UCF @ South Carolina NCAA Football Odds Breakdown

Posted by Alex Murphy on Friday,September 25, 2015 11:12, EST in

It is not one of the most anticipated games this weekend, but when the South Carolina Gamecocks square it off against the Central Florida Knights this Saturday, both teams will come with a lot to prove in the ncaa football odds. Most focus will, of course, be on claiming the SU win that will hopefully mark a new beginning, as they both seek to bounce back into winning ways. Detailed below is a brief college football game preview and betting analysis of the matchup, complete with free college football picks specially readied for you.

How To Bet the Knights @ Gamecocks NCAA Football Odds, TV & Game Info

Venue: Williams-Brice Stadium, Columbia, SC
Date: Saturday, September 26, 2015
Time: 12:00 PM ET
TV: ESPN U/ WATCH ESPN

Our Expert Betting Breakdown of the Knights @ Gamecocks Match Up

In many unpleasant ways, the Gamecocks and Knights are similar this season. For instance, both teams have their starting quarterbacks nursing injuries—with UCF’s Justin Holman set to remove stitches from his fractured right index finger that got injured on Sept. 12, and South Carolina’s Connor Mitch still rehabbing a separated throwing shoulder and a deep bruise in his left hip, injuries he first in the Sept. 3 opener against North Carolina and further aggravated in the Sept. 12 loss to Kentucky.

In addition, both teams have gotten off their seasons to disappointing starts. The Gamecocks are 1-2 for the season, with both losses coming against SEC opponents, and are currently coming off an embarrassing blowout loss to 52-20 loss to bitter rivals, the Georgia Bulldogs. On the other hand, the Knights (0-3) are winless in their three games so far, and reached a new low last week, suffering a historic 16-15 loss to Furman (an FCS team) on Saturday. Even more notably, both teams are in dire need of a bounce-back win when they face each other on Saturday. And with several injuries and uncertainties in various key positions, their Saturday meeting is likely to feature many new faces and backups.

For the Gamecocks, coach Steve Spurrier announced that freshman Lorenzo Nunez will replace Perry Orth at quarterback. This was after Orth made the start against Georgia and failed to move the chains well, while Nunez (in his limited relief role in the game) showed better poise, as he connected on four of five passes for 18 yards and also led the team in rushing, tallying 76 yards and one running TD on 10 carries. Nunez’s main support will come from RB Brandon Wilds, who leads the rushing attack with an average of 5.2 yards per carry but is yet to find the end zone, and WR Pharoh Cooper, who leads the receivers with 13 catches and one touchdown.

On the opposite camp, there are talks about UCF coach George O’Leary wanting to spice up the offense by selecting and sticking to one QB, rather than shifting between the backups, as has been done to no avail so far this season. Holman is questionable for availability this Saturday. If he’s healthy for the game, it will definitely be a huge boost to the UCF offense that has struggled without him, currently ranked last-place among the 127 FBS schools recognized by the NCAA.

But if he still sits on the sidelines, then the onus will be on true freshman QB Bo Schneider (who has started the past two games against Stanford and Furman) and redshirt freshman QB Tyler Harris (who has featured in the second half of both those games) to shoulder the offensive load. After Schneider completed 7 of 11 passes for 63 yards and one interception last week, and Harris completed 7 of 17 passes for 35 yards and two interceptions with zero TD passes from both QBs, both players know that there is a sense of urgency to make speedy corrections before AAC play starts in less than two weeks from now. Last week, receiver Nick Patti was the only bright spot in the team, making a 6-yard run for a TD and racking up 62 total yards of offense. A better support system will be direly required from other attacking players if the dream of upsetting South Carolina is to become a reality.

Defensively, South Carolina’s defense is allowing an average of 30.3 PPG and 471.7 YPG over its first three games, while UCF’s defense is comparably stingier, allowing 20.7 PPG and 384 YPG. In reality, though, South Carolina has faced very lethal offensive units in the SEC and last week’s big loss to Georgia amplified the numbers. This means the Gamecocks are likely to fare much better when they take on the UCF team that scored a measly 14 points in Week 1 against FIU, 7 points against Stanford in Week 2, and 15 points against Furman.

Knights and Gamecocks Key Betting Trends

•    The Gamecocks are 1-2 both Straight Up (SU) and Against The Spread (ATS) this season
•    The Knights are 0-3 both SU and ATS this season
•    The Gamecocks are 3-8 ATS in last 11 following a loss
•    The Gamecocks are 0-6 ATS in last 6 against a team with a losing record
•    The Knights are 3-7 ATS in last 10 against a team with a losing record
•    The Gamecocks are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 September games
•    The Knights are 1-4 ATS in their last five September games
•    The Gamecocks are 21-4 SU in their last 25 home games
•    The Knights are 10-3 SU in their last 13 road games
•    The total has gone UNDER in 6 of South Carolina’s last 7 home games
•    The total has gone UNDER in 6 of South Carolina’s last 7 games

UCF at South Carolina Football Prediction

This game couldn’t come at a worser time for UCF. Not only is their starting QB injured and a doubt for this game, but the Knights have also been struggling against weak opposition. The Gamecocks, on the hand, have equally been struggling, though excusably against top-tier opposition. So even without their starting QB, the Gamecocks should be motivated for a solid showing at home, something that puts a big target on UCF’s back. The Gamecocks should thus be able to get the win here, but since South Carolina has been playing badly of late, the Knights will probably keep the game close enough to cover the spread. So in short, take South Carolina for the SU, UCF for the ATS, and an UNDER in the game total.