Central Florida is coming off a heartbreaking last-minute loss to undefeated Cincinnati, so the Knights will be thankful to take out some frustrations this weekend when they visit rival South Florida.
The Bulls have had a rough go of it in 2020, sporting a 1-7 record, and now will be 25-point underdogs when the Knights come to town for this AAC college football clash. Will the Bulls keep it close in the War on I-4, or will the Knights ride to an easy victory?
Let’s take a look at our best college football predictions for UCF vs. USF, with kickoff scheduled for Friday, November 27 at 3:30 ET.
Central Florida Knights at South Florida Bulls Betting Preview
It should be a nice afternoon for football at Raymond James Stadium. The forecast is calling for sunny skies with temperatures around the low-80s for kickoff and minimal wind. Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our NCAA football weather info.
Central Florida: Antwan Collier DB (Questionable), Kenny Turnier DL (Questionable), Eric Mitchell LB (Questionable), Randy Charlton DL (Questionable), Parker Boudreaux OL (Out).
South Florida: Randall Copeland LB (Questionable), Darrian Felix RB (Questionable), Cade Fortin QB (Questionable), Ben Knox CB (Questionable), Mac Harris S (Questionable), Johnny Ford RB (Questionable), Noah Johnson QB (Questionable), Sebastian Sainterling OL (Questionable), Brock Nichols DB (Questionable), Stacy Kirby DL (Questionable), Katravis Marsh QB (Questionable), Vincent Davis DB (Out).
Find our latest NCAA football injury reports.
Betting Trend to Know
UCF has played down to the level of its competition the past season or so, going just 1-7 ATS in its last eight games against teams with a losing record. Find more NCAA betting trends for Central Florida vs. South Florida.
Against the Spread (ATS) Pick
Yes, the UCF Knights were one possession short of pulling off the upset over Cincinnati, but the thing that has plagued them all season long struck once again: UCF couldn’t get a stop when it needed it the most. But, luckily for the Knights, their rivals can’t seem to stop anyone this season, as the Bulls rank 114th in points allowed per game at 37.6. But even facing a suspect USF defense, can the Knights cover this hefty spread?
The UCF offense is led by QB Dillon Gabriel, who is lighting it up this season, already throwing for 3,017 yards with 26 touchdowns against just three interceptions, which equates to the No. 1 passing offense in the country. But UCF also has balance, rushing for more than 200 yards per game.
The problem for the Knights is defense. They rank 99th in total yards allowed per game and are giving up nearly 30 points per contest. Now, the Bulls do not have a good offense by any means, but as mentioned, the Knights have played down to the level of their competition. They have been a 20-point favorite four times this season and are 0-4 ATS in those games, in part because they have allowed those teams to score an average of 27.3 points per contest.
With the loss last week to Cincinnati, UCF is all but mathematically eliminated from advancing to the AAC title game. So they have little to play for, while this rivalry game will be the Bulls defacto bowl game. Plus, USF probably should have a couple more wins and lost to Memphis by only a point. Don’t expect a big upset, but this a number where we can like the home dog.
PREDICTION: South Florida +25.5 (-110)
UCF’s leaky defense is the reason why we can roll right into the Over. While USF is averaging just 20.3 points per game on the season, it has upped that number to 25.6 over the last five games.
What is interesting about those five games is that two guys have split the starts at quarterback. Jordan McCloud has taken the majority of the snaps this season, but Noah Johnson has stepped in at key times as well. Either way, both have shown flashes of effectiveness over that stretch.
More importantly, the running back trio of Johnny Ford, Kelley Joiner Jr., and Brian Battie has proven capable in the ground game. Ford and Kelley led the way for the early part of the season, rushing for 5.2 and 3.9 yards per carry, respectively. But with both missing time, Battie has stepped up in a big way the last two weeks, rushing for 162 yards on just 23 carries.
The point is, while the results have not gone their way, the Bulls have shown improvement on offense and should be able to do some scoring against that UCF defense. Take a hard look at the Over.
PREDICTION: Over 67.5 (-110)
First Half Total Pick
UCF has been one of the best teams in the country when it comes to getting off to good starts in games this season. The Knights rank sixth in first-half scoring at 25.4 points per contest, which includes putting up 17 points in the opening half against a very good Cincy defense last week.
While USF has stumbled out of the gates a handful of times, the Bulls scoring "surge" over the last five games might provide us with a little value, as they have averaged a hair over two touchdowns when heading into the break over that span. Take the Over in the first half here.
PREDICTION: First half total Over 34.5 (-112)
Central Florida vs South Florida Betting Card
- South Florida +25.5 (-110)
- Over 67.5 (-110)
- First half total Over 34.5 (-112)
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