The #11 overall UCF Knights (9-0) host the #24 overall Cincinnati Bearcats (9-1) this weekend in a battle for the AAC East Division crown. Kickoff is set for 8:00 PM EST at Bright House Networks Stadium and the game will be broadcast on ABC.
Taking a look at the Week 12 college football odds, UCF opened as a 7.5-point home favorite earlier this week. That line has remained the same after early betting, as the Knights are currently listed at -7.5 The total for the game is sitting at 58 points.
Vegas Betting Preview & Game Odds: UCF vs Cincinnati
Cincinnati improved to 9-1 on the season last weekend after beating South Florida 35-23 at home. The Bearcats have now won three consecutive games following a tough overtime loss to Temple several weeks ago. The win against the Bulls moved them into the AP Top 25, where they currently sit at #24 overall. QB Desmond Ridder has played quite well this year, throwing for 1,897 yards and 15 touchdowns in ten games. Ridder is also second on the team in rushing yards, scampering for 486 yards and five touchdowns on the ground. The workhouse out of the backfield has been RB Michael Warren II, who has rushed for an impressive 1,082 yards and 17 touchdowns on 206 carries. Cincinnati definitely prefers to run the ball whenever possible, as they are currently averaging 235.8 rushing yards per game (14th overall). As a whole, the offense is currently averaging 35.0 points (29th) per game on 447.8 total yards.
The Bearcats have really played well on the other side of the ball, allowing opponents to score an average of just 14.9 points per game (7th overall). They have been exceptional defending against both the run and the pass, as Cincinnati currently ranks 11th and 14th overall respectively.
UCF stayed unbeaten last weekend after a solid 35-24 home victory over Navy in Week 11. The Knights have now won a ridiculous 22 straight games dating back to the 2017-18 season. They will certainly face their toughest test of the year here in Week 12, as the Bearcats have won nine out of their last ten games. QB McKenzie Milton has been fantastic, throwing for 2,309 yards and 21 touchdowns. He has also chipped in with 285 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground. Milton has certainly had a lot of help from the dynamic receiving duo of Gabriel Davis and Dredrick Snelson, who have combined for 999 yards and ten touchdowns. Overall, UCF is currently averaging 44.2 points per game (8th overall). They have also been extremely balanced on offence, as they are averaging 271.6 yards per game through the air (30th overall) and 271.4 yards per game on the ground (4th overall).
On the other side of the ball, the Knights are currently giving up 21.2 points per game (29th overall) on 423.6 yards of total offense (91st overall). They have struggled a little bit against the run, allowing opponents to average 208.9 yards per game on the ground (105th overall).
NCAA Football Betting Predictions & Free Pick: UCF -7.5
This is arguably one of the games I am most looking forward to this weekend, as these two schools are a combined 18-1 this season. I think the biggest thing that stands out to me in this particular matchup is how good Cincinnati has been defensively. The Bearcats have held opponents to seven or less points in four out of their nine games this year. However, after diving a little bit deeper, I still think I’m going to take the high-flying Knights in this spot. While the Bearcats have played well against inferior opponents, they have yet to face an offense as good as they one they will have to face on Saturday. Ohio, Temple, Tulane, and SMU all manged to score at least 20 points against the Bearcats, which makes me think that the Knights will still find a way to create some distance on the scoreboard.
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UCF is 4-0 ATS over their last four games following an against the spread loss. They are also a very solid 5-1 ATS in their last six games on grass and 4-1 ATS over their last four home games. Cincinnati is just 1-4 ATS over their last five games in the month of November and 7-15 ATS in their last 22 conference games.
The most notable trend that factors into my decision to roll with the Knights at home in this one revolves around how poorly Cincinnati has fared against good teams this season. The Bearcats are a dreadful 1-6 ATS over their last seven games against opponents with a winning record. That makes me think that their 9-1 record may be a bit of a mirage, as they certainly haven’t exactly had the toughest schedule. While there is no doubt they are a quality program, I feel much more comfortable siding with a team that hasn’t lost a game in two years. I’m laying the 7.5 points and taking the home favorite to cover – give me UCF.