This Friday the South Florida Bulls (7-4) will host the Central Florida Knights (10-0). Kickoff is set for 4:15 EST at Raymond James Stadium and will be on ESPN.
Most books have UCF listed as a 14-point favorite, though there are some that have the Knights at -14.5. Total for this one is currently 68.5 points. Click here for a full betting schedule and for more links to our game previews.
South Florida vs Central Florida Vegas Betting Line & Game Preview
UCF comes into this one looking to remain perfect and close out the regular-season 11-0 (earlier game against UNC was cancelled). The Knights improved to 10-0 with a convincing 38-13 win at home over Cincinnati this past Saturday as a mere 7-point favorite. That win clinched the American East and a spot in next week’s AAC Championship Game, but UCF has more on their mind than another conference title. They are still holding onto hope that they could sneak into the CFB Playoffs (need complete chaos the next two weeks to have any shot).
As for the Bulls, this will be their final contest before heading to a bowl game, though it won’t be the bowl game they had their eyes set on earlier in the year. USF was thinking New Year’s Six after a 7-0 start, but they have lost their last 4. The most recent being a 27-17 defeat at Temple. With that said, they have covered their last two as a big road dog. They were a 16-point dog at Cincinnati in a 10-point loss a couple weeks back and a 14-point dog to the Owls this past Saturday.
This one won’t have the same feel to it as a year ago, as these two met at this same time last year with the division title on the line. UCF went off as a 10.5-point home favorite, but trailed by 6 midway through the 4th quarter. They took a 42-34 lead, but USF tied it on a 83-yards bomb with 1:41 to play, only to watch the Knights run the ensuing kickoff back 95 yards for the game-winning score. Another interesting side note here is that Bulls are the last team to defeat UCF in the regular season, as they won 48-31 at home back in 2016 (last official lost was the bowl game following that defeat).
College Football Free Pick Against the Spread: South Florida +14.5
My early lean here would have to grabbing the two touchdowns with USF at home. As hard as it is to bet against the Knights, I just think this is way too many points for them to be laying on the road.
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I know USF is coming into this game not exactly playing well, but there are some positives mixed in their 4-game losing streak. They only trailed Houston by 7-points going into the 4th quarter of what turned out to be 21-point loss. They were only outgained by 2-yards in a shocking 41-15 loss at home to Tulane and had 2nd half leads in their last two defeats to Cincinnati and Temple. While the schedule was easy, you don’t go 7-0 without some decent talent and one of those wins was against a Georgia Tech team that is sitting at 7-4 (5-3 ACC).
No question this one was going to mean something a little more after losing that big game to UCF last year, but there’s that much more incentive for USF to lay it all on the line with the Knights perfect record on the line. No better revenge for the Bulls than snapping Central Florida’s 23-game winning streak.
I also think it’s pretty clear that the only way you are competing with the Knights is if you put points on the scoreboard. I think USF is definitely capable of doing that. They come in averaging 31.2 ppg and 458 ypg. I also think it’s worth looking back to an earlier road game for UCF at Memphis, where they were only a 4.5-point favorite. Not only did the Tigers cover as a mere 4.5-point dog, they should have won the game (led 30-14).
The fact USF is a 14.5-point home dog, says the Tigers would be a 10-point favorite over the Bulls on a neutral field. No way is that legit. I think it’s a clear indication of how inflated this line is. The most important thing to remember is you aren’t betting who will win, all we need is for South Florida to keep this within two touchdowns. Give me the Bulls +14.5!