Memphis vs. Cincinnati: Live stream, watch online, TV channel, kickoff time, odds, line, prediction, pick
American Athletic Conference title and New Year's Six hopes hang in the balance
Friday's showdown between No. 19 Cincinnati and No. 18 Memphis carries more implications than just a win or loss for both teams in the AAC. Each team still has conference title and New Year's Six bowl hopes, so a win in the Liberty Bowl is pivotal for both teams.
Cincinnati clinched a spot in the AAC Championship Game when it locked up the AAC East with a win against Temple last week. Memphis enters Friday's regular season finale in a tie with Navy for the AAC West lead, but if both teams win, the Tigers would earn a spot in the AAC Championship Game for the third consecutive season thanks to owning the head-to-head tiebreaker. If Memphis loses in the Liberty Bowl, then the Tigers could still make the conference title game if Navy loses to Houston on Saturday.
With so much at stake and tons of fireworks expected in Memphis, who wins this critical AAC showdown? Let's take a closer look at what to watch for and make some picks both straight up and against the spread.
Memphis: As it stands, Memphis is playing some of its best football of the season and has a path to the New Year's Six laid out if it can beat Cincinnati twice in the next two weeks. There is a ton of pride with this group, as the senior class that will be honored on Friday is the only one in program history to record two 10-win seasons. The Tigers have reached the conference title game two years in a row only to fall to UCF, and with the Knights out of the picture there has to be a feeling that Memphis' time to strike is now.
The Tigers are paced by redshirt freshman Kenneth Gainwell, who has seven 100-yard rushing games on the year, and Memphis' offense as a unit leads the AAC and ranks in the top-10 nationally, averaging 7.09 yards per play. That group has a chance to end things early if it can get a fast start and catch a very-good Cincinnati defense off guard in this post-Thanksgiving Friday afternoon road spot.
Cincinnati: The Bearcats' passing game has been struggling recently. In Cincinnati's last two games (a three-point win against USF and last week's two-point win against Temple), sophomore quarterback Desmond Ridder has completed a combined 18-of-43 passes for 140 yards, no touchdowns and one interception. Winning games with less than 100 passing yards is not sustainable as it pertains to finishing out this season with a championship, so even though the AAC Championship Game spot is locked up, the Bearcats would like to see the offense take some steps forward in what could be the first of two games against Memphis for the conference crown.
Date: Friday, Nov. 29 | Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
Location: Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium -- Memphis, Tennessee
TV: ABC | Live stream: WatchESPN.com
Game prediction, picks
Memphis is 18-1 in weekday games since 2014, including a 9-0 record when those games are at home. There's has been a different level of execution between these teams over the last month, and I think that shows up on Friday. Pick: Memphis (-11.5)
So which picks can you make with confidence in Week 14? And which line is way off? Visit SportsLine now to see which teams win and cover the spread, all from a proven computer model that has returned almost $4,000 in profit over the past four seasons.
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