Alabama Crimson Tide (5-1) vs UCF Knights (5-1)Date : 11/29/2018
Time : 7:00 pm EST
Location : UCE Arena, Orlando, Florida
Pick, Prediction, & Preview:
Alabama Crimson Tide vs UCF Knights
The Alabama Crimson Tide will travel to UCE Arena in Orlando, Florida, on Thursday night for a battle with the Knights of Central Florida at 7 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The Tide come into this game playing exceptional basketball in winning their last three outings with their last victory coming over the Murray State Racers as they were able to go up by 10 points at the half, yet had to fend off a late rally by the Racers in which to pull out an all important 78 – 72 home win on November 26th.
Central Florida has also had an outstanding season and come into this matchup winners of four straight games after they picked up a 66-53 home win over the Northern Kentucky Norse in their last time out. While neither team shot well from the floor, the Knights were able to go 44% for the night while also outrebounding the Norse by a 48 – 30 margin for the game.
Alabama Crimson Tide's Latest Performance :
The Crimson Tide’s leading scorer Kira Lewis Junior scored 20 points to lead Alabama to a victory over the Murray State Racers in their last outing. And despite going 0 – 4 from 3 point range, John Petty also chipped in 16 points for Alabama in the win as well. For the night, Alabama shot 45% from the floor while going 5-18 from 3-point range, overall. This has been the mantra for Alabama all season as they have had to rely on a tough defense in which two allow the intensity from this end of the floor to translate into easier opportunities on the offensive end.
In a turnover filled game throughout, both the Racers and Crimson Tide had 18 and 21 turnovers, respectively, in the contest. And while the Tide hit some critical baskets coming down the stretch, they certainly had to work for the victory as the Racers outscored them 43-39 in the second half while falling short of the victory. Alabama will certainly be looking to maintain their balance against a Central Florida squad that will certainly be looking to limit their opportunities on the offensive end throughout the night on Thursday.
UCF Knights's Latest Performance :
The defense for Central Florida has been the tip of the spear for their team as they have only allowed opponents to put up an average of 62 points per game on 37% shooting from the floor. In fact, during their 4 game winning streak, the Knights have allowed opponents to score more than 57 points only once (in a 78 – 62 win over Western Kentucky On November 18th). Nonetheless, while their defense has been solid on the season, their offense has been up and down, yet are shooting at a 48% clip from the field per outing while averaging 75 points per game.
Their leading scorer, BJ Taylor, struggled in his last outing versus the Norse of Northern Kentucky in going 1-8 from the field while finishing with 10 points as Taco Fall, primarily known for his defensive ability, took up the scoring banner for the night in finishing with 20 points along with nine rebounds in the win for the Knights. Look for Taylor to atone for his last outing versus an Alabama team that has also been hit or miss on the offensive end of the floor yet possesses a defense that is allowing 70 points per game in the last three outings.
How Alabama Crimson Tide & UCF Knights Matchup.
Vegas Odds, Offshore Odds, & Odds ATS:
Alabama is 5 – 1 ATS while the OU is 3 – 3
Central Florida is 5 – 1 ATS while the OU is 3 – 3
In-Depth Analysis of each team:
This will certainly be an important game for both teams as the Knights would like to continue their dominance moving forward while Alabama will be looking to prove to themselves as well as to the nation that they can indeed be considered as one of the better teams in the nation with a win over a tough Central Florida team. Look for the pace of this game to be slow as Central Florida will look to push the ball, when needed, while also relying on their half-court offense in which to grind out scores on the offensive end. On the other hand, look for Alabama to push the pace a bit in which to catch the Knights defense on its heels. In all, expect both teams to pull out all the stops in which to pick up in all important victory on Thursday night.
Against The Spread Selection: Pick: Central Florida Knights
My reason for the pick :
While I have much respect for Alabama and the way that they have played earlier on in the season, I will have to back the Central Florida Knights in this contest as they have truly locked down opposing teams offenses all year long. Taco Fall provides and intimidating presence at the rim while the perimeter defense for Central Florida has been outstanding as well. Look for them to neutralize this inconsistent offense for Alabama while picking up a huge victory in the meantime.
Totals Selection: Pick: Under
My reason for the prediction :
Of course, with the Knights having such a dominating defense, look for them to certainly keep the score low and manageable throughout the contest. Also, the Knights offense has not exactly been stellar lately, and will likely struggle for a bit in this matchup as well before getting things going later in the game. In all, the under is indeed the strong play in this matchup versus two solid teams.
Betting trends for Alabama Crimson Tide:
- The Over is 8-3 in Crimson Tide last 11 Thu. games.
Betting trends for UCF Knights:
- The Under is 8-1 in Knights last 9 vs. Southeastern.
The Under is 12-4 in Knights last 16 non-conference games.
The Under is 20-7 in Knights last 27 Thu. games.