This Friday the UCF Knights will host the Tulane Green Wave in Week 6 action. Kickoff is set for 8:00 EST at Bright House Networks Stadium. The game will be televised on ESPNU. Oddsmakers have UCF as a 13.5-point favorite and the total listed at 48 points.
Tulane vs Central Florida Vegas Odds Preview
The Green Wave (3-2) come in off a 31-24 win at UMass, covering as a 3-point favorite. It wasn’t easy, as Tulane trailed 0-14 less than 4 minutes into the game. However, the right team won, as the Green Wave finished with a 448 to 312 edge in total yards.
The Knights (3-2) also secured a road win this past Saturday. UCF defeated East Carolina 47-29 as a 3-point dog. The Knights defense was the difference, as they forced 5 turnovers. They also got a 100-yard kick return for a score from their special teams.
UCF had won 3 straight in the series prior to losing 31-45 at Tulane last year as a 2-point favorite.
Free Betting Pick & Point Spread Predictions: UCF -13.5
I really like the direction the Knights are headed under first year head coach Scott Frost. He took over a team that went 0-12 last year and already has 3 wins in his first 5 games. The only two losses coming at Michigan and at home to Maryland in overtime.
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Even though this team is already 4-1 ATS, they are still flying under the radar due to last year’s 0-12 record. What I like about UCF is they aren’t going to take any team lightly after what happened last season. Every game is a chance to make a statement. There’s no better place to do that than at home in a primetime game on ESPNU.
On paper these two teams look very similar and that could have some looking to take the points. Both are getting it done on the ground offensively. Tulane is 19th in rushing at 246.6 ypg and UCF is 25th at 232.0 ypg. Defensively, the Green Wave rank 17th in total defense and the Knights are 32nd.
The key difference being the level of competition these two teams have played. Which is why we are seeing such a big spread. Tulane’s numbers on both sides are inflated due to an easy schedule. Their toughest game to date is Navy and that was at home. It’s also worth nothing that the Midshipmen play right into their style of grind it out football.
UCF on the other hand has played a potential playoff team in Michigan and a underrated Maryland squad. Plus a difficult road game against a talented ECU team. Unlike Tulane, you can trust the numbers more on the Knights.
The key thing here is I think UCF is going to be able to shutdown Tulane’s rushing attack. That’s going to allow them to get stops and let their uptempo offense wear down the Green Wave defense. The Knights are allowing just 3 yards/carry against the run. Keep in mind that’s against teams who on average are putting up 4.6 yards/carry. The most impressive performance coming at Michigan, where they held the Wolverines to just 119 rushing yards on 41 attempts.
Adding to this, is the fact that Tulane offers little to no passing threat. The Green Wave rank 127th in the country with just 103.2 yards/game through the air. That’s important to note, as Tulane simply isn’t built to play from behind. If the UCF offense gets any kind of lead early, they should be able to pull away and cover this one rather easily.