The Tulane Green Wave take on the Cincinnati Bearcats. Check out our college football odds series for our Tulane Cincinnati prediction and pick.

The Tulane Green Wave have a historic opportunity here. If they win this game, they will be in the AAC Championship Game for the first time. It would be a terrific breakthrough for the program under head coach Willie Fritz, who continues to impress in New Orleans and build on his achievements as a head coach. The coaching carousel will begin spinning in the coming weeks, and if an athletic director at a program with an open head coaching job wants to find an architect for a rebuild or a makeover, Fritz — based purely on raw merit, not the rumor mill or industry speculation — deserves a good, long look. He has patiently improved Tulane over several years, enduring some bumps along the way. That’s how it goes for programs which aren’t annually part of the national conversation. Now comes a moment which might not emerge in the next few years. It’s impressive that Tulane has this chance, but it’s a pressure-packed moment because there are no guarantees about getting a second opportunity anytime soon.

Tulane had a magical moment in the college football spotlight in 1998, when the Green Wave went unbeaten. It is 24 years since that special season. That year, Tulane was not able to play in an elite New Year’s Day bowl. Tulane had to settle for a Liberty Bowl berth. If Tulane can win the AAC championship, the Green Wave could go to the Cotton Bowl. It’s an enormous occasion for the Green Wave.

Cincinnati made the College Football Playoff last year, so compared to that semifinal versus Alabama, this game doesn’t have the same stature or buzz … but Cincinnati does have a chance to win its way into the AAC title game and play for a Cotton Bowl bid. That would be a wonderful result in 2022 for a team which lost nine players to the NFL draft. Luke Fickell, if he wins the AAC this year, will have done a coaching job every bit as good as last season, given the difference in talent between the two rosters.

Here are the Tulane-Cincinnati NCAA Football Odds, courtesy of FanDuel. 

College Football Odds: Tulane-Cincinnati Odds

Tulane Green Wave: +1.5 (-120)

Cincinnati Bearcats: -1.5 (-102)

Over: 44.5 (-110)

Under: 44.5 (-110)

Why Tulane Could Cover the Spread

Tulane has a unique opportunity, whereas for Cincinnati, this is a relatively normal occurrence under Luke Fickell. Both teams are going to be highly motivated, but Tulane knows this is an extra-special occasion for its own program. Tulane might take risks that Cincinnati isn’t willing to take. Such aggression might be rewarded in a game where the winner advances to the conference championship game next week.

Why Cincinnati Could Cover the Spread

The Tulane Green Wave hosted UCF, another competitor in the AAC title chase, a few weeks ago. The game was huge and the buzz was considerable. Tulane was thoroughly outplayed. That suggests the Green Wave are not quite ready for prime time, whereas Cincinnati’s familiarity with these kinds of situations should serve the Bearcats quite well. The spread is small, so it’s basically a pick ’em game. One should feel comfortable taking Cincy.

Final Tulane-Cincinnati Prediction & Pick

This is almost a pick ’em game, and Cincinnati has the proven experience in late-season showdowns. It is also playing at home. Go with the Bearcats.

Final Tulane-Cincinnati Prediction & Pick: Cincinnati -1.5