Kent State vs. Central Florida Prediction, Odds, Trends and Key Players for College Football Week 1

UCF looks to start its tenure as a Big 12 school by destroying an inferior, rebuilding team.
Dec 28, 2022; Annapolis, Maryland, USA; Central Florida Knights quarterback John Rhys Plumlee (10)
Dec 28, 2022; Annapolis, Maryland, USA; Central Florida Knights quarterback John Rhys Plumlee (10) / Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

UCF is one of four new teams in the Big 12 and would love to hit the ground running with a blowout win against a lesser opponent.

The Golden Knights welcome a rebuilding Kent State team to the "Bounce House" in Week 1action. The Golden Flashes are transitioning in a new coach as well as the lowest total returning production.

The MAC visitors are a complete unknown heading into 2023, and it has resulted with the second lowest win total in the country and a massive point spread against a newly minted Power Five opponent.

UCF is laying a massive number at home, can the team cash in for bettors?

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Kent State vs. UCF Odds, Spread and Total

UCF vs. Kent State Betting Trends

  • UCF went 7-6 against the spread (ATS) last season
  • UCF went UNDER in seven of 11 games as a favorite last season

Kent State vs. UCF How to Watch

  • Date: Thursday, August 31
  • Game Time: 7:00 PM EST
  • Venue: FBC Mortgage Stadium
  • How to Watch (TV): Fox Sports 1
  • Kent State Record: 0-0
  • UCF Record: 0-0

Kent State vs. UCF Key Players to Watch

Kent State

Kent State quarterback: It hasn't been announced who will be under center for the new-look Golden Flashes, likely either Devin Kargman, Tommy Ulatowski, Griffin Brewster or Michael Alaimo. None have any starting experience and are running a new offensive system that is returning 12% of offensive production, per


John Rhys Plumlee: Plumlee returns for UCF after a stellar season in 2023. Despite missing some time due to a hamstring injury, JRP helped lead the Golden Knights to an AAC title game. He will return to run the fast paced offense that graded out top 30 in key metrics such as yards per play, points per drive and yards per carry. Plumlee isn't a big threat with his arm, but is an elusive rusher, picking up 862 yards and 11 touchdowns with his legs.

Kent State vs. UCF Prediction and Pick

It's hard to confidently trust the Golden Flashes given its unclear who is starting for the team at quarterback and there are so many holes that need to be filled.

After a max exodus that included its head coach Sean Lewis and three key offensive playmakers in quarterback Collin Schlee, running back Marquez Cooper and wide receiver Dante Cephas, the team is going to be starting from scratch in 2023.

Meanwhile, UCF brings back a host of talent from last season's AAC Championship team, 21st in total RP and top 40 on both sides of the ball. The team ran the second most plays on offense last season and cashed in at a high clip, scoring nearly three points per drive.

I expect head coach Gus Malzahn is going to want to maintain its up-tempo offense while allowing new offensive coordinator Darin Hinshaw to get comfortable calling plays with the new roster, which may lead to some empty possessions before Malzahn eventually brings in the second string.

With such little proven talent on the Kent State side, I can't trust the team to put up many points. While UCF should win big, it's going to do most of the scoring, leading me to the under.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.