Memphis Tigers (8-4) vs Central Florida Knights (11-0)Date : 12/01/2018
Time : 3:30 pm EST
Location : Spectrum Stadium, Orlando, Florida
Pick, Prediction, & Preview:
Memphis Tigers vs Central Florida Knights
The Memphis Tigers will travel to Orlando, Florida, to Spectrum Stadium to battle the 9th ranked Central Florida Knights in the American Athletic Conference Championship on Saturday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. These two teams last met on October 13th of this year as the Memphis Tigers proceeded to give the Knights their closest scare of the season as they put up 31 points on a highly ranked Knights defense; Yet, Central Florida pulled out the 31-30 win in what was an interesting and exciting game throughout. In this matchup, the rushing game for Memphis was the key in allowing them to make a game of it as Darryl Henderson rushed for a total of 199 yards and a score on a night where the Tigers averaged 5.4 yards per rush versus a stout Central Florida rush defense.
In the last matchup for the Tigers, they were also effective on the ground in rushing for 402 yards total as Henderson racked up another 172 yards on the ground along with two touchdowns in a huge win over the Houston Cougars at home to end the season. And while Brady White continued to struggle under center in throwing his 3rd and 4th interceptions in his last two starts for the Cougars, he also threw for 209 yards along with a TD pass in the contest. Finally, Tony Pollard led the receiving corps with 116 yards on the day.
On the other hand, the Knights of Central Florida ended a perfect regular season by picking up a 38-10 road win over the South Florida Bulls in their last timeout as 399 yards rushing for the Knights was the difference in the game as they opened with a 17-3 halftime lead while cruising to victory in the second half. In all, Memphis is 0 – 6 against the spread in their last six meetings at Spectrum Stadium while the under has been the play in five of the last 8 meetings amongst these two teams.
Memphis Tigers's Latest Performance :
Memphis had to endure a rough patch in the middle of their 2018 season as they were losers of three of four games at one point. Nonetheless, after a 65 – 33 road loss to the Missouri Tigers on October 20th, the Tigers reeled off 4 straight wins en route to participating in the American Athletic Conference Championship versus the Central Florida Knights. Their offense has been a huge catalyst for their winning ways to end the season as they are averaging 46 points per game in their last four matchups of the season.
On the other hand, the defense has also stiffened up as well as they have allowed opponents to score only an average of 27 points per game, primarily due to their last opponent, the Houston Cougars, putting 31 points on the board in what was a huge win for Memphis at home. As stated, Henderson was the man of the hour for a rushing attack that put up 406 yards total for the game in rushing for 178 yards along with two TDs in the win while Brady White threw for 209 yards along with the TD in the contest as well. Also, the 43rd ranked passing attack for Memphis was led by Tony Pollard who led the receiving corps with 119 yards on the day.
And while Memphis was able to obtain 610 total yards for the game, their defense allowed the high-scoring Cougars to put up only 394 yards on the night as Clayton Tune passed for three touchdown passes along with an interception in the contest. Finally, the defense for Memphis allowed only a 5-21 conversion rate on third down for a Houston team that simply seem to lose steam at the end of the season.
Central Florida Knights's Latest Performance :
Central Florida has been a very consistent team all year long as their offense has blossomed into one of the more dangerous offenses in the country with McKenzie Milton and Greg McCray in the backfield. Nonetheless, the health of Milton moving forward is a concern at this point as he had a nasty knee injury in his matchup versus the Cougars and uncertain to whether he will play in this matchup. In his last outing versus South Florida, Milton only needed to pass 10 times in the contest as he ended with 86 yards, a TD, along with an interception in a huge season-ending victory on the road versus South Florida in their last time out.
As stated, Milton was not needed as much as Greg McCray was the man for Central Florida in rushing for 182 yards and 3 touchdowns in the contest as the Cougars defense had no answers to a tough, physical rushing attack for Central Florida. The knights will certainly like to take this momentum into a game versus a Memphis team that really played them well earlier in the season, as stated. In fact, The Tigers outrushed Central Florida at home and their matchup in October while obtaining 281 yards on the ground compared to only 165 for the Knights.
Nonetheless, Central Florida’s defense has been just as much as a catalyst in their winning ways. To end the season, the Central Florida defense was allowing only 18 points per game in their last five games. However, I also stated that the Knights had many difficulties in defending the run versus a physical Memphis squad in October as Darryl Henderson would run all over Central Florida’s defensive front for 199 yards. In all, look for the Defense for UCF to be much more willing and able to take control of the trenches in this matchup for the championship on Saturday.
How Memphis Tigers & Central Florida Knights Matchup.
Vegas Odds, Offshore Odds, & Odds ATS:
Memphis is 8 – 4 ATS while the OU is 7 – 5
Central Florida is 8 – 3 ATS while the OU is 3 – 8
In-Depth Analysis of each team:
Look for this matchup to be a very interesting one as the Memphis Tigers will be looking to end a comeback season with a victory over a highly ranked and highly talented Central Florida Knights team on their home field. It would be important to note that the Memphis Tigers are 2-3 on the road this season yet have won their last two, overall. Central Florida is not only undefeated at home, but, are 6-2 against the spread in 2018. In all, look for both teams to look to get their coveted rushing games going early as both squads depend heavily on their ability to control the trenches while gaining some ground in their rushing attack.
Against The Spread Selection: Pick: Central Florida Knights -3.5
My reason for the pick :
While much can be said about Memphis and the way in which they manhandled the Knights in the first matchup, there is not much that was said concerning how resilient the Knights were in their win despite their ability to give up chunks of yardage on the ground in the first matchup vs Memphis. With that being said, expect for the Knights to play much better in this matchup as they are certainly more dominant at home than they are on the road. Look for the Knights to get their running game started early in which to allow their defense to put pressure on the offense for the Tigers, thus allowing them to pick up a Championship win on Saturday. And while I happen to believe that Memphis will certainly come to play in this match up, they will not have enough in the tank to overtake a Central Florida Knights team on a mission to participate in a higher tier bowl at the end of the season. Take the Knights and the points in this matchup.
Totals Selection: Pick: Under
My reason for the prediction :
I will back to under in this matchup as I believe that both teams will bring their A game as this is for the AAC Championship, first and foremost. Furthermore, look for the defense for Central Florida to remember the beating that they received at the hands of the Tigers earlier in the season. With that being said, look for their defensive front to put up much more of a resistance within the trenches throughout this match up on Saturday. In all, look for the under to be the strong play in this match up as both defenses will take center stage in what will be an exciting game throughout.
Betting trends for Memphis Tigers:
- Tigers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following a straight up win.
Tigers are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games in December.
Tigers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games overall.
Betting trends for Central Florida Knights:
- Under is 7-0 in Knights last 7 games after allowing more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game.
Under is 4-0 in Knights last 4 games after allowing less than 170 yards passing in their previous game.
Knights are 6-0-1 ATS in their last 7 games after allowing less than 170 yards passing in their previous game.