Memphis Tigers at UCF Golden Knights Betting Preview
Even though these two teams are living in the shadow of the American Athletic Conference’s best chance at the College Football Playoff, this matchup sets up to be a great matchup between two programs that have had a bit of success over the past few years. Last year’s game was a classic that saw the Tigers edge out the Golden Knights by one point 50-49. It broke a streak of 13 straight wins for UCF, with the only other Memphis win in series history coming in the inaugural meeting back in 1990.
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Memphis Tigers Team Preview
The Tigers started the year off on a three-game winning streak that included a win against SEC foe, Mississippi State. Unfortunately, an immediate three-game losing streak followed and the Tigers sit at 4-3 on the year.
Memphis has churned out a number of NFL running backs in the past few years in the likes of Tony Pollard, Antonio Gibson, and Kenneth Gainwell and this year may be following suit. Brandon Thomas is averaging six yards per carry and a touchdown per game as the Tigers lead back, but the star of the season has been quarterback Seth Henigan. The Memphis passing attack ranks second in the AAC in total yards, and Henigan has thrown for 16 touchdowns on just four interceptions.
Defensively the Tigers rank in the middle of the pack in yardage allowed and points allowed, but their glaring weakness seems to be in causing turnovers. Memphis has created a league low three turnovers, which ranks second to last nationally. That, combined with their 11 giveaways makes for the worst turnover margin in the conference and bottom ten in the country.
Memphis is 3-4 against the spread on the year and have finished under their total points betting spread in four of their seven games.
UCF Golden Knights Team Preview
The Golden Knights had high hopes coming into the season with Gus Malzahn taking over for Josh Heupel in an SEC to AAC trade and Dillon Gabriel taking snaps at quarterback. Gabriel suffered a broken clavicle on a heartbreaking final play against Louisville that resulted in a pick six and the team’s first loss.
Since Gabriel’s injury the Golden Knights have gone from averaging nearly 45 points per game to now just above 23 points per game. The loss of Northwestern transfer running back, Isaiah Bowser, has certainly impacted the offense as well.
Defensively UCF expected big contributions from other players brought in from the transfer portal including Malzahn’s former defensive end from Auburn, Big Kat Bryant. Through six games Bryant has only totalled one sack for the Golden Knights defensive line that ranks in the bottom ten nationally with seven total as a team. Overall it has been a frustrating first season for Malzahn and his team with no help from the injury bug.
UCF is only 1-5 against the spread to start the season and in relation to the over on their total points betting spread they are 4-1-1.
This matchup looked like it had much more to offer after the first few weeks of the season, but losses by Memphis and injuries to UCF have made this game lose some luster. Memphis will look to attack UCF through the air, and if the Golden Knights continue to struggle to get after the quarterback Henigan could have a big night for the Tigers. Look for Memphis to cover and possibly win outright, but the under feels more likely with the injuries to UCF’s offense.