- Central Florida has covered eight of their last 10 as a favorite of 10.5 to 21 points (10-0 straight up in those games)
- Tulsa has won four straight as the host in this series
- The over has cashed in four of Tulsa’s last five games
The UCF Knights (7-2, 4-1 AAC) are 16.5-point favorites over the Tulsa Golden Hurricane (2-7, 0-5 AAC) in Friday night’s AAC showdown (Nov. 8, 7:00 PM ET). It’s an important matchup as UCF is chasing Cincinnati for the top spot in the American Athletic Conference East Division.
Can Central Florida win and cover a big number or is your money better off backing a Tulsa team that’s actually over .500 (5-4) against the spread?
UCF Knights vs Tulsa Golden Hurricane Odds
|Central Florida Knights||-17 (-107)||-750||70.5 (-115)|
|Tulsa Golden Hurricane||+17 (-113)||+575||70.5 (-105)|
Odds taken Nov. 5th
Knights Enter With Momentum
Although the Knights won’t be “National Champions” this season or even be in the conversation, they’re still a solid 7-2. Their only two losses were a one-point shortcoming at Pittsburgh and a three-point loss at Cincinnati, which is now ranked No. 17 in the country.
The Knights offense is a well-oiled machine, averaging 44.4 points per game (fourth-best in the country). They’re averaging nearly 550 yards of offense per game as the running game provides 212.0 while the passing game averages 321.0, the ninth-best mark in the nation.
They haven’t been as crisp in away games but that’s mostly because their competition has been a bit more challenging in those contests. They’ll have to be focused to cover here as the size of the UCF vs Tulsa odds means they’ll have to win by three scores.
Tulsa Is Just 2-7 But They’ve Been Competitive
The Golden Hurricane were 2-2 at one point with the two very explainable losses to Michigan State, who was No. 18 at the time, and Oklahoma State. They even nearly beat No. 24 SMU on the road, forcing them into three overtimes before eventually falling short. Since then, they’ve lost five in a row.
Truth be told, while this is a bad team, they’ve played hard and have been very competitive. They should have beaten SMU (they were up 21 in the fourth quarter), they could have beaten Memphis (missed a game-winning 29-yard field goal as time expired) and the 24-13 loss to Cincinnati was closer than the final score suggests.
Tulsa has won the last two meetings with the Golden Knights, which should give them confidence. Will this be another competitive effort or are they ripe for a blowout after so many close losses?
What’s The Best Bet?
My concern here with Tulsa is that they’re ranked 65th in yards per game, which feels like they might be bringing a knife to a gun fight. Central Florida is going to walk up and down on this defense as Tulsa is 95th in that category, giving up 33.0 points per game. Opponents are averaging 5.9 yards-per-play, which ranks them 84th.
At the same time, Central Florida’s defense isn’t fantastic either. They’re sort of right on the border of good and bad – somewhere in between – and Tulsa has moved the ball on bad defenses this season. The smartest play here might be the over as we’re looking at a total of 70.5.
Tulsa’s defense has allowed at least 38 in four of their last five games, so Central Florida should be in that range. That means, if we get about 30 from Tulsa, we’ll get there. UCF games have averaged 70.7 points per game over their last seven and that includes the defensive contest with Cincinnati (51 points).
We should see points aplenty on Friday night in a back-and-forth affair.
Let's have fun and keep it civil.