The 2021 Cincinnati Bearcats broke the mold of the CFP era by finally opening the door to a non-Power 5 team in the playoffs. But their best stars on this team are gone and they have a lot to prove this fall.
In the meantime, if you think Arkansas’ big 2021 season was lucky, think again. Razorbacks are for real. They have great coaches, a terrific fast offense, and the talent to challenge teams from the top echelon of the SEC.
Here is what the BuckeyesNow staff expect Saturday’s season opener.
What is the betting line for Cincinnati vs Arkansas?
CINCINNATI to ARKANSAS – Saturday, 3:30 p.m.
Spread: Arkansas (-6.5) on SI Sportsbook
Total O/U: 52.5
Predictions Cincinnati vs Arkansas
Brendan Gulick: Arkansas 27, Cincinnati 24
I expect the Bearcats to be ready for a serious fight and I think they will compete very well. They have played well against good teams in meaningful games over the past two years. I know the end of last year was frustrating with a bad playoff loss, but Luc Fickel instilled a very impressive culture.
I think this will be one of the best opening weekend games in college football. At the end of the day, I think Arkansas wins a close game because I think they’ll be able to direct the ball more effectively. I think the Razorbacks’ depth and experience on offense will be enough to start the season with a quality win…but it won’t be easy!
Andrew Lind: Arkansas 35, Cincinnati 23
The Bearcats’ hopes of returning to the playoffs will get a serious boost or take a hit in Week 1 against an SEC opponent on the road.
The Razorbacks are far more talented and experienced than any Cincinnati team during last year’s regular season — and yes, that includes Notre Dame. So the home crowd and several big plays from the quarterback KJ Jefferson will lead Arkansas to a two-point victory.
Caleb Spinner: Arkansas 28, Cincinnati 14
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Cincinnati and Arkansas look like a close game, but I don’t think it will. I focus on saying that it’s mostly about bringing back talent for both teams, especially Arkansas bringing back two of their biggest contributors while Cincinnati isn’t.
Go hard on the gap to the tune of a 14-point Razorback victory.
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