Surprise! The Cincinnati Bearcats enter Saturday’s Belk Bowl (3:20pm ESPN) as underdogs to the Tar Heels of North Carolina. Despite having a better record and being defending Belk Bowl Champions the Bearcats enter Sunday as 3 point underdogs on the betting line.
Cincinnati enters the game sporting a (9-3) record while UNC comes to the game with a (6-6) record. That right there has to account for something. Regardless if UNC plays in the ACC their wins came against Middle Tennessee, Old Dominion, NC State, Pitt, Boston College and Virgina. Of those teams 3 are playing in bowls below what Cincinnati and UNC are playing in.
The Bearcats come into the game with the 12th best defense in the country meanwhile North Carolina sports a middle of the pack defense. Offensively the Bearcats rank the 26th best in the country, averaging 5 touchdowns a game, while UNC ranks 52nd.
North Carolina went 1-5 in their first 6 games this season then went 5-1 over their last 6. A loss to Duke, the same Duke team Cincinnati beat one year ago sent UNC to the Belk Bowl, somehow making them favorites.
Amongst the large media outlets only one picked Cincinnati to win the Belk Bowl.
Fox Sports- Cincinnati 4/5 picks
USA Today- Split UNC Cincinnati
ESPN- UNC by 3
CBS Sports- Unanimous UNC
SB Nation- Unanimous UNC
Sports Illustrated- UNC by 18 points…
Not surprisingly Cincinnati once again garners no respect from the national media. Instead they are 18 point underdogs on one site and picked again unanimously on CBS a site that is split 3/3 on the Notre Dame v. Rutgers game, Rutgers is a 16.5 point underdog, Cincinnati is a 3.5 point to a 6-6 team. Integrity is absent at CBS these days.
3:20pm Saturday will show who is right and who is wrong. One this is for certain, Cincinnati is not an 18 point underdog.