The only Top 25 matchup on Thursday’s NCAA basketball schedule is from the American Athletic Conference as No. 25 Central Florida hosts No. 20 Cincinnati. It’s the first-ever Top 25 matchup at UCF’s current arena and the Knights are slight college basketball odds favorites.
How to Bet Cincinnati vs UCF NCAA Basketball Odds & Game Info
- When: Thursday, 7 PM ET
- Where: CFF Arena, Orlando
- TV: ESPN2
- Live Stream: WatchESPN
- NCAA Basketball Odds: UCF -2.5 (Total 125.5)
The Bearcats look for the sweep as they beat visiting Central Florida 60-55 on Feb. 21. Justin Jenifer’s layup barely eluded 7-foot-6 Tacko Fall’s outstretched hand and put Cincinnati ahead to stay with just over three minutes left. If Fall managed to deflect the ball, it would have been a shot clock violation and a turnover. Jenifer added a 3-pointer with 19.9 seconds left. He closed it out with a pair of free throws with 12.9 seconds to go.
It was the sixth time this season that Cincinnati has overcome a deficit of at least eight points to win a game. Aubrey Dawkins scored 18 for UCF, which had been 9-0 this season when allowing 63 points or less. The Knights opened the second half with an 18-2 run for a 46-38 lead.
Cincinnati leads the series 11-1. UCF’s only win was 53-49 on Feb. 26, 2017 in Orlando.
Why Bet on Cincinnati?
The Bearcats, tied for the AAC lead with Houston, are on a five-game winning streak and off a 71-69 home victory over Memphis on Saturday. Cincinnati needed a win to stay ranked for another week, and the Bearcats got it by holding down the league’s highest-scoring offense and getting an edge the boards 38-31. Memphis lost for the sixth straight time against UC, which has now posted six 25-win seasons in the last nine.
With under five seconds remaining and the Bearcats clinging to a one-point lead, Trevon Scott was fouled and went to the line to shoot two, making the first before the second missed. With the score 71-69 in favor of the hosts, Memphis’s Isaiah Maurice rebounded the ball and looked to push it down the court, but his outlet pass was stolen by Logan Johnson, who dribbled out the final seconds.
Cincinnati is 49-4 in AAC home games since the conference was formed in 2013. The Bearcats are 34-2 in AAC home games the last four seasons. Overall, Cincinnati is 15-1 at Fifth Third Arena this season, the lone loss coming in the opener against Ohio State.
Jeremiah Martin started slowly, with only nine points at halftime, but took control of the game in the second half to finish with 28 points. Martin, who entered the game with a 19.2-point average, has scored 25 points or more in six straight games. Jarron Cumberland, the league’s third-leading scorer, snapped out of a three-game scoring slump with 26 points to lead the Bearcats. Twenty-one of Cumberland’s points came in the second half. It was Cumberland’s 14th 20-point game of the year, the second-highest season total in the Mick Cronin Era behind only the 19 recorded by Sean Kilpatrick during the 2013-14 season.
Nysier Brooks scored 13 points and tied his career-high for rebounds with 12 to record his third career double-double. Brooks, who added one block and one steal, has now recorded a career-high 12 rebounds in back-to-back games.
- Total Score: 72.31
- Field Goal Percentage: 43.46
- Three-Point Percentage: 34.77
- Free Throw Percentage: 71.14
- Total Rebounds: 36.34
- Total Score: 61.31
- Field Goal Percentage: 40.46
- Three-Point Percentage: 34.99
- Free Throw Percentage: 65.96
- Total Rebounds: 30.31
Why Bet on UCF?
UCF, the preseason AAC favorite, won its third in a row Saturday, a 69-64 upset at No. 8 Houston. The Knights snapped a seven-game losing streak against ranked opponents and stopped Houston’s 33-game home winning streak, which was the longest in the nation. Central Florida (22-6, 12-4 American Athletic) outscored Houston 41-31 in the second half. The Cougars lost for the first time since Jan. 9 at Temple and it was their first home loss since March 15, 2017.
The UCF big men dominated as Tacko Fall and Collin Smith combined for 34 points. They also combined for 17 boards as the Knights outrebounded the Cougars 35-33. They got Houston’s big men in foul trouble, and they led UCF to the victory. For Smith, it was a season-high 21 points to go with seven rebounds. For Fall, it was 13 points and 10 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season. The Knights are a perfect 21-0 when leading with two minutes to go in the game.
The 22nd win of the regular season matches the program record for wins in a regular season (2003-04 and 2006-07). It was also the 12th win in league play, marking the most ever wins for UCF in the American Athletic Conference.
On Monday, Central Florida joined the AP Top 25, the program’s first appearance since Jan. 10, 2011 and just the fifth time the team has ever been ranked. All four of the other rankings were during the 2010-11 campaign.
UCF is 6-45 all-time against ranked opponents, but have beaten a ranked opponent in each of the last three seasons under head coach Johnny Dawkins. The Knights have never defeated two ranked opponents in a single season. UCF’s home win over No. 15 Cincinnati two seasons ago was the program’s highest ranked home win.
- Total Score: 73.61
- Field Goal Percentage: 47.22
- Three-Point Percentage: 35.65
- Free Throw Percentage: 64.22
- Total Rebounds: 36.82
- Total Score: 64.00
- Field Goal Percentage: 39.23
- Three-Point Percentage: 31.43
- Free Throw Percentage: 64.03
- Total Rebounds: 34.71
Cincinnati vs UCF NCAA Basketball Betting Trends
- Under is 5-0 in the last 5 meetings in Central Florida
- Road team is 7-3 ATS in the last 10 meetings
- Cincinnati is 3-7 ATS in its last 10 games on the road
- Cincinnati is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games on the road
- The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Cincinnati’s last 6 games on the road
- Central Florida is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games
- Central Florida is 14-1 SU in its last 15 games at home
- The total has gone OVER in 5 of Central Florida’s last 5 games at home
Expert Final Score Prediction for Cincinnati vs UCF
Cincinnati 61 – UCF 65