The top Thursday night (8:00pm ET) matchup for week ten of the 2011 college football season features a Conference USA matchup with the Golden Hurricane of Tulsa (5-3) traveling to Bright House Networks Stadium in Orlando, FL to take on the host University of Central Florida Knights (4-4). Tulsa comes into the contest riding a four-game winning streak after routing SMU 38-7 in week nine to easily cover the 1.5 point line. UCF routed Memphis 41-0 last week in their homecoming game to cover the 29.5 point line. Tulsa is 4-4 ATS this season, while UCF is 3-5 ATS.
The Golden Hurricane offense has not been as explosive as it was last season, but they are still formidable this year putting up an average of 31.6 point per game (41st in the nation) and 435 yards of total offense per contest (32nd in the nation). On defense Tulsa has been less than stellar, allowing 27.6 PPG (73rd in the nation) and 410.9 YPG (82nd in the nation), while ranking a dismal 107th against the pass with 284.8 YPG allowed through the air. UCF has been almost a polar opposite of Tulsa this season, with a woeful offensive attack and a stellar defensive unit. The Knights offense ranks 66th in the country with 27.1 PPG scored and a respectable 43rd in total offense with 420.8 YPG. On defense they have been outstanding, ranking in the top ten in the nation in all major categories including points allowed per game with 14.2 (5th), total yards allowed with 245.4 (3rd) and passing defense with 160.9 YPG (5th).
Tulsa vs. Central Florida Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Tulsa Golden Hurricane +1.5
@Central Florida Knights -1.5
Over 48.5 (-110)
Under 48.5 (-110)
Betting odds taken from BetOnline.com
Tulsa vs. Central Florida Pick:
Tulsa is 8-1 AST in their last 9 road games and 9-2 ATS in their last 11 Conference USA games. UCF is 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games overall and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games as a home favorite. The under is 4-0 in Tulsa’s last four road games and 4-1 in their last 5 games overall. The under is 19-7-1 in UCF’s last 27 home games and 14-6-1 in their last 21 games against a team with a winning record. In head-to-head play, the favorite is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 meetings. Tulsa won their last meeting in 2008 at home 49-19 to cover the 22.5 point line; UCF won their two prior meetings (both in 2007) by nearly identical 44-25 and 44-23 scores.
Central Florida has been tough at home, but prior to their win over a hapless Memphis team they had lost 4 of their previous 5 games. The Knights do not have a win over a quality opponent this season, and it is tough to see them pulling off a victory here over a surging Tulsa team that has played much tougher competition this season. The Golden Hurricane’s three losses have come against BCS heavyweights Oklahoma, Oklahoma St. and Boise St., and the only teams to hold them under 30 pints were Oklahoma and Boise St. Tulsa was able to hold SMU’s prolific passing offense (293.1 YPG, 18th in the nation) to 180 yards, intercepting QB J.J. McDermott 4 times and holding SMU to 2 for 13 (15%) on third-down conversions last week. The strong UCF defense should keep them in the game, but Tulsa’s superior talent should win out in the end. This is a road dog definitely worth taking as the Golden Hurricane should win the game outright.
PICK = Tulsa +1.5 **Make sure you sign up to receive all of our picks (sign up form at top of this page)**