NCAA Football Betting Favorite: UCF -15.5
UCF and UAB have both had very disappointing starts to the season. The Knights were expected to be one of the teams to beat in Conference USA, but they are just 3-3. UAB wasn’t expected to be great, but not many people expected them to be winless through six games. There is still a little bit of time to get the season turned around, but both of these teams realize they need to get back on the winning track this week. UCF dominated the Blazers 42-7 last year, but this game will be played in Birmingham.
The Knights of Central Florida had a couple tough losses against FIU and BYU earlier this year. Last week’s 38-17 blowout loss at the hands of Houston was a very humbling game for this team. This is a team that put its program on the map last year with an important Liberty Bowl win over the Georgia Bulldogs. They still have a great deal of talent, but they seem to have taken a step back so far this year.
Jeff Godfrey is nice dual-threat quarterback, but he needs to develop more as a passer. Godfrey is completing 68% of his passes, but the Knights almost never throw the ball downfield, which allows the defense to sit on the running game or the short passing game. To say that UCF is stacked at the running back position is really an understatement. Brynn Harvey, Ronnie Weaver, and Latavius Murray would all be starters for most teams. The Knights defense has been great this year. UCF is third in the nation in total defense, and this defense allows only 14.9 points per game.
UAB wasn’t a great team last year, but they did win four games. The Blazers haven’t necessarily been way off in the last few games, but they just can’t seem to make the winning play when it counts most. UAB actually led Mississippi State 3-0 at halftime, and they fell by just one point against Troy. This team has been bad on both sides of the football, and there is room for improvement just about everywhere.
The Blazers have had Bryan Ellis and Jonathan Perry split time under center this season. Combined, the two have thrown two touchdown passes and seven interceptions. Pat Shed, who had a successful season last year, is averaging just 3.7 yards per carry in 2011. Defensively, this team has been terrible this year. The Blazers are 118th out of 120 teams in total defense. UAB is allowing 33 points per game this year.
UCF may not have played up to their potential yet this year, but their defense is terrific. I don’t think UAB will be able to get much of anything going in this one. I expect UCF to cover the number, but my favorite play here is the under.
Free College Football Pick: Under 45
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