UCF vs. Tulane NCAAF Week 11 Best Bets: Running Towards the Under

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Michael Pratt #7 of the Tulane Green Wave passes during a game against the South Florida Bulls. Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images/AFP.

It should be close when the Tulane Green Wave host the UCF Knights this Saturday, but the Under is definitely the sharp NCAAF pick.

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UCF Knights vs. Tulane Green Wave

Saturday, November 12, 2022 – 03:30 PM EST at Yulman Stadium

Ah, the American Athletic Conference. Born out of the collapse of the Big East in 2013, the AAC is too good to be considered a mere mid-major, but not nearly good enough to compete with the remaining Power 5 conferences. But at least they have a cool name: 'The American'. Sounds like a Chuck Connors show from the late ‘50s.

This week, on 'The American': the No. 17 Tulane Green Wave (8-1 SU and ATS) has a date with the No. 22 UCF Knights (7-2 SU, 6-3 ATS). As you may have guessed by those rankings and records, it’ll be tough for either team to cover the spread; there might be a smidge of value with Tulane as 1-point home faves on the NCAAF odds board at Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review), but only a smidge.

That 54.5-point total, though. There’s something we can put in our Week 11 college football picks. The Under looks very tasty here, with neither team particularly good at offense, and crosswinds of 10-15 mph in the forecast for cozy Yulman Stadium.

Should Tulane Play in a Big Six Bowl?

Only because the highest-ranked Group of Five champion gets an automatic berth. It’s been an excellent year for the Green Wave, easily their best since they went 12-0 in 1998 during the all-too-brief Tommy Bowden regime. However, there’s no way an 8-1 team from the AAC is going to stack up with an 8-1 team like Tennessee, or Oregon, or even Ole Miss for that matter.

Here’s a list of the 8-1 teams on the current College Football Playoff Rankings, presented in order of where they stand on the Week 11 F+ charts at Football Outsiders:

  • 4. Tennessee
  • 7. Oregon
  • 13. Mississippi
  • 14. USC
  • 15. UCLA
  • 19. Clemson
  • 42. Tulane
  • 43. North Carolina

Hey, at least they’re ahead of the Tar Heels. And there’s no question Tulane has been undervalued at the betting window this year.

However, they’ve also played an incredibly soft schedule, and while their defense has made great strides under head coach Willie Fritz and co-ordinator Chris Hampton, Tulane’s offense is still stuck in neutral at No. 53 on the F+ rankings. Thus their 6-3 Under record heading into Week 11.

Is UCF Better Than Tulane?

You’d think so, given that the Green Wave are only 1-point home faves at the NCAAF odds. And you’d be right; the Knights find themselves at No. 25 overall on the F+ charts, striking a balance between their offense (No. 31) and their defense (No. 33).

The fine folks at Sports Reference also have UCF at plus-11.56 on their Simple Rating System, tops in The American ahead of Tulane (plus-9.57). Which makes that 1-point spread look pretty tight if you give the Green Wave the old-school 3 points for home-field advantage.

Again, though, we’re far more interested in that total, and the Knights have the same 6-3 Under record as Tulane. It always helps if a team spends a lot of time running the ball; UCF ranks No. 10 in the nation with 406 rushing attempts, and the Green Wave is fairly high up the list at No. 23 (375 attempts). Chew up that clock, boys.

What Else Can We Bet On?

Given how much both these teams run the ball, the “First Turnover” prop at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review) might be worth a look. Here are your 3 options:

  • Fumble +155
  • Interception -170
  • No Turnovers +900

Naturally, the more rushing attempts there are, the more likely a fumble will take place instead of an interception. Tulane QB Michael Pratt has only thrown 4 picks this year; as a team, the Green Wave have lost 8 fumbles thus far.

On the other side, sophomore Mikey Keene replaced injured QB John Rhys Plumlee (6 picks) in Week 9 and has been picked off once in 49 pass attempts since. It remains to be seen who gets the start this Saturday, but UCF also has more lost fumbles (8) than interceptions this year.

Final Picks

The weather forecast for New Orleans doesn’t look too bad (unfortunately for our Under pick), so there might actually be some value-adding No Turnovers to your Week 11 NCAAF picks.

In fact, let’s add both that and Fumble to the pile, and may the prolate spheroid be with you.

NCAAF Pick: Under 54.5 (-108) at Heritage Sports

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Under 54.5 (-108)
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NCAAF Prop Pick: Fumble (+155) at Bovada

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Fumble (+155)
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NCAAF Prop Pick: No Turnovers (+900) at Bovada

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No Turnovers (+900)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.