Week 1: Golden Panthers vs Knights Odds
College football betting sees the FIU Panthers taking on the UCF Knights Thursday September 3 at Bright House Networks Stadium in Orlando, Florida. Cappers Picks provides complimentary handicapping picks all NCAA football season long so stay tuned for more FREE college football predictions.
FIU vs. UCF
Date: Thursday September 3
Time: 6:00 PM
Venue: Bright House Networks Stadium – Orlando, FL
NCAA Football Spread: UCF -16.5
NCAA Betting Total: 46.5
NCAA Moneyline Odds: UCF -800, FIU +500
This may not be a high profile game but it gets to share the opening time slot for the season so it is bound to get some action.
UCF is the far more established program and they are looking to show their strength by staying at a relatively high level. The Golden Panthers once looked like they were on the rise in South Florida but things are not all that promising right now.
This should be a fairly easy tune up for the Knights at home. Don’t get too caught up in this one because of the timing.
The program has been in existence a little more than a decade and is looking to get back to the kind of success and energy they had when they were led by former coach Mario Cristobal.
Last season they added another three victories to their rock bottom total of a 2013 when they went 1-11. Coach Ron Turner has a track record in the pros and is trying to use that to get more talent on campus. He is not the youthful rah rah type that fits the mold of program changer. They did improve a lot last year and have hopes of continuing that progress but I am not a big fan of Turner.
To continue improving they are going to need sophomore QB Alex McGough to be better. He made a lot of typical frosh mistakes last year and won’t get a chance to make a lot more thanks to competition.
On defense is where they showed the most progress last season, so much that they lost their defensive coordinator, Josh Conklin, to Pitt.
They are going to need the defense to lead the way in terms of being aggressive in this one. They have some play makers who will need to come up big to compete.
The Knight followed up their historic 2013 campaign with a solid one last year, tying for the conference title in the first year of the AAC. A return to the level they saw in 2013 is unlikely but they could repeat last season.
This program has a solid talent base on defense, the specialty of coach George O’Leary. Their front will be especially stout and will need to be as they look to turnover their secondary.
This year they will also be looking to find some new receivers for second year starting quarterback Justin Holman. He is unlikely to ascend the way his predecessor Blake Bortles did but he has a good arm and is a nice talent who needs more consistency.
The same could be said for William Stanback, the running back has failed to live up to expectations since arriving on campus but could breakout for a big season. That and a strong defense could be enough this year.
I am high on UCF once again this season but will be watching this one closely.
NCAA Football Handicapping Trends
- Golden Panthers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games.
- Golden Panthers are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 games overall.
- Knights are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
- Knights are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 non-conference games.
- Knights are 41-20-1 ATS in their last 62 games on grass.
- Over is 4-1 in Golden Panthers last 5 games overall.
- Under is 6-2 in Golden Panthers last 8 road games.
- Under is 26-8-1 in Knights last 35 games in September.
Week 1 NCAA Football Prediction
I almost never take unders but I think that is the best bet for this game which I think will be a little bit sluggish. There is no value to taking the Knights on the ML.
4* Free NCAA Betting Pick: Under 46.5
Still lots of season to go so don’t get too caught up in the hype.
Week 1 Score Prediction: UCF 28 – FIU 13
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