This game will be won on the defensive side of the ball, and the Green Wave possess a vastly superior stop unit that makes them a live home underdog. While Cincinnati arrives in town with a potent offense, it’s defense leaves a lot to be desired. The Bearcats are allowing 32.0 points per game at 5.0 yards per rush play, 8.6 yards per pass play and 6.5 yards per play to teams that would combine to average just 4.5 yards per rush attempt, 7.2 yards per pass attempt and 5.8 yards per play. Even more concerning is the fact that Cincinnati is giving up 36.0 points per game on the road this season at 7.2 yards per play.
Overall, Cincinnati is 0.5 yards per rush play, 1.4 yards per pass play and 0.7 yards per play worse than average defensively, which should allow the Green Wave to move the ball effectively on the ground. Tulane’s offense is 0.2 yards per rush play better than average (4.6 yards per rush play against teams that would combine to allow 4.4 yards per rush play), which gives the Green Wave a solid 0.7 yards per rush play advantage from the line of scrimmage. Tulane star running back Sherman Badie has garnered 582 rushing yards at 6.6 yards per carry and should find plenty of holes against Cincinnati’s front seven.
“It’s nice to have somebody who can get you out of a hole when you are backed up and Sherman can run off for 30 yards and it opens up so much,” Tulane quarterback Tanner Lee said. While Badie injured his knee against Central Florida, he’s had a bye week to recover and reports from New Orleans indicate that he has looked excellent in practice this week.
Off-the-field distractions continue to affect Cincinnati’s locker room as sophomore linebacker Marcus Tappan became the latest player to be suspended after being arrested Sunday for having a fake ID, disorderly conduct and underage drinking. Tappan joins fellow teammates Jarred Evans and Alex Thomas on the growing list of suspensions for the Bearcats. Earlier in the season four Cincinnati players were either arrested or cited after police arrived on the scene of an off-campus party to investigate reports of gunfire.
Rather than talking about the upcoming game against Tulane, Cincinnati head coach Tommy Tuberville has been forced to address his team’s conduct off the field. “I’ll be the first one to tell you, we do have problems,” said Tuberville during his Tuesday press conference. “We do have mentoring program, a training program for our kids, we talk to them, but unlike everybody else I’m fed up with it. We’re not going to have it anymore if they’re going to be on this football team.”
Grab the points with Tulane and invest with confidence.
Betting Preview & Pick: Tulane (+6.5) (-110)
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