Central Florida (+7.5) (-110) over South Carolina
Analysis: No one is talking about how good Central Florida is this year as the Knights field an explosive offense that is averaging 36.7 points per game, including 11.1 yards per pass attempt and 458 total yards (7.2 yards per play; 12.5 yards per point). Overall, the Knights are 0.3 yards per rush play, 3.3 yards per pass attempt and 1.3 yards per play better than average offensively this season, which is certainly good enough to move the ball against a very solid South Carolina stop unit.
Central Florida Offense vs. South Carolina Defense:
+0.0 yards per rush play advantage
+1.4 yards per pass attempt advantage
+0.0 yards per play advantage overall
Central Florida head coach George O’Leary is smart enough to realize that the Knights’ best chance to pull the upset in through the air with quarterback Blake Bortles (see above). The Knights also possess a strong defense that is limiting opponents to just 12.7 points per game, including 6.3 yards per pass attempt and 293 total yards (4.9 yards per play; 23.1 yards per point). The latter statistic (yards per point) is significant in that is demonstrates Central Florida’s ability to force teams to sustain long drives before scoring points.
Central Florida is 3-0 for the first time since 1988 and the school has announced that today will be the first sellout since September 10, 2011 when the Knights defeated Boston College 30-3 at Bright House Stadium. “We’re going to have to go out and play well on all sides of the ball – offense, defense and special teams,” coach George O’Leary told the school’s official website. “I think it’s like any national game anybody is playing. If you win the game you get great exposure and national attention.” From a technical standpoint, Central Florida is 4-2 ATS at home against BCS opposition (5 losses by just 8 points per game) and 4-1 ATS as home underdogs of more than three points, while coach O’Leary is 17-10 ATS as a home underdog, including 3-0 ATS when his team is undefeated. In contrast, South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier is a money-burning 4-9-1 SU on the road versus a non-conference opponent off a win, including 0-3 SU and ATS if the opponent is undefeated. Take Central Florida and invest with confidence.
Technician’s Corner: College football teams off a win and a bye week are 70-33-1 ATS in Game 4 since 1980.