Central Florida Knights vs. East Carolina Pirates Betting Odds - Free ATS Pick
The Central Florida Knights and the East Carolina Pirates close-out play in the AAC this Thursday night under the prime-time lights at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. (ET) and the game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN.
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UCF is still in the hunt for a share of the AAC regular season title at 6-1 straight-up in conference play. With the exception of a stunning 37-29 loss to Connecticut on Nov. 1 as nine-point road favorites, the Knights have won the rest of their games after opening the season with losses to Penn State and Missouri both SU and against the spread. They have now covered in four of their last five contests and the total has gone OVER in three of their last five games.
Defense has remained the primary strength of this team. This unit has not allowed more than 14 points in five of the team's last six outings and it has given-up a combined 14 points in its last three games. Offensively, the Knights are scoring an average of 27.9 points a game, which is ranked 74th in the nation.
East Carolina stumbled to a 5-2 record in ACC play with bad losses to Temple and Cincinnati as a road favorite to fall out of the conference title race. The Pirates have been a tough team to wager on this season with a 1-6 record ATS in their last seven games. They failed to cover as 18.5-point road favorites in this past Saturday's 49-32 win over Tulsa. The total went OVER the closing 70-point line in that game after staying UNDER in four of their previous five games.
This team has won the majority of its games this season behind a potent passing attack that averaged 364.6 yards a game, which is currently the third-highest total in the country. Shane Carden has led the way with 3,912 yards passing and 25 touchdowns while completing 64 percent of his 503 attempts. Breon Allen leads the team in rushing with 848 yards on 128 carries and the offense overall is averaging 37.8 points a game.
The Knights have won nine of their last 11 road games SU and the total has stayed UNDER in four of their last six games on the road.
The Pirates have covered ATS in eight of their last 10 homes games and they bring a 5-0 SU record in their last five home games into this contest. The total has gone OVER in six of their last nine games played at home.
East Carolina has won five of its last seven games against the Knights SU, but it has failed to cover in four of the last five meetings. The total has gone OVER in four of the last six games between the two.
Central Florida vs. East Carolina Game Point Spread Pick
This renewal of an old Conference USA rivalry will come down to the Knights' ability to keep Carden and a very prolific Pirates' passing game in check. In the end, I see East Carolina doing just enough to get the SU win at home, but my pick for this Thursday night's tilt is UCF with the 5.5 points.