Florida International vs UCF Odds, Betting Lines & Free NCAAF Pick

The Florida International Golden Panthers travel 234 miles up the I-95N to meet Central Florida Golden Knights in a battle of two in-state non-Power Five teams. The Panthers welcome Butch Davis as their new head coach who inherits the 5th most experienced team in college football. UCF went from 0-12 in 2015 to 6-7 and a bowl game in Scott Frost’s first year. Both teams start the year with lots of enthusiasm and lots of expectations.

The teams have met three of the last four years with Central Florida (-10) spanking FIU 53-14 in Miami last year. UCF leads the series 3-2. Florida International won their last time into Brighthouse Networks Stadium in Orlando 15-14 in 2015. A time change has this game kicking off at 6:00 PM EST and at the writing, no television details are available.

Florida International vs Central Florida Vegas Betting Odds Preview

Butch Davis is not new to Florida football. Now 65-years-young, Davis went 79-43 in 10 years at Miami, Florida claiming three Big East titles. He couldn’t have found a better situation to make a final run in coaching as FIU returns a veteran QB, it’s top seven backs from last year, nine of its top 11 wide receivers and 81% of its tackles on defense. The schedule is very reasonable and the Panthers are capable of big things in Davis’ first year.

Scott Frost also inherited a good situation when he arrived last year. He took over a winless Knights team from the year before but in 2015 UCF was second in the nation in starts by freshman so Frost had tested kids ready to play. UCF returns just four on defense which is a concern as the Knights were second in the country last year in defending the red zone. Frost knows how to win and still has the weapons to do so at UCF.

Top Free College Football Pick Against the Spread: UCF -17 (56.5)

As previously mentioned, FIU returns an experienced team and one major service has the Panthers No.1 in experience with 85% of its production on both sides of the ball returning. Alex McGough is a senior quarterback with 31 starts and has a 900-yard and a 500-yard back in the backfield. Three receivers with at least 35 catches and 450 yards also return. McGough will need to eliminate interception and go more verticle if the Panthers are to succeed. The defense returns right and figures to be a lot better than the one that allowed 34.8 ppg and 434 ypg. last year.

Central Florida is deceiving in a certain sense in that while the Knights might not have as many returning starters as other teams, they have plenty of kids who have played and are familiar with the schemes. The offense figures to be better behind dual threat quarterback McKenzie Milton who had 10 starts last year as a true freshman. Three of the top back and receivers from last year return. The defense will feature eight junior and senior starters. Excellent special teams could seal the deal on a second consecutive bowl bid.

Central Florida has handled Florida International rather easily in three of the last four meetings over five years with the lone exception being the 2015 winless season. At face value, this looks to be a lot of points to give to a revenge minded Panther outfit that has to be hot after getting beat by 39 on their home field last year. The low total tells us something as the Vegas linemakers are obviously showing respect for both team defenses. It’s also the debut of Butch Davis and the FIU team will be sky high. With no basis to trust the Panthers yet, we’ll grab the Panthers plus 17 points for a small play and assume that we’ll get the entire three scores.


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