The 10-1 BYU Cougars flew south (and east) for the winter to take on the 6-3 Central Florida Knights in the Boca Raton Bowl that could be one of the highest-scoring games we see in the bowl season. It’s also the only one with curbside valet parking of which we’re aware.
BYU’s lone loss of the season came to an undefeated Coastal Carolina team on about three days notice, so it’s hard to hold that against them. The Cougar offense has been fantastic all season averaging 43 points per game. Led by QB Zach Wilson aka “Mormon Manziel,” the Coogs have been held under 40 points just three times all season. Wilson has had a Heisman-caliber year, throwing for over 3,000 yards, 30 touchdowns and just three interceptions. The UCF defense has struggled plenty this season, giving up nearly 500 yards per game on defense and even allowed horrible a 1-8 USF team to stick with them last time out.
The UCF offense is just as good, if not slightly better than the Cougars. Knights QB Dillon Gabriel has been just as good as Wilson, throwing for 30 scores and just four interceptions in 2020. Gabriel has seen his number one wide receiver Marlon Williams opt-out of the bowl game, so that’s sure to impact his passing production. Their running game has been a bit less viable than it has been in previous years but it’s still been solid, rushing for over 200 yards per game led by Greg McCrae. The BYU defense might be one of the better units UCF has seen this season though, giving up just 14 points per game.
Game Time/TV Channel/Streaming
You can watch the Central Florida Knights and BYU Cougars in the Boca Raton Bowl on Tuesday, December 22 at 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN. You can stream it via WatchESPN or the ESPN app with a cable or streaming service login.
Point Spread, Totals, Odds, Trends
Point spread: BYU (-6.5) vs UCF
Point Total: 75.5
Money line: BYU (-250), UCF (+195)
Bet Splits Against Spread
UCF: +6.5 (34% of action, 50% of bets)
BYU: -6.5 (66% of action, 50% of bets)
- The Knights haven’t been great against the spread this season, going just 2-6 ATS in their last 8.
- But thanks to that offense, the total has hit the over seven of their last 10 games.
- BYU is 10-1 straight up in their last 11 games
- The Cougars are 6-2 in their last eight games against AAC opponents.
The Best Bet
This shapes up to be an extremely high scoring game, but without Williams Gabriel is going to have to rely on OU transfer Jaylon Robinson a lot more than he normally would. That could impact them heavily, especially against a good BYU defense. The Cougars on the other hand will put up a lot of points on this struggling Knights unit.
Pick: BYU -6.5
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