A spot in the American Athletic Conference title game is on the line as the South Florida Bulls visit the Central Florida Knights. Kickoff is set for 3:30 EST on Friday, November 24 at Spectrum Stadium in Orlando. The game will be televised nationally on ABC.
Oddsmakers list UCF as 11-point favorites in this matchup. The over/under for the game is set at 63.5 points. Click here to see a full list of Week 13 betting odds and links to game previews.
South Florida vs Central Florida Vegas Betting Line & Game Preview
The winner of this game will play Memphis in the AAC Championship Game next week. Of course, there are some who will consider this to be the real championship game, as these two teams have been on a collision course all season.
The Bulls are 9-1 on the season, slipping up against Houston but taking care of business against every other team on their schedule. USF quarterback Quinton Flowers has been one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the country all season. He will no doubt want to end his storied South Florida career with a conference championship.
Of course, there’s even more at stake in this game for Central Florida. The no. 15 Knights are 10-0 on the season and have their sites set on a major bowl game if they can remain undefeated. But a loss to USF would ruin that. The last thing UCF wants is to have their in-state rivals be the team that ruins their season.
College Football Free Pick Against the Spread: South Florida +11
There is a lot on the line in this game. I can see both teams coming out a little tentative and nervous, but ultimately I see an entertaining and competitive game. One thing I don’t see is UCF blowing out the Bulls, so I’m going to lean toward South Florida and the points.
One thing that makes me nervous about taking the Knights to cover is the speculation that head coach Scott Frost is ready to move to Nebraska. This kind of talk isn’t uncommon this time of year. But Central Florida can’t afford to lose focus ahead of an important game, especially on a short week.
Click on the link for more free NCAA football picks against the spread and total.
On the field, my biggest concern for UCF is their ability to stop the run. Most teams have had success running the ball against the Knights this year. Even in a lopsided win against Temple last week, Central Florida allowed nearly 200 yards and over five yards per carry on the ground. Even lackluster teams like UConn and East Carolina have run the ball effectively against UCF.
Against South Florida, stopping the run should be priority no. 1. Aside from Flowers, the Bulls also feature two proven running backs in Darius Tice and D’Ernest Johnson. Together, that trio has nearly 2,500 yards and 26 touchdowns this season. If the Knights can’t keep the USF rushing attack contained, they’re going to have a hard time getting stops against the Bulls.
Of course, the Bulls also have the problem of stopping the highest-scoring offense in the country. Central Florida definitely has the more balanced offense in this game, posing a great challenge for Charlie Strong and the USF defense.
UCF has scored at least 31 points in every game this season and they’ve scored at least 40 points in seven of their 10 games this year. At the same time, the USF defense is only giving up 20 points per game, so they have plenty of capable athletes on that side of the ball.
Ultimately, I think these two teams are on the same level. The Bulls are just one play away from also being undefeated this season and being ranked in the top-25. I don’t see UCF being 11 points better than the Bulls, so I’ll stick with South Florida and the points in this game.