Odds Courtesy of 5dimes
The UCF Knights successfully finished off their time in Conference USA by winning their fourth conference title, but now make the move to a more competitive AAC this season. The team is returning its No. 1 quarterback, three starting linemen, their tight end and most of the receiving corp. Blake Bortles is continuing to improve and will enter his junior season. Last year, he put up big numbers: 3,059 yards, 25 TDs and a 62.9 percent completion ratio.
Bortles and his squad will look to start their season off right against an Akron team that college football oddsmakers are not giving a very fighting chance. Latavious Murray was drafted by the Raiders, but Storm Johnson should be a very good replacement. The defense of the Knights ranked high as a scoring defense, too, only further opening the possibility of the Knights managing to cover this wholesome spread. The team will face Florida International next week, before getting their first real test in week three against Penn State.
Can the Zips manage to shock the nation in this one? It’s unlikely, but the team does return most of their top receivers from a group which led the MAC in passing yardage (312.8 per game). Jawon Chisholm also rushed for 932 yards last year, so the Zips do have the offense to put points on the board. It’s just that their defense really is among the worst in the nation, which is even bleaker given the fact that two of their top defenders were lost to graduation (linebackers Kurt Mangum and Troy Gilmer). The defense did not force turnovers, and though it was solid on a third downs, it is just not strong enough to counteract a potent Knights offense.
Expect the Knights to reinforce the suspicion of college football oddsmakers and win this one in a rout. When the clubs met last season the Knights won 56-14 and easily covered the 24.5 point spread. For as good as the Zips are offensively, it seems foolish to think they can cover the spread with little to no defense against a team that slashed them to pieces just a year ago.
UNDER is 4-0 in Zips last 4 on road. UNDER is 7-0 in Zips last 7 overall. Zips are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 Thursday games.
Knights are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 vs MAC. OVER is 4-0 in Knights last 4 on grass. OVER is 4-0 in Knights last 4 at home.