This Saturday the East Carolina Pirates (2-2) will host the UCF Knights (2-2). Kickoff is scheduled for 12:00 EST at Dowdy-Ficken Stadium in Greensville. The game will be televised on the CBS Sports Network. Oddsmakers have ECU listed as a 4-point favorite with the total set at 61.5 points. Click here for more Week 5 previews and game odds.
UCF vs East Carolina Vegas Point Spread Preview
The Knights come into this game off an impressive 53-14 win at FIU. Easily covering as a 10-point favorite. The win came after back-to-back losses to Big Ten foes in Michigan and Maryland. It’s been an impressive start for UCF, who finished last season at 0-12 and just 2-10 ATS.
The Pirates will be eager to get back on the field after their embarrassing 54-17 loss at Virginia Tech. A game in which they trailed 38-0 at the half. ECU also lost the previous week at South Carolina 15-20. To their credit, they did beat NC State at home 33-30 as a 6.5-point dog.
The road team has won each of the last two meetings. UCF defeated the Pirates 32-30 as a 6.5-point road dog in 2014. East Carolina returned the favor last year, winning 44-7 as a 16-point road favorite.
Free Betting Pick & Odds Predictions: UCF +4
The Knights are a much better team than they get credit for. This team came into the season way undervalued after going 0-12 last year. It’s almost as if people forget that the previous 3 years this team went 31-9. I have to lean on UCF and the points in this one.
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Last year they had 33 players who made their first career start. Keep in mind they only had 8 returning starters from 2014 and lost several key players to injury. They returned 17 starters and 55 lettermen this season.
They also added in a new head coach in Scott Frost, who I thought was a great hire. Frost has installed his own version of the uptempo spread attack and it’s paying off right away. UCF is averaging 32.2 ppg on 437 ypg. That’s after only averaging 13.9 ppg and 268 ypg last year.
The loss to Michigan doesn’t look good, but they were clearly outclassed in that contest. However, despite losing by 37-points they were only outgained by 116 yards. That was with starting quarterback Justin Holman going down early with an injury. In their game against Maryland, they outgained the Terps 455 to 373, but were done in by 4 turnovers.
East Carolina gained a lot of respect from the public with their win over NC State. However, they could have just easily lost that game. They were outgained 445 to 502 and trailed with less than 6 minutes to play.
I think we got a better idea of the Pirates talent level in their last two games. South Carolina is from the SEC, but they are way down in rebuilding mode. Then they got completely dominated by Virginia Tech a team beat last year 35-28.
I just think UCF’s offense is going to be able to move the ball at will against the Pirates defense. ECU is giving up 4.7 yards/carry on the ground and 8.6 yards/pass attempt. Not to mention the Knights are going to be playing with revenge. A big time motivation tool in college football.
East Carolina hasn’t been great against the spread in conference games of late. They are just 3-13 ATS in their last 16 versus conference opponents. The Pirates are also 4-14 ATS in their last 18 home games after two straight non-conference games.