The Central Florida Golden Knights put their four-game unbeaten streak up to the test on Friday night when they head into Houston to take on the Cougars. The hosts’ have a two-game winning streak of their own as they come off of back-to-back spankings of Memphis (56-17) and SMU (45-20). All of this for the Cougars is happening with third-string quarterback David Piland who is filling in for quarterbacks Case Keenum (knee) and Cotton Turner (collarbone) with season-ending injuries. The biggest story line heading into the game will be how the Houston offense (15th in total yardage and 8th in scoring) does against a Golden Knights defense which comes in with some staggering defensive statistics. UCF (nationally) is 9th in total defense, 16th in pass defense, 13th in rush defense and 11th in scoring defense. With the Golden Knight offense coming off of 101 points in their last two outings, it should make for a highly entertaining game.
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The Central Florida Golden Knights have been awesome their last few weeks. They’ve been remarkable on offense having scored 30+ points in each of their last four games. They’ve scored 90 points combined in their last two—home victories over a decent East Carolina team and a triumph over Rice. But, things could be different this week as a whole. Houston comes in with a bad defense but a high-flying offense. It is right to expect the Golden Knights to light up the scoreboard to a certain extent. If UCF QB Jeff Godfrey can remain a dual-threat signal-caller and tailback Ronnie Weaver (638 yards, team-high 10 TDs) can get it going then look for Central Florida should be tough to beat.
Houston is a team that has began to persevere amongst some arduous conditions. To lose star quarterback Case Keenum to a knee injury is one thing but to proceed to lose the back-up (Cotton Turner) is just unbearable for most programs. But, the Cougars have rebounded nicely. With back-to-back wins over Memphis and SMU things aren’t quite as morbid for Cougar faithful as it seemed about a month ago. Welcoming Central Florida will be a challenge though. The Cougars are 98th in the country in rushing yards surrendered and 80th in scoring defense. For a team like UCF—who is coming off a string of high-scoring wins— it certainly won’t be easy for Houston.
Central Florida vs. Houston Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Central Florida -2
@ Houston +2
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Central Florida vs. Houston Betting Predictions:
Game Total Prediction (Top Play) – The way these teams have been moving the ball of late it was fair to expect us to like the over regardless of what the number was. At 62, you are looking at a game with both of the teams in the 30’s. We can see that. The Over is 9-2 in Houston’s last 11 games overall while it is 4-0 in Central Florida’s last four. We’ll expect that trend to continue as both teams pile on some points.
Spread Prediction –There is no question that there will be some points scored in this game. With that said, the Central Florida defense measures up well against their counterparts and it’s perhaps fair to expect them to perform at a touch higher level. Houston will be able to move the ball but there is no guarantee that their defense—previously mentioned how mediocre they are— will have trouble stopping a Golden Knight team that has been outstanding the past few weeks on both offense and defense. With that said, we see UCF winning the game and covering the spread. And don’t be afraid to go with a streak: Central Florida is 10-1 ATS in their last 11 road games.