Free NCAA Football Prediction: UCF Knights vs. Florida Odds
Looking for UCF Knights vs. Florida Gators free picks? College football betting sees the Knights taking on the Gators on Thursday, December 23, 2021, to contest the Gasparilla Bowl at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL. Cappers Picks provides complimentary handicapping picks all NCAA football season long so stay tuned for more FREE college football game predictions like this Knights Gators free pick.
College Football Handicapping Analysis: Gasparilla Bowl
UCF Knights (8-4) vs. Florida Gators (6-6)
Date: Thursday, December 23, 2021
Time: 7:00 pm EST
Venue: Raymond James Stadium
NCAA Football ATS Spread Odds: Knights +6.5 / Gators -6.5 (Bet Now!)
NCAA Football Moneyline Odds: UCF +220 / Florida -250
NCAA Betting Total Odds: O/U 55
Gasparilla Bowl college football sees the Knights and Gators meeting at Raymond James Stadium on Thursday at 7:00 pm on ESPN.
The Gators are favored by 6.5 points over the Knights in this Gasparilla Bowl matchup.
Central Florida will be making their 6th straight bowl appearance and their second Gasparilla Bowl showing in the last 3 years. The Knights were here in 2019 when they put up a convincing win over Marshall although this is Gus Malzahn’s first post-season with UCF.
Malzahn took over the UCF program to begin this season after his long tenure with Auburn and an 8-win campaign now leads to a chance to finish with 3 straight wins and a second Gasparilla Bowl title.
The Florida Gators are making their 4th straight bowl appearance under Dan Mullen as he has now made it to the post-season in all 4 of his seasons with this program.
The Gators missed out on the 2017 bowl season and that led to the hiring of Mullen who had his worst year with Florida at 6 – 6. A pair of 10-win seasons began his tenure but Mullen is now 14 – 10 over the past 2 years.
The Knights have kept their run of post-season appearances alive although they are 2 – 3 over the last 5 years in bowl games. It was a strange season with the Dillon Gabriel story not working out so well as he is in the transfer portal looking to find some playing time in 2022.
Gabriel was supposed to be leading this team to this game but he put his name in the transfer window over a month ago. After only 3 games, Gabriel was benched and we never saw him again in a UCF uniform. He put up a 70 for 102 campaign with 814 yards and 9 TD passes and he will be on a different field next season.
Mikey Keene took over and never relinquished his starter’s spot despite having no ground game in his arsenal. Keene is a pocket passer who threw for 1,586 yards with a 16 – 6 TD to INT ratio and he completed 63.6% of his tosses after taking over.
UCF has two dudes that have over 100 carries this season as Johnny Richardson carried the ball 101 times along with Isaiah Bowser’s 124 totes of the rock. The two combined to gain 1,241 rushing yards Unfortunately, it looks like Bowser might not be able to dress for this game. The senior wearing the #5 jersey might have to sit out of the final game of the year but if he is even 75% I would expect him to go.
Ryan O’Keefe is certainly going to be expecting to see the football as he led this team with 77 receptions for 6 TD passes. Brandon Johnson’s 38 grabs put him second on the depth chart but he did find his way to the end zone 11 times averaging about 15 yards a snatch.
What better way to clinch a bowl berth than to find a win over Florida State on the final day of the regular season? Well, getting to 6 – 6 might not seem like a major accomplishment but bowl season still gives everyone another chance to perform.
This in-state rivalry game isn’t much of a rivalry since they really don’t bump into each other at all other than the one time back in 2006. UCF hopes to not see a repeat of that early regular-season affair that ended 42 – 0 but the Gators likely don’t have the talent to do that this time around.
Emory Jones has the reigns under center for this game and he had better stay on the field since his backup, Anthony Richardson, is out for this game. Richardson saw some time on the field but Jones is certainly the man that will be expected to move this 21st ranked rushing offense.
Jones isn’t just the starting QB for this team because he is also the leading rusher for the Gators. With 2,563 passing yards, Jones has added another 697 rushing yards to the mix making him an obvious dual-threat guy.
Dameon Pierce and Malik Davis both have over 80 rushes and have combined to add 918 yards on the ground with 16 trips to paydirt.
The Gators average 470.2 total yards a game and that is good enough to be ranked 11th in the nation
NCAA Football Handicapping Trends
- Over is 4-0 in Knight’s last 4 non-conference games.
- Over is 4-1 in Knight’s last 5 games as an underdog.
- Over is 5-2 in Knight’s last 7 games in December.
- Over is 8-1 in Gators’ last 9 games in December.
- Over is 4-1 in Gators’ last 5 Bowl games.
- Over is 5-2 in Gators’ last 7 non-conference games.
4* Free Gasparilla Bowl NCAA Betting Final Analysis:
I just think that 55 points aren’t enough and we have seen that bowl season is offering a lot of offense through the first segment of games being played. I can see this as a 36 – 29 type of game that puts us in the 60s so I roll with that prediction.
4* Free Gasparilla Bowl NCAA Betting Pick: Over 55
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