Week 15 of the 2014 college football season is conference championship week. The Central Florida Knights (8-3) travel to Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium in Greenville, NC to take on the host East Carolina Pirates (8-3) as the Knights look to claim a share of the American Athletic Conference Title. UCF has won three games in a row, including a 16-0 win over South Florida last week. The Knights last lost to UConn on the road in week ten 37-29, but that was their only loss outside of their 0-2 start to the season. UCF has won 8 of their last 9 overall. East Carolina has won two in a row including a 49-32 win over Tulsa on the road last week. Their last loss was a 54-46 decision at CIncinnati 3 weeks ago.
Central Florida is ranked 71st nationally in scoring offense with an average of 27.8 points per game and 103rd among FBS teams in total offense with 357.5 yards per contest. The Knights rank 5th nationally in points allowed with 16.8 per game and 4th in total defense 271.2 YPG allowed.
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East Carolina is ranked 13th nationally in scoring offense with an average of 37.8 PPG scored and 3RD among FBS teams in total offense with 543.8 YPG. The Pirates rank 52nd nationally in points allowed with 25.1 per game and 40th in total defense 364.9 YPG allowed.
Central Florida vs. East Carolina Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Central Florida Knights +7
@ East Carolina Pirates -7
Over 54 (-110)
Under 54 (-110)
Betting odds taken from Bovada.lv
Central Florida vs East Carolina Pick
The Knights 6-0 ATS in their last 6 Thursday games, 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games against a team with a winning record and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall. The Pirates are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 home games, 4-15 ATS in their last 19 games against a team with a winning record and 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games overall. The Under is 7-3 in the Knights’ last 10 conference games, 4-1 in their last 5 games in December, but the Over is 8-1 in their last 9 games after scoring less than 20 points in their previous game. The Under is 4-0 in Pirates last 4 games on grass, but the Over is 9-2 in their last 11 home games against a team with a winning road record and 6-2 in their last 8 home games. In head-to-head play, the home team is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 meetings and the Knights are 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings between the two teams.
This game features two very different teams, East Carolina features one of the most explosive offenses in the country and UCF features one of the stingiest defenses in the land. The Knights do not however have very much firepower on offense, but they have been humming on all cylinders down the stretch with the exception of an upset loss at UConn. ECU is a passing team, ranking third nationally in passing offenses, but they are far from one-dimensional on offenses with 1,971 yards rushing which puts them in reach of their first 2,000 yard season since 2009. This should be a very close game, ECU is facing probably the best secondary they have seen all season. The Pirates will score at home, but the are likely to have trouble covering against a hot team that has played strong defense against all comers. Take the Knights and the points on the road here.