UCF (0-0) vs UConn (0-0)Date : 08/30/2018
Time : 7:00 pm EST
Location : Rentschler Field, Storrs, Connecticut,
Pick, Prediction, & Preview:
UCF vs UConn
The Knights of Central Florida will travel to Rentschler Field in Storrs, Connecticut, to take on the Huskies of UConn on Thursday, August 30, 2018, beginning at 7:00 pm EST. The Knights were able to reverse the trends in 2017 by turning an 0-13 record in 2016 to a 13-0 team the year after and by capping it off with a huge 34-27 win versus the Auburn Tigers in the Peach Bowl. The UConn Huskies had a disappointing season in 2017 as they would finish at a record of 3-9. Coach Randy Edsall will attempt to reverse their current course in 2018, however, they will enlist the help of a group of new faces in which to do so. Series-wise, the Knights are winners of 3 of the last 5 games and 2-straight to where the UCF was 2-3 ATS and with the over being 4-1 in the last 5 contests, overall.
UCF 's Latest Performance :
With the loss of Brandon Sheriffs (2287 yards, 14 TD’s, 5 INT’s, 153.6 completions rate) as lead signal caller, Coach Edsall will rely on senior David Pindell (937 yards, 4 TD’s, 6 INT’s) to step up as the leader of the offense in 2018. Running back Kevin Mensah (561 yards, 126 rushes, 4 TD’s) will hold down running back duties this year while sophomore Nate Hopkins (343 yards, 92 rushes, 7 TD’s) will also get some time in the backfield. Senior Flynn Nagel (489 yards, 48 receptions, 2 TD’s) will attempt to step up as the go to receiver while junior Ben Skorownek (644 yards, 45 receptions, 5 TD’s) will get much playing time at receiver after a breakout season last year.
The Huskies loss a lot of talent on the defensive end, however, they possess some critical pieces that could possibly serve to bring along with newcomers to the defense, altogether. Sophomore Tyler Cole (67 tackles, 3 sacks, 2 INT’s) while junior Marshe Terry (60 tackles, 3 TFL) will head the secondary in 2018 hoping to be the strength of the unit. Michael Tarbutt (27-29, 93.1% efficiency) will also return as a junior to provide an additional lift to a young, potentially dangerous squad for UConn.
UConn's Latest Performance :
Coach Scott Frost is optimistic for the upcoming season, particularly, with JR McKenzie Milton back at the helm after a season to which he threw for 4037 yards, 37 TD’s, and 9 INT’s with a 179.3 passing efficiency rating. Milton is also a duel threat as he rushed for 613 yards on 106 rushes with 8 TD’s in 2017. If that was not enough, Milton will be joined in the backfield by Adrian Killins (123 rushes, 790 yards, 10 TD’s) who will solidify his place as the go to back this year. Sophomore Otis Anderson (69 rushes, 494 yards, 4 TD’s) is also a duel threat that had 30 reception for 351 yards with 3 TD’s while Junior Dredrick Nelson (46 rushes, 695 yards, 8 TD’s) will also see time in the backfield as well as at receiver.
Pat Jasinski will man the linebacker spot as the senior hopes to improve upon his 104 tackles in 2017 along with 8 TFL, 1 sack, 1 INT. Senior Titus Davis (67 tackles, 5 TFL, 1.5 sacks, 1 INT) will also be another defensive leader for the Knights this year. Senior Kyle Gibson (64 tackles, 4 INT) will take over in the Knights secondary once again and will certainly be a force for the defensive unit. Kicker Matthew Wright will also return as a senior this year looking to improve upon his 98.8% field goal percentage in 2017 (80-81).
How UCF & UConn Matchup.
Vegas Odds, Offshore Odds, & Odds ATS:
In-Depth Analysis of each team:
The Knights are coming off a dominant season in 2017, and will look to continue their success beginning with their week 1 showdown with UCONN. The Huskies, on the other hand, will look to bounce back after a dismal season to where both the offense a defense would struggle due to a lack of cohesion. In all, this will be an interesting matchup in that UCONN will be playing hard to erase the memory of 2017 while the Knights will simply be playing off the memory of 2017 and their perfect record.
Against The Spread Selection: Pick: Central Florida -23
My reason for the pick :
While UConn has covered the spread in 3 of the last 4 meetings amongst these squads, however, it can also be said that the reason for this could very well be that they had some type of stability at QB with Sheriffs at the helm. With that being said, Central Florida will have a dangerous, senior laden team that will look copy their performance from last season, so, a trip to Storrs for a battle with an inexperienced squad such as the Huskies will provide them the opportunity to start this year on a positive note. In all, take the Knights to show and prove in week 1 by covering the 23 points.
Totals Selection: Pick: Under 73
My reason for the prediction :
With the talent that the defense for UCF will be returning, I would not expect this group from UConn to score many points as they will certainly need time in which to gel amonst each other. It is for this reason that while I feel as though UCF will score some points in this matchup, I simply do not feel that this will go over the set total of 73.
Betting trends for UCF :
- Over is 4-0 in Knights last 4 conference games
- Over is 6-1 in Knights last 7 games on grass
- Over is 4-1 in Knights last 5 games in August
Betting trends for UConn:
- Huskies are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 conference games
- Under is 4-1 in Huskies last 5 conference games
- Under is 4-1 in Huskies last 5 games in August