Boise State vs Central Florida Picks and Predictions: Week 1 Shootout

A Week 1 showdown featuring quarterbacks Hank Bachmeier and Dillon Gabriel promises to deliver a shootout and hit the Over on the lofty 68.5 total. But can the Knights cover as 4.5-point faves? Find out with our college football Boise State vs. UCF picks.

Last Updated: Aug 31, 2021 3:26 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
Dillon Gabriel UCF Knights NCAAF
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Two of college football’s most successful Group of Five programs face off for the first time in a tantalizing season opener when Boise State travels to the Bounce House to face the UCF Knights on Thursday.

The Broncos and Knights enter this season with new head coaches but both inherit dynamic passing attacks with two of the best quarterbacks in the Group of Five in Hank Bachmeier and Dillon Gabriel. So, which gunslinger gives his team the betting edge?

Find out with our free college football betting picks and predictions for Boise State vs. UCF on September 2.

Boise State vs Central Florida game info

Location: Bounce House, Orlando, FL
Date: Thursday, September 2, 2021
Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
TV: ESPN

Boise State vs Central Florida odds

Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.

Compare college football odds before betting to ensure you get the best number.

Check out the full line movement for this game

Best sign-up bonuses

If you're signing up for a new sportsbook for college football Week 1, here are two of the best welcome bonuses available: 

USA: Risk-free bet up to $5,000 at Caesars. Claim Now

Canada: 100% matched free bet up to $400 at BetVictor. Claim Now

Boise State vs Central Florida betting preview

Weather

Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our NCAA football weather info.

Key injuries

Boise State: No key injuries to report.
Central Florida: No key injuries to report.
Find our latest NCAA football injury reports.

Betting trend to know

Boise State is 1-5 ATS in its last five games on the road. Find more NCAA betting trends for Boise State vs. Central Florida.

Against the spread (ATS) pick

Is Week 1 too early to have a New Year’s Six bowl game eliminator for the Group of Five spot? A win in this matchup would give either team a big leg up on the competition when the time comes and both Boise State and UCF have their eyes on their respective conference crowns.

It is Year 1 of the Andy Avalos era at Boise State. Avalos spent the last two years as Oregon’s defensive coordinator but the hope is he can bring in a high-octane passing attack that can mirror the one it will face in UCF.

Bachmeier is fully healthy and will have plenty of weapons at his disposal out wide in Khalil Shakir and CT Thomas, while running back George Holani returns after missing most of last season with a knee injury. Holani’s return should be a big boost to an offense that struggled to run the ball last season.

On defense, Boise State should have one of the stronger units in the Mountain West, but UCF will put it to the test and the Broncos have to replace two All-Mountain West corners in their secondary. Being inexperienced at corner will be a problem against the Knights.

That’s because Gus Malzahn takes over arguably the most prolific passing attack in the country behind Gabriel. The junior signal-caller has thrown for 7,223 yards on a 59.7 percent completion rate with 61 touchdown passes compared to just 11 interceptions in his first two seasons under center.

Teams that have had the most success against UCF are ones that have been able to pressure Gabriel without the blitz, forcing him into quick decisions. Boise State has a strong defensive front, but UCF’s o-line returns five starters and should be one of the most talented in the country. 

UCF’s biggest weakness last season was a defensive unit that ranked 117th in total and passing defense, but Malzahn has quickly gone to work bringing in transfers to sure up that side of the ball, including former Auburn DL Big Kat Bryant.

The Broncos will put up a good fight in this one, but with the transfer talent the Knights have added, particularly to the defense, and playing in front of the home fans at the always raucous Bounce House, UCF has the edge to come out on top and cover the spread. 

PREDICTION: UCF -4.5 (-110)

Over/Under pick

At 68.5, this is the third-highest total on the board in Week 1 of the 2021 college football season, and while that number may be intimidating for some total bettors, let me tell you, if there are two teams that can take this down, it’s Boise State and UCF.

The Broncos, despite losing both of their top two quarterbacks at times last season, and their starting running back, still led the Mountain West in scoring, putting up 33.9 points per game. Now they go up against a Knights defense that should be improved but still allowed 33.2 points per game.

UCF, on the other hand, averaged a mere 44.3 points per contest in 2020 and while the Knights must replace their top two running backs and some production at pass catchers, more transfers should mitigate those losses. Boise State’s defense will be solid this season, maybe even great, but it has holes — particularly in the secondary — and won’t be able to contain the Knights for long.

Plus, the Over is 8-3 in the last 11 games where UCF was saddled with a total lower than 70. Life is too short to bet the Under in a matchup like this. Bet the Over and enjoy the show. 

PREDICTION: Over 68.5 (-110)

Boise State vs Central Florida betting card

  • UCF (-110)
  • Over 68.5 (-110)

Picks made on 8/31/2021 at 3:00 p.m. ET

NCAA parlays

Did you know that if you parlayed today’s Boise State vs. Central Florida picks, you could win $26.45 on a $10 bet?

Use our NCAA parlay calculator to create your own parlays and see their potential payouts.

Where can I bet on college football odds?

You can bet on college football odds at every online and casino sportsbook, including NCAA moneylines, spreads, Over/Under totals, and a ton of college football prop odds. Head over to our best football betting sites for the top spots to bet on college football odds in your area.

Pages related to this topic

Popular Content

Legal Canadian sports betting

Best Canadian betting sites Ontario sports betting
Covers 25 Years Logo Established in 1995,
Covers is the world
leader in sports
betting information.
Covers is verified safe by: Evalon Logo GPWA Logo GDPR Logo GeoTrust Logo Evalon Logo