Alabama vs Cincinnati CFP Semifinal Opening Odds – Crimson Tide 13.5-Point Favorites Over Cincinnati at Cotton Bowl
Bryce Young takes off versus Tennessee

Alabama quarterback Bryce Young runs the ball against Tennessee during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)

  • No. 1 Alabama faces No. 4 Cincinnati in the CFP semifinal on Saturday, December 31st
  • The Crimson Tide have opened as 13.5-point favorites at the Cotton Bowl
  • Read below for Alabama vs Cincinnati opening odds, spread, and projected line movement

The No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide will face the No. 4 Cincinnati Bearcats in the CFP Semifinal at the Cotton Bowl on Saturday, December 31st. Kickoff is expected to be primetime at A&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

The Crimson Tide have opened as 13.5-point favorites over the Bearcats. The game total is set at 59 with the two programs facing off for the first time since 1990.

Let’s take a look at the opening odds for Alabama vs Cincinnati and analyze which direction the line is likely to move.

Alabama vs Cincinnati Opening Spread/Odds/Lines

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Cincinnati Bearcats +13.5 (-105) +410 O 59 (-110)
Alabama Crimson Tide -13.5  (-115) -575 U 59 (-110)

Odds as of December 5th at DraftKings

Crimson Tide Stun Bulldogs

Alabama is back on top in the CFP rankings after dethroning previous No. 1 Georgia in the SEC Championship Game. QB Bryce Young threw for three touchdowns and ran for another as the Crimson Tide beat the Bulldogs 41-24. Alabama captured their sixth SEC Title in eight years.

It’s been an up-and-down season for the Crimson Tide, but they had their best performance of the season when it mattered most. Nick Saban’s team managed 536 yards and 41 points against an elite UGA defense that had only been giving up 231 yards and 6.9 points entering Saturday.

Alabama WR Jameson Williams had a huge performance in the SEC Championship, catching seven passes for 184 yards and two TDs. The Ohio State transfer stepped up big-time when John Metchie went down with a knee injury in the second quarter. Alabama believes Metchie tore his ACL and will miss the CFP.

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Cincinnati Makes Group of Five History

Cincinnati is the first Group of 5 team to qualify for the College Football Playoff. The Bearcats beat Houston 35-20 in the AAC Championship Game to conclude a perfect 13-0 regular season. Jerome Ford rushed for 187 yards and two scores, while Desmond Ridder threw three TD passes.

Cincinnati is the only remaining undefeated team in America after Alabama handed UGA its first loss. Luke Fickell’s team hasn’t played as tough a schedule as the other teams in the CFP, but they did earn a signature win over Notre Dame in South Bend. Not to mention, Houston was ranked 21st in the CFP rankings.

The Bearcats are a well-balanced team led by talented seniors. Cincinnati is averaging 428 yards and 39 points per game on offense, while giving up just 306 yards and 16 points per contest on defense. The Bearkats have covered the spread in three straight games to improve to 8-5 ATS.

Alabama vs Cincinnati Expected Line Movement

Can Cincinnati hang with an Alabama team coming off a huge confidence-boosting victory over Georgia? The Bearkats have proven against Notre Dame and in last year’s Peach Bowl versus Georgia that they shouldn’t be discounted against top opponents. Cincinnati almost beat a solid UGA team last year.

Cincinnati has an ugly 6-35-1 all-time record against the SEC, which is going to scare away bettors who haven’t actually watched the 2021 team. Alabama may have just played their best game of the season, but keep in mind they struggled against Arkansas and Auburn the previous two weeks.

Alabama has made the four-team CFP in six of seven years since its inception, winning their last five CFP Semifinal games by an average margin of 20 points. Given their experience in this position, the Tide will likely receive most of the public betting money leading up the Cotton Bowl against Cincinnati.

The Metchie injury is significant, as the Bearcats will be able to divert their focus to covering Williams. This Alabama team isn’t loaded at wide receiver like in previous years.

While the Tide should receive most of the public money leading up to kickoff, their injury concerns and inconsistent play will prevent the betting line from shifting anything more than a point or two in their direction.

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Brady Trettenero

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