College Football Week 3 Picks: UCF Knights vs. Missouri Tigers

UCF Knights vs. Missouri Tigers
Saturday, 9/13/14, 12:00 PM EST
Opening Point Spread:  Missouri -9.5
Current Betting Line:  Missouri -9.5
Opening Total:  N/A
Current Total:  N/A
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Missouri Tigers have won both previous meetings with the UCF Knights
The Missouri Tigers have won both previous meetings with the UCF Knights

UCF returns to the field after a week off, as it suffered a 26-24 season-opening loss to the Penn State Nittany Lions as 1.5-point neutral-site favorites on Sept. 30 in Dublin, Ireland.  The Knights have won six consecutive true road games, which is important to consider when making your Week 3 college football picks, while they’ve also captured their last two affairs against ranked opponents.  UCF is 1-1 SU and 2-0 ATS as underdogs or 3.5 to 10 points since 2012, with no clear edge in terms of the betting total (1-1 Over/Under).

The Knights are focused on gaining revenge from a 21-16 defeat to the Tigers as 1.5-point home favorites on Sept. 29, 2012, which can’t be ignored when looking over the college football odds.  UCF has replaced NFL draftee Blake Bortles with Justin Holman under center, as he comes off a 9-for-14 performance for 204 yards against the Nittany Lions.  On the other side of the ball, the school allowed just 57 yards in the opener—the fewest rushing yards by a team from the ACC, Big 12, Pac-12 or SEC when facing such an opponent in its history.

Missouri is aiming to start 3-0 for the seventh time out of the last nine seasons and for the eighth time under head coach Gary Pinkel.  The Tigers are coming off an impressive 49-24 road victory over the Toledo Rockets, with sophomore signal-caller Maty Mauk tying a single-game school record with five touchdown passes and a career-best 325 yards.  He has completed 54.8 percent of his passes in 15 games played (six starts) since arriving on campus in 2012.  Missouri is 0-4 ATS in its last four games versus American Athletic Conference members.

The Tigers extended their NCAA-best active streak of consecutive games with a takeaway to 46, as they created two turnovers versus the Rockets.  Mauk has plenty of weapons around him, with junior tailback Russell Hansbrough being one of the biggest, as he ranks fourth in the Southeastern Conference in averaging 105 rushing yards per game.

Sports bettors will likely back the Tigers due to their 6-2-1 ATS mark in their last nine home games.

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