Cincinnati Bearcats vs. UCF Knights: Odds, College Football Betting Pick

OddsShark.com@@OddsSharkFeatured ColumnistNovember 13, 2018

Members of Central Florida's Marching Knights perform before an NCAA college football game against Tulsa on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016 in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

Central Florida extended its nation-best winning streak to 22 in a row last week, which includes a 14-7-1 mark against the spread. The Knights quest for No. 23 and a division title when they entertain Cincinnati for a big AAC game Saturday night in Orlando.

College football point spread: The Knights opened as 10-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)

College football betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 37.8-37.6 Knights (College football picks on every game)

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Why the Cincinnati Bearcats can cover the spread

Cincinnati rides a three-game winning streak into this contest, after beating South Florida last week 35-23. The Bearcats trailed the Bulls 6-0 early and 16-14 at the half but scored touchdowns on their first three possessions of the second half to take control.

Unfortunately for its financial backers, Cincinnati reached the Bulls' 1-yard line in the final moments but declined to score and just missed covering the spread as a 16-point favorite.

On the night, the Bearcats out-gained South Florida 432-313, and 72 of the Bulls' yards came on one play. Cincinnati also held a 24-12 advantage in first downs, out-rushed USF 238-81 and won time of possession by a 37/23 split.

The Bearcats have now out-gained eight of their 10 opponents this season and out-rushed nine of 10 foes. At 5-1 in conference play Cincinnati can win the AAC East with a victory Saturday, another over East Carolina next week and one Temple loss.


Why the UCF Knights can cover the spread

Central Florida reached 9-0 on the season with a 35-24 victory over Navy last week. The Knights popped out to a 21-0 lead on the Midshipmen, then put it on cruise control from there on their way to their 22nd consecutive victory. Unfortunately for its financial backers, UCF allowed Navy to put up 21 points in the second half and missed the cover as a 23-point favorite.

On the day, the Knights rang up 500 yards of total offense, including 300 on the ground. They've also now scored at least 31 points in every game of their winning streak.

At 6-0 in conference play, UCF can clinch a spot in the AAC Championship Game with a win Saturday.

Central Florida remains on the periphery of contention for a spot in the College Football Playoff. The Knights' only hope is to blow out their remaining opponents and get help from elsewhere.


Smart betting pick

UCF won this matchup last year 51-23, but these teams are closer than that now. Cincinnati owns the better defense, and one could make the case it also owns the better performance this season against common opponents. The smart money here bets the Bearcats, plus the points.


College football betting trends

The total has gone under in five of Central Florida's last six games.

Cincinnati is 6-1 SU in its last seven games vs. its conference.

The total has gone under in Cincinnati's last four games on the road.


All college football odds and betting trends according to Bleacher Report's official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week's top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.