South Florida Bulls vs. Central Florida Knights Pick 11/29/19
South Florida Bulls (4-7 SU, 6-5 ATS) vs. Central Florida Knights (8-3 SU, 4-7 ATS)
When: Friday, November 29, 8 p.m. EST
Where: Spectrum Stadium, Orlando, Fla.
Point Spread: USF +23.5/UCF -23.5 (BetNow - 50% REAL CASH bonus up to $1000)
Total: O/U 63.5
Outlook For Week 14
The War on I-4 has lost its national luster from past years, as Central Florida is rebuilding, and South Florida is even further behind. But this battle between Orlando and Tampa still has major relevance in the Sunshine State, and this could be a fun watch, as points have hardly been at a premium over the past three meetings between these rivals. UCF has never won three straight in this budding rivalry, but the Knights come in with a perfect home record and are hoping to secure a berth in a quality bowl game that will give them a chance at a third consecutive 10-win season.
South Florida, meanwhile, appears to be playing for its coach’s job. Charlie Strong is in just his third year in Tampa, but under his watch, the Bulls have fallen from 10-2 in his first year to 7-6 last year and now 4-7 this season. Dating back to the middle of last year, the Bulls have now lost 13 of their past 17 games, and the wins have come against BYU, Connecticut, East Carolina, and South Carolina State. One of those is an FCS squad, and Connecticut and East Carolina have a combined ten wins in the past two seasons, and four of them were against FCS squads. So yeah, USF isn’t exactly having success against quality opposition as of late.
How the Public is Betting the South Florida/Central Florida Game
The public is not sold on the Knights as of late, as it gave the Bulls an extra point on the line from UCF minus-24.5. The total has stayed right where it was.
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The Cougars report no new injuries.
Defensive tackles Kevin Kegler and Kelvin Pinkney are both questionable with undisclosed injuries. Quarterback Jordan McCloud left last week’s game with a hand injury but is expected to play, while running backs Jordan Cronkrite (shoulder) and Trevon Sands (undisclosed) are questionable.
When South Florida Has the Ball
If the Bulls are healthy, there’s a reason to believe that they can move the ball on UCF. After all, the Knights have given up 28 or more points to four of their past five opponents, and that group includes a bad East Carolina squad. But McCloud and Cronkrite have struggled with injuries, and the Memphis game showed just how stuck in the mud the Bulls were with both of them hurt. South Florida managed five first downs for the entire game against the Tigers, and on their final five possessions of the game, the Bulls were so pathetic that they actually lost 18 yards.
If Cronkrite can’t go, Kelly Joiner would again get the call. Joiner broke a couple of big runs on his way to a 115-yard day, but almost all of that came early in the game. The Bulls do have the ability to move the ball when everything is working, as they piled up over 400 yards of offense on Cincinnati. But if last week is more indicative of where the Bulls are right now, this trip to Orlando could be a disaster.
When Central Florida Has the Ball
These Knights just haven’t been able to finish teams off. UCF had a cover over Tulane locked away and couldn’t finish the job, earning the win by three points but losing the cover in the process. They had Tulsa dead to rights but couldn’t finish, losing the game by scoring just three points in the second half. Dillon Gabriel has performed well as the UCF quarterback, but he’s gone through a few stretches where he can’t get the offense out of neutral, and it’s made the Knights a frustrating team to bet.
In this game, UCF shouldn’t lack for motivation because it’s South Florida, but the Knights’ inability to finish the game speaks to their average ground game. Otis Anderson has been a decent ball carrier, but the Knights don’t ride him often enough at the end of the game to close things out. Instead, look for the (Dillon) Gabriel to Gabriel (Davis) connection to try to wear down the Bulls.
While UCF has struggled to cover, South Florida has done pretty well against the spread as of late. The Bulls have covered in five of their past six on the road. Additionally, they’ve managed a cover the week following a loss in five of their previous six chances. UCF, meanwhile, has covered just once in its past eight games, and only once in its last five games against the Bulls in Orlando. The over is usually a wise play with UCF, but in this game, it might not be. The under has hit in each of USF’s past four games against a team with a winning record.
Summer in the winter will be on full display, as the temperature will be 77 degrees at kickoff.
Dan’s Pick to Cover the Spreaed
I don’t trust either of these teams. On the one hand, the Knights can’t finish games. On the other, the Bulls can’t get anything going on offense. The reality is that UCF’s offense is reliable enough to put up a large number of points, and there’s nothing to suggest that South Florida can get out of its own way enough to keep pace.
The best bet on the board is probably to take the Bulls to go under their team total. I really don’t want to touch the game as a whole. But if you must, go with the Knights to avoid the head-scratching nosedive as the rivalry keeps their attention sharp from start to finish. You might want to wait to until this game starts and then jump in and make a “Live Bet” at Bovada. They have the best in-game betting platform on the web!
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