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FILE - In this Sept. 26, 2019, file photo, Memphis quarterback Brady White scrambles out of the pocket during an NCAA college football game against Navy in Memphis Tenn. White has thrown three touchdown passes in each of Memphis' last three games. They play at Temple on Saturday. (Joe Rondone/The Commercial Appeal via AP, File)
FILE - In this Sept. 26, 2019, file photo, Memphis quarterback Brady White scrambles out of the pocket during an NCAA college football game against Navy in Memphis Tenn. White has thrown three touchdown passes in each of Memphis' last three games. They play at Temple on Saturday. (Joe Rondone/The Commercial Appeal via AP, File)|Associated Press
NCAAF

AAC football: Geier picks Memphis at Temple and Cincinnati at Houston in games with Bowl implications

First game is noon EDT Saturday.

Ben Geier

Ben Geier

23 Memphis @ Temple (+5.5), 12 pm EDT on ESPN2

There is a ton riding on this matchup in the American Athletic Conference. The Memphis Tigers and Temple Owls are each undefeated in conference play and are in the running for an NY6. Memphis Coach Mike Norvell has said his team is more "well-rounded" than it has been in previous years and the numbers show it: 39.8 PPG on offense and 19.2 PPG on defense. I believe this is the toughest matchup left for the Tigers. While the Tigers can score points in a heartbeat, the Owls are a bit more conservative with their offense (27 PPG) and the Owls remain a bit untested despite their victory over Maryland. Norvell and crew have been great at changing offensive schemes (wildcat) in the blink of an eye and that should be enough. Memphis won't pull ahead till late and won't score over 35 points . . . but will cover.

Pick: Memphis (-5.5)

25 Cincinnati @ Houston (+7.5), 3:30 pm EDT on ESPN2

The Cincinnati Bearcats are in the driver's seat after defeating formerly ranked UCF. While Houston could be going into a downward spiral after D'Eriq King (QB) decided to redshirt the rest of the season. Overall, Cincy has fared better ATS as they're 4-1-0 on the season with their only loss to #3 Ohio State. The glaring question is can Houston win with a defense so atrocious? Yes, I think they can for the following reasons:

  • This game is in Houston.

  • Cincy's defense was losing steam towards the end of the UCF game. So, there are questions regarding their stamina against high tempo offenses.

  • Houston can attack in numerous ways on the ground.

  • Houston could be 4-1 right now if one or two things had gone differently.

Pick: Houston (+7.5)

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