Central Florida Knights vs. Auburn Tigers Chick Fil A Peach Bowl Pick - Betting Odds

January 1, 12:30 PM EST

Betting Odds

Point Spread: 
Auburn -9.5

In one of the early bowl games on New Year’s Day, the AAC’s Central Florida Knights square off against the SEC’s Auburn Tigers as the top Mid Major program in the country in this season’s Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl from Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Kickoff on ESPN is set for 12:30 p.m.

UCF vs. Auburn Game Overview

Central Florida completed its run to the AAC title with a 49-42 victory against South Florida as a 10-point home favorite to clinch the East Division title before knocking off No. 20 Memphis 62-55 in the championship game as a 6.5-point favorite. This completed the perfect 12-0 run straight-up, but after failing to cover in five of their last seven games the Knights posted a 7-4-1 record against the spread. The total went OVER in those final two games of the season and it has gone OVER in eight of their 12 games this year.

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Behind the highest scoring offense in the nation with 49.4 points per game, the Knights also racked up an average of 540.5 yards per game. Sophomore quarterback McKenzie Milton led the passing game with 3,795 yards and 35 touchdowns while completing an impressive 69.2 percent of his 360 attempts. Tre’Quan Smith was his favorite target with 54 receptions for 1,082 yards and 13 scores. UCF also did a good job running the ball with Adrian Killians leading the way with 762 yards and 10 touchdowns on 112 rushing attempts.

Auburn was one win away from earning a spot in the College Football Playoff after beating Alabama 26-14 as a five-point home favorite in its final game of the season. While the Tigers had already beaten Georgia 40-17 in the regular season as 2.5-point underdogs at home, they were on the wrong side of a 28-7 loss to the Bulldogs in the SEC title game as two-point underdogs this time around. Overall, they are 10-3 SU with an even 5-5-3 record ATS. The total stayed UNDER in their final three games of the year.

The Tigers took a balanced approach to moving the ball down field with an average of 225.8 passing yards and 228.2 yards per game on the ground. This added up to a 34.4-point scoring average that was tied for 26th in Division IA ball. Jarrett Stidham threw for 2,827 yards and 17 touchdowns and Kerryon Johnson added another 1,320 yards and 17 scores on the ground. The biggest strength of this team was on the other side of the ball with a defense that ended the year 10th in this nation in points allowed (17.3).

UCF vs. Auburn Game Betting Trends

The Knights have failed to cover in five of their last seven games against the SEC with the total going OVER the closing line in seven of their last eight games against this conference. They are 1-3-1 ATS in their last five games against a team with a SU winning record. The Tigers are 1-4 ATS in their last five games played at a neutral site and they are 0-4-1 ATS in their last five nonconference games. The total has stayed UNDER or ended as a PUSH in their last four bowl games. This two teams played a three-year series back in the late 1990’s at Auburn with the Tigers winning all three games SU while going 2-1 ATS.

UCF vs. Auburn Free Game Prediction

It is going to be a tall task for UCF to finish its amazing run this season undefeated, but it does have the talent on both sides of the ball to give the Tigers all they can handle in this matchup. I would give the Knights a big edge in motivation and momentum given everything they have accomplished coupled with Auburn’s questionable motivation coming off such a devastating loss in that conference title game.

The 9.5-point spread in this game has held steady since it was first released, but I think it will reach double digits figures by the time kickoff rolls around on New Year’s Day. Either way, I am rolling the dice that UCF finds a way to cash in ATS.

Free Pick: 
Take UCF +9.5