Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic: Cincinnati at Alabama - 12/31/21 College Football Picks and Prediction

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The Cincinnati Bearcats will take on the Alabama Crimson Tide in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl on Friday afternoon in the College Football Playoff. Cincinnati is the first Group of Five school to make the college football playoff.

The Cincinnati Bearcats have gone 12-0 in route to a perfect season that got them this playoff bid. They are coming off a 35-20 win over then-No. 21 Houston in the AAC title game. Quarterback Desmond Ridder completed 11 of 17 passes for 190 yards and three touchdowns against the Cougars. He threw 0 interceptions and had a QBR of 89.7.

This offense is led by quarterback Desmond Rider. He has 3,190 yards passing and 30 touchdowns with just 8 interceptions. Ridder has also rushed the ball for 371 yards and six touchdowns. 

Cincinnati is averaging 38.8 points per game on 428.8 yards per game. They are averaging 248.7 passing yards and 180.2 rushing yards per game. They allowed 304.9 yards per game on defense which ranks 8th in the nation.

Alabama enters this game after defeating Georgia soundly in the SEC Championship game, 41-24. Heisman-winning quarterback Bryce Young went 26 of 44 for 421 passing yards and threw three touchdowns in the win over Georgia. 

Bryce Young won the Heisman after a stellar season in which he passed for 4,322 yards with 43 TDs and just four interceptions.

Alabama  is averaging 42.5 points per game on 495.5 total yards. They are averaging 347.9 passing yards and 147.6 rushing yards per game. The Alabama defense finished eighth nationally, allowing just 306.1 yards per game.

The Crimson Tide are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games after accumulating more than 450 total yards in their previous game and are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games. The Bearcats are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games as an underdog, I think their run ends here as they are facing a program and a coach in Saban that has been in this position time after time and knows how to win games under the brightest of lights. The Bearcats however, should be able to keep this game close as Alabama walks out with the win. I'll take the points with the Bearcats.

The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

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