East Carolina Pirates (4-6 SU, 4-6 ATS) vs. UCF Knights (0-10 SU, 2-8 ATS)
College Football Week 12
Date/Time: Thursday, November 19, 7:30pm
Where: Bright House Networks Stadium Orlando, FL
by Bob, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: ECU -15 / UCF +15
Over/Under Total: OFF
Thursday night, which is also my birthday FYI, the East Carolina Pirates will travel south to take on a Central Florida team that has yet to win a game in 2015. Neither team has been overly impressive this season, but the Pirates do have a few decent wins. East Carolina, at 4-6, has taken down Virginia Tech and also played the Florida Gators pretty tight. This series between ECU and UCF did not start until the 1991 season and over that time, these two have met thirteen times with East Carolina being victorious in nine of those. However, dating back to 2010, UCF has won three of the last four, and also have won the last two show downs. Could this be the first UCF win of 2015?
If I were to look at these two teams on paper, I would say that East Carolina would be favored by over 21 points. The Pirates however come in as a 15 point road favorite. On the season, ECU is 4-6 against the spread while UCF is just 2-8, again, neither team is overly impressive this year. The early action is slightly on East Carolina, but it is not a staggering number. 55% of the action rides on the Pirates which is virtually a toss up opinion. These games are usually tough to predict seeing as how neither team is dominant, and the underdog is at home.
East Carolina has been a pretty good program over the last few years but this year they are having some trouble. Like I stated earlier, their signature win of 2015 was the victory over Virginia Tech, but the Hokies are not the same power house they once were either. Looking at the Pirates schedule though, they played a pretty tough one. They have lost to Florida, Navy, BYU, and Temple. All of those teams have had great 2015s so a loss to them is nothing to scoff at. The only true bad losses for East Carolina this season were to Uconn and South Florida. On the season statistically, ECU is not ranked very high. Other than the passing offense that is in the top 40, the other areas are very below average. ECU is ranked 81st in scoring defense in FBS and 86th in points scored on offense. The key this weekend is to take advantage of the one bright spot, the passing game. Blake Kemp, the Pirates quarterback, will need to have a good game Thursday not only to be able to cover the spread, but to get the win against a desperate team on the road. The UCF defense allows over 36 points per game and mostly because they cannot stop the pass. So, ECU, pass-pass-pass!
UCF is having a historically bad season. Like all time bad. They enter this game at 0-10 and just cannot seem to buy a win, even against lesser opponents. Losses to Furman and FIU pretty much sums this team up. They also have huge losses to Houston and Cincinnati in which they gave up 50+ points in each of those. Statistically, the Knights are bad and you can see why they are 0-10. The defense is ranked 113th in points allowed, the offense only scores 15 points a game which is ranked 127th in the FBS. The offense total yards wise is bad too. 277 total yards per game, yep, under 300 total yards a game. The key this weekend is to just somehow, someway, play above their heads. We are not asking UCF to win this game, but I do think East Carolina is vulnerable enough to not cover the spread.
I am very confused on this game. My gut tells me that East Carolina wins this game by 24+, but the spread being just fifteen makes me wonder does Vegas know something we do not. The public is pretty much split and lets also not forget that UCF has won the last two games between these two. With all that said, I am going straight chalk here. I think the Pirates come in and dominate from start to finish. UCF may hang for a quarter or two, but they do not have the offense to score with East Carolina. I like the Pirates 31-10 in this one.
Bobs Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Take the East Carolina Pirates to cover the 15 points!
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