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Alabama vs. Cincinnati prediction and pick for Friday's CFP Semifinal Cotton Bowl. Handicapper Matt McCuen is here to break this one down and give his pick. What better way to start Friday's New Year's Eve games than with a winner in the National Semifinal?

Alabama vs. Cincinnati Prediction, Pick Against The Spread, and Latest Odds

Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Cincinnati Bearcats - Cotton Bowl

Spread: Alabama -14

Total: 57

Game time: Friday, 3:30 p.m. ET

Where to Watch: ESPN

Cincinnati vs. Alabama odds

Alabama vs. Cincinnati Prediction

It is finally time for the College Football Playoff as the Cincinnati Bearcats battle the Alabama Crimson Tide in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl.

The Bearcats' season is one that will be talked about for a long time in Cincinnati as Luke Fickell led his team to their first college football playoffs in team history and their biggest bowl game ever.

The Bearcats came into this season knowing they would be a good team, but many did not see this team making the CFP. The strength of schedule is something that has been discussed surrounding Cincinnati, as many questioned if they beat teams good enough to compete for a National Championship. This was one of the best all-around teams in the nation this season, and they will look to continue their strong play in today's game.

The Crimson Tide came into the season once again excepted to compete for a National Championship, led by head coach Nick Saban. The Tide had a rocky road to the playoffs, including an early-season loss and overtime, come-from-behind win against their rival, the Auburn Tigers, in the Iron Bowl. The Tide are a heavy favorite in today's game, laying two touchdowns, but they will be missing their best weapon on the offensive side of the football in John Metchie. Metchie has been the favorite target of Heisman quarterback Bryce Young, and the Tide will need some other guys to step it up in this game today.

The pick I am riding for this Playoff game is the Cincinnati Bearcats at +14.

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I have been very hard on the Bearcats all season long due to their strength of schedule, but I think this is a disrespectful line to the Bearcats today. The fact that we can get them getting two touchdowns is a gift in this spot. Alabama is the better team, I will not argue that, but we do not need Cincy to win this one. We just stay need them to stay somewhat close, which I think they will do.

While Bama has been great, their defense has been leaky at times, and I trust the veteran QB for the Bearcats, Desmond Ridder, will be good enough today to keep them close and scoring points. The Bearcats' defense will have their toughest task of the season, but they are one of the best defenses in the nation, allowing just 16.1 points per game. The game plan of coach Luke Fickell will be good enough to keep this game close. The absence of John Metchie will also show up in this one as this will be the first full game of the season Bryce Young where does not have his best weapon.

The final thing to watch out for is the turnover battle in this game. The Bearcats will have to force one or two turnovers to give them a shot to win this game outright. I think we will see a great football game from start to finish, and I am willing to back the heavy dog in this game today

Alabama vs. Cincinnati Pick

  • PICK: Cincinnati +14 (-110)

Article Author


Matt McCuen is a native of Delco, PA. He has been working in the sports gambling industry and creating content for the last few years. He is an expert in numerous different sports, including the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and collegiate sports. You can follow Matt on Twitter at @DeadPresPicks.


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