You are here

Fiesta Bowl Betting Preview: Even Without Milton, UCF Can Stand Toe-to-Toe With LSU

Fiesta Bowl: LSU Tigers vs. UCF Golden Knights (+7.5)

Tue., January 1, 1:00 p.m. ET

Aliexpress WW

Four things to know before betting on LSU-UCF:

1. The McKenzie Milton era at Central Florida came to a horrific end in the Knights’ regular season finale against South Florida when one of the nation’s best quarterbacks went down with a leg injury. But UCF has managed to stay on track in the nearly two full games it’s won without Milton. The Knights finished off USF 38-10, easily covering a 15.5-point spread despite the injury to their superstar. UCF then closed as a one-point favorite against a strong Memphis team in the AAC Championship Game and faced a 38-21 halftime deficit before roaring back in the second half to win 56-41. During their 25-game win streak, the Knights are 17-7-1 against the spread. Only Fresno State and Buffalo have been better ATS since the beginning of last season.

2. UCF opened as an eight-point underdog for its Fiesta Bowl game against LSU, and it’s safe to say that line would at least be under seven if Milton were playing. But don’t sell Milton’s backup Darriel Mack Jr. short. Mack dominated Memphis, passing for 348 yards and two touchdowns, while adding 59 yards and four more scores on the ground. Given that he dropped 56 points on Memphis for a two-touchdown cover, it doesn’t seem like a spread should be adjusted all that much for him in the lineup—especially when he has a full month to prepare.

Alabama vs. Oklahoma Betting Preview: Can Sooners Keep Up With the Tide?

3. LSU’s defense will be the toughest that UCF has faced this season, and the Tigers have been especially tough against the pass.  But last year’s Knights played arguably the best passing defense in the nation when they took on Auburn in the Peach Bowl, and they still won 34-27 as 10.5-point underdogs. UCF has continued to show it can compete against elite competition. The Knights made short work of an excellent Cincinnati defense in November, winning 38-13 as 6.5-point favorites.

The Knights have the benefit of facing a shorthanded LSU defense in the Fiesta Bowl. Starting left cornerback Kristian Fulton was lost for the season in early November, and starting right corner Greedy Williams will forgo the bowl game as he prepares for the NFL. Quarterbacks often threw away from Williams this season, and the defense as a whole benefited. The Tigers are 11th in the country in interceptions (16) and sixth in turnover margin. A drop off in talent for LSU’s replacements will help UCF keep things close.

4. As a moderate underdog, UCF is in line for some compelling ATS trends thanks to its explosive offense.

  • Over the last five seasons, underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points that both scored and allowed 30 points in their previous game are 98-53 against the spread.
  • Over the last five seasons, underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points that gained at least 525 total yards in each of their previous two games are 78-38 ATS.

The Knights are a lot more competitive than people give them credit for, and it’s clear that the touchdown-plus line in the Fiesta Bowl is an overreaction to Milton’s injury that bettors can take advantage of.

Pick: UCF +7.5

Confidence Level: Very High (on a scale of Low/Moderate/High/Very High/Extremely High)

RSS Trending Sports News – Stay Updated With Fresh Content

  • La UEFA anuncia los 50 nominados para el XI ideal del año 11th December 2018
    El 2018 está llegando a su fin, y como es costumbre, la UEFA nominó este lunes a los 50 jugadores que optarán al equipo ideal de este año plagado de premiaciones individuales y colectivas.  La Liga española es la que ha que corre con más ventaja, ya que si contamos a Cristiano Ronaldo, ahora jugador de... […]
  • Manchester United determined to sign Lyon midfielder Tanguy N’Dombele ahead of Manchester City 11th December 2018
    Tanguy N’Dombele is wanted by Manchester United and Manchester City (Getty Images) Manchester United are desperate to beat Manchester City to the signing of Lyon midfielder Tanguy N’Dombele, according to reports in France. City submitted a €50 million (£45m) offer for the 21-year-old in the summer transfer window but the bid was rejected by Lyon.... […]
  • Armed Forces Bowl Betting Preview: Houston Will Miss Its Stars Against Army 11th December 2018
    Houston Cougars vs. Army Black Knights (-3) Sat., December 22, 3:30 p.m. ET Three things to know before betting on Houston-Army: 1. Houston’s offense ended the regular season ranked 11th in the country in yards per play (6.77) and points per game (46.4). But facing Army in the Armed Forces Bowl, Houston will be without... […]
  • Elite Defenses Emerging to Give Us Exciting Stylistic Clashes in NFL Playoffs 11th December 2018
    At the 14:11 mark in the second quarter, Sebastian Janikowski chipped in a 37-yard field goal to break a scoreless draw between the Vikings and the Seahawks. While the game featured all the trappings of an offensive boon taking place around the league (both teams have either been funneling collegiate concepts into their system for... […]
  • First Responder Bowl Betting Preview: Boston College Can Run All Over Boise State 11th December 2018
    First Responder Bowl – Boston College Eagles vs. Boise State Broncos (-2.5) Wed., December 26, 1:30 pm ET Three things to know before betting on Boston College-Boise State: 1. Boston College didn’t end its season on a high note, dropping three in a row both straight up and against the spread, including games against Florida... […]
  • Unai Emery wants Arsenal to sign Lyon star Houssem Aouar as Aaron Ramsey replacement 11th December 2018
    The midfielder is attracting interest from Europe’s biggest clubs (Picture: Getty) Arsenal are keen on signing Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar and manager Unai Emery sees the young Frenchman as an ideal replacement for Aaron Ramsey. The 20-year-old has already scored five goals in Ligue 1 and laid on three assists in the Champions League this... […]
  • Cheez-It Bowl Preview: Cal Defense Should Control Game Against TCU 11th December 2018
    Cheez-It Bowl – TCU Horned Frogs vs. California Golden Bears (-1.0) Wed., December 26, 9:00 pm ET Three things to know before betting on TCU-California: 1. While TCU is 6-3 straight up in its last nine bowl games, the Horned Frogs are just 2-7 against the spread. Meanwhile, the Golden Bears are playing in their... […]
  • Jamie Carragher mocks Gary Neville over his combined Liverpool-Manchester United XI 10th December 2018
    The former right-back named two players who can’t get in Mourinho’s team! (Picture: Getty) Gary Neville was ridiculed by Jamie Carragher for picking both Paul Pogba and Eric Bailly in his combined Liverpool-Manchester United XI – even though they aren’t playing for the Red Devils. The two teams face off at Anfield on Sunday, though... […]
  • Manchester United scout claims club ignored his advice to sign Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt 10th December 2018
    Derek Langley claims United missed out on a host of future stars (Picture: Getty) Manchester United could have avoided their current centre-back crisis had club bosses listened to an axed scout who recommended a host of future defensive stars. Jose Mourinho made no secret of his desire to sign a new centre-back over the summer,... […]
  • Brian Cashman Says Yankees Don’t Have Spot for Bryce Harper 10th December 2018
    Cashman said Harper playing first base “isn’t an option” for New York. The Bryce Harper sweepstakes are in full force as the Winter Meetings began in Las Vegas this week, but don’t expect the Yankees to be among the key bidders. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said New York has six outfielders on Monday, adding... […]

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 404 other subscribers