UCF vs. Cincinnati College Football Week 7 Preview and Best Bet

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Gus Malzahn the head coach of the UCF Knights. Andy Lyons/Getty Images/AFP

The UCF Knights will look to spoil the Cincinnati Bearcats’ perfect season on Saturday. Can the Knights pull off the miracle on the road? Let’s see the NCAAF odds.

UCF Knights vs. Cincinnati Bearcats

Saturday, October 16, 2021 – 12:00 PM EDT at Nippert Stadium

The Cincinnati Bearcats are looking to clinch a perfect regular season. Even a perfect regular season might not be enough to make the CFP, but they’re going to do whatever it takes. On Sunday, they’ll welcome the UCF Knights to town, who are 3-2 but still very dangerous.

UCF was led by Dillon Gabriel who had thrown for nine touchdowns and three interceptions on the year. However, he’s now got a broken clavicle and UCF has had to rely on the backup quarterback and freshman Mikey Keene. The offense is still averaging 36.8 points and 469 yards per game this season.

With two losses to Louisville and Navy on the road, the UCF Knights have been inconsistent, but both of those losses were by one possession. Every game the Knights have played, they’ve either won handily or lost closely. The defense for the Knights has been very good at stopping the run and has done well in coverage as well. The one area of concern for UCF has been tackling but overall, the defense has allowed just 365.8 yards per game with only 221 yards per game in the air.

On the other hand, Cincinnati is averaging 41 points and allowing just 12.2 points per game. The offense, run by quarterback Desmond Ridder, has been electric. He’s thrown for 12 touchdowns and just two interceptions with 1,304 yards on the season. Running back Jerome Ford also had done real damage with 520 yards rushing for eight touchdowns on 82 attempts. That’s an average of 6.3 yards per carrying for Ford through five games this season.

The only thing that can hold this team back is the offensive line. There’s plenty of talent at running back and wide receiver for Ridder to throw to but he’ll need better protection moving forward. Despite all of that, the Bearcats have been one of the best defenses in the nation. They can stop the run, cover well in the secondary, and pass rush effectively. Cincinnati has given up less than 300 yards per game this season with only 177.8 yards passing per game.

Prediction

Cincinnati is a great football team, and they’ll more than likely win this game. However, UCF can stick around against any team in college football. The rushing defense is solid and the coverage unit does its job as well. I simply don’t agree with UCF being 21 point underdog. As stated above, UCF has been in every single game, despite losing two of them.

For my NCAAF picks, I’d expect them to hang around against the Bearcats, especially now that Keene has a better feel for the game at a college level. The offense is capable of scoring a couple of touchdowns and the defense is capable of getting a couple of stops. Give me UCF +21. A team that is averaging nearly 37 points per game should not be a 21-point underdog, no matter how good Cincinnati has been recent.

NCAAF Pick: UCF +21 (-110) with BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

UCF +21 (-110)
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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.