UCF vs. Georgia Tech O/U Pick
No. 14 UCF Knights (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS)
Date/Time: Saturday, September 19th 2020. 3:30PM (EST)
Where: Bobby Dodd Stadium
Point Spread: UCF -7/GT +7 (GTBets - Deposit $500 and get $500 FREE!)
Over/Under Total: 62
Last week, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets delivered a stunning upset over Florida State in a 16-13 victory in Tallahassee. Despite being listed as nearly two-touchdown underdogs, the Yellow Jackets defense stymied the Seminoles allowing just 307 total yards and forcing three turnovers to help yield the upset. In the preview of that game, I mentioned that Georgia Tech signed one of the best recruiting classes in school history over the offseason, but I was unsure of how long it would take Head Coach Geoff Collins to truly turn the program around. However, Georgia Tech took a big step in the right direction in last week’s road victory against Florida State, and now they will get a 2nd straight opportunity at an upset when they host the no. 14 UCF Knights at Bobby Dodd Stadium this Saturday.
I was very complimentary of the Yellow Jackets defensive potential prior to their outing against the Seminoles, and I actually took the under 54 in that game, which proved to be one of the easiest covers of the weekend. This week Georgia Tech’s defense will face an even more significant challenge against a more efficient and dangerous offense. The Knights’ opening contest against Florida International was postponed due to coronavirus concerns, which means this Saturday’s opener at Georgia Tech gets a bit tougher out of the gates. The Knights return quarterback Dillon Gabriel who passed for 29 touchdowns last year, which was the 3rd most in school history. The fact that Gabriel accomplished the feat as a true freshman and the offense returns several key contributors; expectations have been elevated again for a UCF program that has won at least ten games in three consecutive seasons.
UCF looking to return to national prominence
Just a few years ago, the UCF Knights were staking claims to a national championship following their undefeated season in 2017. Similar discussions were made in 2018 when the Knights made another run at an undefeated season finishing 12-1 SU. When last year’s team experienced three losses for the first time since 2016, it knocked the wind out of the Knights’ sails. However, there are reasons to believe UCF will return to national prominence this year, which is already begun by their 14th ranking in the AP Polls.
For this Saturday’s visit to Georgia Tech, the Knights should have the advantage on both sides of the football if they can overcome the opening game jitters. The UCF defense ranked 42nd in the FBS last season and will get a prime match-up against an unproven Yellow Jackets offense that could only score 16 points against Florida State despite a dominating defensive effort. On offense, the Knights will turn to Dillon Gabriel as the centerpiece of their focus. The Knights must replace star receiver Gabriel Davis and running back Adrian Killins, who were big contributors to the 2019 success. However, UCF has capable talent ready to step up to the challenge in WR Tre Nixon and running back Otis Anderson, who should have more significant roles this season.
Exploiting the total
While I believe UCF should have the advantage of both sides of the ball this Saturday, it will not be an easy task. It’s the first game of the season, on the road, against a solid coached Georgia Tech team. If I had any faith in Georgia Tech’s offense, I would likely back the Yellow Jackets in this position because I think they will find a way to contend. Unfortunately, the Yellow Jackets offense appears to be relatively mediocre. The offense attempted 40 rushing plays last week as they remain heavily focused on the run game. I just don’t see the offense having much success against a better defense this week in UCF.
In many ways, I see the circumstances of this game playing out very similar to last week’s Florida State and Georgia Tech game where defenses are poised to shine. Neither of these teams poses high-paced offenses. Georgia Tech’s defense will be needed in a big way to pull off the upset. I think the Yellow Jackets will be able to make things challenging for UCF, especially if their offense can come up with a few plays. Either way, when you combine game pace, match-ups, and overall strengths of each team, this game should not produce a ton of fireworks. However, the total is listed at 62, which is giving unjustified credit to the scoring potential in this game. I simply do not see it happening and think another strong play towards the “under” is warranted.
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