This week's AAC matchup between the UCF Knights and Tulane Green Wave may be the biggest Group of 5 game of the season and the one circled on the schedule since UCF knocked off Cincinnati.
Tulane is No. 17 in the country and at the top of the AAC at 8-1, with their lone loss coming to Southern Mississippi. UCF is No. 22 and would be much higher if not for a misstep against East Carolina. Neither team is perfect, but that doesn’t mean there isn't a lot on the line in New Orleans this week.
First let’s take a look at the odds and trends for this AAC matchup.
UCF vs. Tulane Odds, Spread and Total
Tulane and UCF Betting Trends
- Tulane is 8-1 ATS
- UCF is 6-3 ATS
- The under is 6-3 in Tulane’s games
- The under is 6-3 in UCF’s games
- Tulane is 7-0 ATS in conference games
- Underdog is 5-1 ATS in last five meetings
UCF vs. Tulane Prediction and Pick
UCF can really run the ball, ranking seventh in the country in rushing yards per game.
Much of that running success comes from their quarterback, John Rhys Plumlee, who does everything for this team. So far this season, Rhys Plumlee has 1,883 passing yards and leads the team with 532 rushing yards. He's also accounted for 18 touchdowns this year.
However, last week it was Mikey Keene getting the job done at quarterback for the Knights, leading them to a 35-28 win over Memphis. Keene threw for 229 and three touchdowns. It is unclear who will be under center for this matchup, as Rhys Plumlee recovers from a concussion, but clearly their offense will function at a high level either way.
Tulane’s defense is 18th in passing yards allowed, but 40th in rush defense. If any team would be able to move the ball on the Green Wave it would theoretically be UCF. However, it's worth considering that this could be a tougher matchup than expected.
UCF runs a similar type of offense to a team Tulane previously faced this year in Kansas State with Adrian Martinez at quarterback. Tulane held K-State to 10 points earlier in the season and Martinez only threw for 150 and ran for 59. It was a decent performance, but the Tulane defense largely shut him down. If Rhys Plumlee is able to go, UCF fans will hope for a much better performance than what Martinez provided for the Wildcats several weeks ago.
Tulane has been great this year and might match up well, but I expect UCF to simply outscore them. The Knights are seventh in the country in total offense, and can move the ball better than almost any team. Tulane’s offense is reliable with Michael Pratt at QB, but are far from dynamic. The Green Wave 48th in total offense and that will be their downfall.
Pick: UCF +105
Follow all Josh Yourish’s bets HERE
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change