The #18 overall UCF Knights (4-1) travel to Ohio in Week 6 for an American East showdown with the Cincinnati Bearcats (3-1). Kickoff is set for 7:00 PM EST on Friday, October 4th at Nippert Stadium and the game will be televised on ESPN.
Taking a look at the Week 6 college football odds, Cincinnati opened as a 3.5-point home underdog earlier this week. That line has shifted by a full point after early betting, as the Bearcats are currently listed at +4.5. The total for the game is sitting at 60.5 points.
Vegas Betting Preview & Game Odds: Cincinnati vs UCF
UCF improved to 4-1 on the season last weekend, crushing Connecticut 56-21 at home just a week removed from a disappointing loss against the Pitt Panthers. The Knights came flying out of the gates in Week 5, scoring 28 unanswered points in the first quarter to put the game out of reach early. QB Dillon Gabriel played well, going 11/16 for 281 yards and three touchdowns through the air. RB Adrian Killins led the way on the ground, rushing for 77 yards and a touchdown on just three carries. WR Gabriel Davis had a monster day, exploding for 119 yards and three touchdowns on five receptions. As a whole, UCF generated well over 600 total yards of offense and scored seven touchdowns against a shell-shocked Huskies defense.
The Knights were fairly solid on the other side of the ball against UConn, giving up three touchdowns on just over 400 total yards of offense. However, two of those touchdowns were scored during garbage time in the 4th quarter with UCF already up by 50+ points.
Cincinnati won their second game in a row last weekend, destroying Marshall 52-14 on the road to move to 3-1 on the season overall. The Bearcats scored 45 consecutive points over the first three quarters before giving up two late touchdowns with the game already well out of reach. QB Desmond Ridder was 18/22 for 221 yards and four touchdowns while WR Alec Pierce hauled in six catches for 108 yards and a score. RB Tavion Thomas also had a solid game, racking up 70 yards and a touchdown on only 11 carries. Overall, the Cincinnati offense gained over 500 total yards and scored seven touchdowns in their lopsided victory.
The Bearcats were fantastic defensively against the Thundering Herd, limiting Marshall to well under 300 total yards of offense and allowing just two touchdowns. Cincinnati was especially strong through the air, holding QB Isaiah Green to just 131 passing yards and a 38% completion rate.
NCAA Football Betting Predictions & Free Pick: UCF -4.5
Both of these programs have been very impressive over the first five weeks of the regular season, losing only two games combined. UCF could easily be 5-0, as their only loss was a close 35-34 defeat in a game that they were double-digit favorites in. While Cincinnati has also reeled off three impressive victories to start the year, I am a little bit concerned about how poor they looked against Ohio State back in Week 2. The Bearcats got thumped 42-0 by the Buckeyes, which certainly doesn’t bode well for them heading into this matchup against a pretty powerful opponent. While there is no doubt that Ohio State is much stronger defensively than the Knights, UCF is certainly capable of scoring 40+ while keeping Cincinnati to between 25-30 points. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this matchup had a similar game script to the Knights 45-27 victory over the Stanford Cardinal in Week 3.
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The Bearcats have not fared that well as an underdog as of late, going just 2-4 against the spread over their last six games. On the other side, UCF is a rock-solid 8-3 against the spread over their last 11 meetings with an opponent from the American East. They are also 14-6 ATS in their last 20 games overall. Even if the Cincinnati offense can keep things interesting for 2-3 quarters, I fully expect the Knights to put this game out of reach late en route to a relatively routine cover. Give me UCF to win by 5+ points on the road!