Central Florida Knights at Louisville Cardinals Odds & Free Pick

September 17, 7:30 PM EDT

Betting Odds

Point Spread: 
UCF -7/LOU +7

Central Florida gets its only shot at a Power 5 outfit this season, at least until the bowls roll around when it visits Louisville to take on the ACC's Cardinals Friday night on national TV. The Knights think they've got a shot at the Group of 5 New Year's Day bowl berth this season year, but a win in this spot is probably a prerequisite. Meanwhile, Louisville looked terrible in its only game this year against a Power 5 foe and will look to improve. UCF's favored by a touchdown on the road here; how are we playing this game with our free college football betting pick?

UCF-Louisville Betting Odds

The Week 3 college football odds board opened Central Florida at -7.5 over Louisville, with an over/under that stretched from 66 to 69. Early betting action then knocked the hook off that line and settled that total around 68.

UCF-Louisville College Football Betting Preview

The Knights are 2-0 on the season after disposing of FCS Bethune-Cookman last week 63-14. Central Florida took a 7-0 lead less than two minutes into the game, let the Wildcats tie the score at 7-7, then scored touchdowns on four straight possessions to lead 35-7 at the half. The Knights then scored the first seven points out of the locker room and later tacked on the last 21 points of the game for the win and the cover as 45-point favorites. UCF out-gained B-C 671-279 and out-rushed the Wildcats 290-24, and we would expect no less. Central Florida opened its season with a 36-31 come-from-behind victory over Boise State. The Knights trailed the Broncos 21-0 early in the second quarter but rallied to take the lead for good with four minutes left and hung on from there. However, they also came up just short of the money at -5.5. UCF returned 17 starters this season, eight on offense and nine on defense, from a team that played 6-4 last season. So even though the Knights are playing their first season under Coach Malzahn, they're expected to contend for the AAC title. The Cardinals, meanwhile, are 1-1 on the season after defeating FCS Eastern Kentucky last week 30-3. Louisville punted on four of its first five possessions of the game but used an early takeaway and a punt return for a score to lead 20-3 at the half. The Cardinals then won an ugly second half 10-0 to secure the win but couldn't cover the spread as 30-point favorites. Louisville out-gained EKU 442-235, out-rushed the Colonels 158-86, and won the turnover battle 3-1. Again, we'd expect nothing less. The Cardinals opened this season with a bit more formidable foe, Ole Miss, lost 43-24 and whiffed ATS as nine-point dogs. Louisville fell behind to the Rebels 26-0 at the half and never got closer than 19 points from there. The Cardinals returned 13 starters this season, seven on offense and six on defense, from a team that played 4-7 last year. We give Louisville about a 50/50 chance to return to a bowl this season.

UCF-Louisville History

These teams have split two meetings all-time; Louisville won the first meeting back in 1985, while Central Florida won the most recent meeting in 2013. These two teams are also scheduled to meet next season in Orlando.

College Football Betting Trends

  • UCF is 6-2 both SU and ATS in its last eight games vs. Power 5 opponents.
  • Louisville is 6-1 SU, 4-3 ATS its last seven games vs. Group of 5 teams.

Totals Report

Overs are 2-0 in Knights games this season, which are averaging 72 total points. Unders are 2-0 in Cardinals games, which are averaging 50 points.

UCF at Louisville Prediction 9/17/21

UCF is probably the better team in this match-up but not by as much as that point spread might indicate. And we expect a better performance here from Louisville than what we've seen so far this season. The Cardinals are in their third season under Coach Satterfield, and he's got a good track record; Appalachian State advanced from 4-8 to 11-2 in his first three seasons there. We’ll take the Cards and the points.  

Free Pick: 
Take Louisville +7