The UCF Knights (1-0) travel to Boca Raton this weekend to battle inter-state rival Florida Atlantic (0-1) in an all-Florida showdown. Kickoff is set for 7:00 PM EST on Saturday, September 7th at FAU Stadium and the game will be televised on CBS Sports Network.
Taking a look at the Week 2 college football odds, UCF opened as a 9-point road favorite earlier this week. That line has shifted substantially after early betting, as the Knights are currently listed at -10.5. The total for the game is sitting at 67.5 points.
Vegas Betting Preview & Game Odds: Florida Atlantic vs UCF
UCF improved to 1-0 on the season last Thursday after crushing Florida A&M 62-0 at home. The Knights totally dominated all facets of the game right from the opening kickoff, scoring 17 points in the first quarter before adding 31 more before halftime. Brandon Wimbush and Dillon Gabriel both had big days under center, as each managed to throw for over 125 yards and combined for five touchdown passes. RB Adrian Killins led the way on the ground, rushing for 106 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries. A number of UCF receivers also found the end zone including WR Gabriel Davis who hauled in three passes for 68 yards and two touchdowns. As a whole, the offense racked up almost 600 total yards and scored eight total touchdowns in the blowout victory.
The Knights were also fantastic on defense against the Rattlers, completely shutting them out while holding them to just 92 passing yards. UCF was basically impenetrable on the ground, as Florida A&M actually finished with just 6 yards on the ground after several big losses involving tackles occurring deep behind the line of scrimmage.
Florida Atlantic turned in a decent performance against #5 overall Ohio State in Week 1, outscoring the Buckeyes 18-17 in the second half despite losing the game 45-21. The Owls certainly had a disastrous start in the first half, giving up 28 unanswered points in the first quarter before heading into the locker room at halftime trailing by 25. QB Chris Robison actually played fairly well, throwing for 178 yards and a touchdown while also avoiding any turnovers. However, FAU simply couldn’t get anything going at all on the ground – their leading rusher had just 25 yards on ten carries. WR Harrison Bryant certainly did his part despite the lopsided loss, catching six passes for 79 yards.
The Owls defense obviously had a tough outing against Ohio State, giving up 45 points and almost 500 total yards. However, they certainly hung tough and didn’t mail it in despite trailing by almost four touchdowns after just two quarters. It had to be a small moral victory to hold such a powerful Buckeyes offense to just 17 points in the second half and avoid giving up a 50-spot in Week 1.
NCAA Football Betting Predictions & Free Pick: UCF -10.5
While FAU appears to have a more realistic shot at keeping this game closer than their matchup in Week 1 against Ohio State ended up being, I still think that the Knights will most likely overpower the home team in this spot. Yes, the Owls are capable of putting some points on the board and should stay within striking distance for at least a couple of quarters. However, the UCF offense simply has too much firepower for Florida Atlantic to keep pace for four quarters, especially since the Knights defense is also fairly strong. While I’m not expecting a 24+ point victory like the Buckeyes were able to pull off last weekend, I do think that the Knights should be able to win by 12+ on Saturday evening.
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Central Florida is a very impressive 4-1 ATS over their last five games against Conference USA opponents. They are also an extremely solid 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall and 8-3 ATS over their last 11 games against teams with a losing record. Additionally, the Owls have historically struggled to start the season against the spread, going a dreadful 0-5 ATS over their last five games in the month of September. Throw in the fact that the Knights are a perfect 9-0 in their last nine road games and I feel pretty comfortable believing that UCF can win this matchup by a couple of touchdowns despite being on the road. Give me the Knights to cover!