UCF Knights vs. Marshall Thundering Herd: College Football Week 9 Picks Against the Spread

UCF Knights at Marshall Thundering Herd
Saturday, 10/27/12, 8:00 PM EST, TV:  CBS Sports Network
Opening Point Spread:  UCF -4
Current Betting Line:  UCF -1.5
Opening Total:  67.5
Current Total:  68
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The UCF Knights have won their last seven games against the Marshall Thundering Herd

Central Florida will try and become bowl eligible for the fifth time in the last eight seasons, while also winning its eighth-straight game against this week’s opponent.  The Knights have won three games in a row, including a 35-17 win over the Memphis Tigers as 24-point road favorites last week, while going OVER the total for the third consecutive game.  “We do not like Marshall, and we do not like East Carolina,” stated former Knights quarterback Kyle Israel.  Central Florida is 5-5 ATS as a road favorite the last two-plus years, with the OVER going 7-3 in those contests.

The Knights rank first in Conference-USA in total defense and scoring defense, while their opponent on Saturday sits first in total offense and scoring offense.  Central Florida out-gained Marshall by a 387-130 margin in last year’s 16-6 win as 19.5-point home favorites.  The program is second in the conference and 25th nationally with a plus-six turnover ratio.

Marshall snapped a two-game losing streak by collecting a 59-24 win over the Southern Miss Golden Eagles as four-point road underdogs last week, while going OVER the total for a fourth-straight time.  The Thundering Herd know the stakes of this contest, as the winner will land in the driver’s seat for the East Division championship.  “It should be a great Saturday night atmosphere,” stated Thundering Herd head coach Doc Holliday.  Defensively, the unit isn’t getting much press, but is allowing just 5.57 yards per play.  Marshall is 11-0-1 ATS in its last 12 home games versus a team with a winning road record.

The Thundering Herd are led offensively by Rakeem Cato, as he’s completed 65.5 percent of his passes in his college career.  Marshall leads the nation in average plays from scrimmage, snapping the ball 91 times, while averaging 22.1 plays that have gone for 10 yards or more.  It’s important to note that the ground game has really come on in the past two weeks, averaging 222.0 yards rushing and 5.1 yards per carry in that span.

Sports bettors will likely back the Thundering Herd due to their 8-3-1 ATS mark at home, while the Knights are 1-6 ATS after a straight-up win.

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