Tulsa has won and covered three straight against Central Florida and doing it a fourth time will earn the Golden Hurricane the Conference USA championship.
Tulsa beat Central Florida, winners of Conference USA's East Division,two weeks ago and a slight favorites at most sportsbooks tracked by OddsShark.com to do it again. The line opened at minus-one but, by Friday, Tulsa had been bet into a two-point favorite at most shops.
The teams meet to decide C-USA supremacy in the conference championship game Saturday afternoon in Oklahoma (noon ET, ESPN2).
The winner of this game will play in the Liberty Bowl.
The Hurricane, with 13 starters back from a team that went 7-1 in conference play last year, began this season with a loss to Iowa State, then won seven games in a row, including their first five conference games. Tulsa then lost at Arkansas 19-15, won at Houston and beat Central Florida 23-21.
With the West Division title wrapped up, the 'Cane then lost their regular season finale at SMU 35-27.
The Knights, meanwhile, with 16 starters back from a team that went 3-5 in conference last season, opened this season with a win over Akron, a 31-16 loss at Ohio State, a win over Florida International and a 21-16 loss to Missouri.
UCF then won its first six C-USA games, averaging 40 PPG in the process.
The Knights then lost that game at Tulsa, but with the East Division title on the line, beat UAB in the season finale 49-24.
On the season, Tulsa outgained opponents by a 463-356 YPG margin and outrushed foes 237-120.
UCF outgained opponents 407-375 and outrushed them 182-152.
The Hurricane outrushed the Knights two weeks ago 209-66. Tulsa grabbed an early 10-0 lead in that game, but UCF used an interception return for a score to take a 14-10 advantage into halftime.
The 'Cane then scored twice in the third quarter to re-take the lead and held on from there.
Tulsa got the cover that day as a one-point favorite, and the game played under its total of 54.
Free Conference USA Championship Pick: While beating a team twice in three weeks isn't the easiest thing to do, we give the points and take Tulsa. (courtesy of PickShark.com)
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