Cotton Bowl 2021: Alabama vs. Cincinnati Betting Odds & Picks

  • Date & Location: December 31 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas
  • Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
  • How to Watch: ESPN
  • Teams: No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Cincinnati

The 2021 Goodyear Cotton Bowl pits the No. 1 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide against the No. 4 Cincinnati Bearcats. The game, which takes place on December 31 from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, is one of the 2021-2022 College Football National Semifinals games. The other playoff game is the Orange Bowl, which sees the No. 2 Michigan Spartans against the No. 3 ranked Georgia Bulldogs. Like the Cotton Bowl, that game takes place on December 31.

Alabama went 12-1 on the 2021 NCAAF season and finished in the top spot in the SEC. The club took the No. 1 ranking when it defeated Georgia 41-24 on December 4. Cincinnati finished its season with a perfect 13-0 record and won the American Conference.

Before we take a look at the SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl matchup between Wisconsin and Arizona State, be sure to check out our recommendations for betting sites for NCAAF games as well as the betting picks for the 2021 NCAAF College Football Playoffs.

Cotton Bowl Odds

BetOnlineSpreadMoney LineTotal Points
Alabama Crimson Tide-13.5 (-112)-500Ov 58 (-105)
Cincinnati Bearcats+13.5 (-108)+395Un 58 (-115)

Alabama vs. Cincinnati

Bryce Young, the Crimson Tide’s sophomore quarterback, who won the Heisman Trophy, lit up the Georgia Bulldogs for 421 passing yards and three touchdowns on December 4. That does not bode well for Cincinnati, since the Georgia defense finished the season as the No. 1 overall defense and No. 2 passing defense in the SEC. Another bad sign for the Bearcats defense is the fact that Alabama was the No. 1 offense in the SEC with 6,442 yards. Of those yards, 4,523 came via the air. The Alabama running offense was near the bottom of the SEC at 1,919 yards for the season. The only way Cincinnati has a hope in this game is if it can shut down Young and his arm. I don’t think that will happen. The job of shutting down the Alabama passing game will fall to Bearcats cornerbacks’ Coby Bryant and Ahmad Gardner.

The one thing that Cincinnati has going for it is that Alabama wide receiver John Metchie III is out of the game with a torn ACL, which means the Bearcats will have just one big receiver to focus on in the Cotton Bowl in Jameson Williams. Williams has 15 receiving touchdowns and 1,445 receiving yards.

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While defense will be key in shutting down Alabama, the Cincinnati offensive line will also have to carry a heavy load in stopping Alabama linebacker Will Anderson, who led the SEC with 16 sacks and finished ninth in tackles with 91. If Cincinnati cannot contain Anderson, the Bearcats quarterback, Desmond Rider, is going to be in for a long day.

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Cotton Bowl Best Bets

Pick Alabama to win. This is one of the most obvious picks of the 2021 Bowl Season. A Cincinnati win would be an upset of epic proportions.

Pick Alabama to cover. The 13.5 points the Crimson Tide are being given is a lot of points, but don’t forget, Alabama has won its past five College Football Playoff semifinal games by an average of 18.6 points and the team is coming off a 17-point win over Georgia, who were 12-0 heading into that matchup.

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Pick the over. Alabama scored more than 40 points nine times in 2021. I expect the team to be dialed in and willing to run up a big margin of victory in this game. Look for Alabama to get as much momentum as it can headed into the 2021 Championship Game.

Alabama vs. CincinnatiOVER 58 POINTS
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Trent Reinsmith

Trent covers UFC and MMA for MTS. He currently covers MMA for MMA Junkie and Forbes. He has also written for Vice, Bloody Elbow, Fight! Magazine, UFC 360, and Narratively among others. He has been involved with MMA since he and some friends threw some money together to purchase the pay-per-view of UFC 1, and the rest is history.