UCF vs. Oklahoma State Prediction, Odds, and Key Players for Wednesday, Feb. 28: Can the Cowboys Keep Scoring?

College basketball betting preview, prediction and best bet for UCF vs. Oklahoma State.

Oklahoma State v Cincinnati
Oklahoma State v Cincinnati / Dylan Buell/GettyImages
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When looking at Wednesday's matchup between UCF and Oklahoma State, you may ask yourself why you should spend any time, energy, or money on a game between two of the Big 12's worst teams.

Even though neither has a realistic shot to make the NCAA Tournament and both struggle to score the basketball, this game has caught my eye. Why is that?

It is how closely these two teams matchup. The line is small, but what really catches my eye is how they matchup according to KenPom. He has this matchup as the seventh best out of a 58-game Wednesday.

Seventh of 58 games is certainly intriguing enough to tune in by itself, but where I become really interested is the matchup prediction. While KenPom projects Oklahoma State to prevail by a score 70-69, he is only 50% confident in the outcome, good for the most "up-in-the-air" game of the Wednesday slate. If KenPom isn't confident in the outcome, no one is, which is evident with the spread.

It is also worth noting that both of these teams average exactly 72.0 points per game through this point in the season, having played a very similar conference schedule. So whether you look at KenPom's advanced stats or the more basic team stats, these teams matchup to the decimal point.

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Here is the betting preview for UCF vs. Oklahoma State, with a pick at the end.

UCF vs. Oklahoma Odds, Spread and Total

UCF vs. Oklahoma State Betting Trends

  • UCF is 15-11 ATS this season
  • Oklahoma State is 11-14-2 ATS this season
  • UCF is 7-4 as an underdog this season
  • Oklahoma State is 5-7-2 ATS as a favorite this season
  • The OVER is 12-13-1 in UCF games this season
  • The OVER is 15-12 in Oklahoma State games this season

UCF vs. Oklahoma State how to watch

  • Date: Wednesday, Feb. 28
  • Game time: 8 p.m. EST
  • Venue: Pete Gallagher-Iba Arena
  • How to watch (TV): ESPN+
  • UCF record: 14-12 (5-9 Big 12)
  • Oklahoma State record: 12-15 (4-10 Big 12)

UCF vs. Oklahoma State Key Players to Watch

UCF

Darius Johnson: While Jaylin Sellers has been the leading scorer for the Knights thus far, junior Guard Darius Johnson has been a man on a mission as of late. He has scored 14-plus points in each of his last appearance, highlighted by a 29 point performance last week in a loss to West Virginia. But where Johnson has really caught my eye is on the defensive side of the ball, where he has four steals in each of the Knights' last three games. At 6'1", Johnson is far from the biggest guard, but what he lacks in size he makes up in tenacity.

Oklahoma State

Javon Small: In what has been an up-and-down season for the Cowboys, junior guard Javon Small has provided some much needed consistency. He is the unquestioned leader of Oklahoma State, spearheading its offensive efforts as the leading scorer, leading assister, and second-leading rebounder.

The main question surrounding Small as of late is his shooting, as he has only surpassed one 3PM once in the Cowboy's last five. While some of his struggles have stemmed from losing teammate Bryce Thompson for the season due to injury, Oklahoma State will need its lead man to find his groove if it wants to beat UCF.

UCF vs. Oklahoma State Prediction and Pick

Over the last three games, Oklahoma State Overs have gone 3-0 by an insane average margin of 22.5 points. And at 15-12, the Over has been one of the few consistencies of the Cowboys' disappointing season. Will they be able keep it up against the Knights?

All signs point to no, at least according to KenPom.

UCF has not performed to the levels it would like on the offensive side of the ball, but defensively, it has been one of the better teams in the entire nation. In terms of Adj, Defensive Efficiency, UCF ranks 14th in the country, and is facing the 102nd most efficient offense in the country in Oklahoma State on Wednesday.

Efficiency is obviously a key indicator for predicting any matchup, but what really catches my eye about this matchup for UCF's defense is the turnover battle.

The Knights rank 29th in the country in defensive turnover percentage, while the Cowboys rank 276th on the offensive side. If you look one step further at steal-specific turnover percentage, the Knights are the 12th best defensive team in the country, while Oklahoma State is ranked an abysmal 338th on the offensive side of the ball.

Oklahoma State Overs have been scorching hot. And they may remain so tonight, but I don't think it will be at the hands of the Cowboys' offense. Trends are important, but I value season long stats more every single time.

I am taking Oklahoma State's team total UNDER.

Pick: Oklahoma State UNDER 70.5


Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.