the Golden Hurricane spotted the Owls 10 points in the first quarter before turning to their ground game. The final failed to cover a -13½ spread.

Totals Split in Last 10 Meetings

This is slowly, but surely, developing into a nice little rivalry that currently finds the Mustangs with the 15-13 overall lead while the Golden Hurricane own current bragging rights by winning the last two clashes.

Tulsa overcame a 17-0 deficit last season to post a 34-31 win in Dallas where SMU was favored by a touchdown at home. Underdogs have covered six of the last eight matchups.

Living (& Betting) on Tulsa Time

One more thing these two have in common is they are pretty evenly matched on the offensive side of the football, with both the Mustangs and Golden Hurricane relying more on the pass than the run.

The difference is Tulsa has the better defense and the better secondary, and that is the deciding factor for this NCAA football pick.

NCAAF Pick: Tulsa +2½ (-110) at BetMGM