UCF Knights vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Betting Picks

September 15, 2020

Date: Saturday, September 19th

Time: 3:30 PM ET

Venue: Bobby Dodd Stadium

Network: ABC

Spread: UCF -7.5

O/U: 60

When The UCF Knights Have The Ball

The Central Florida Knights are the same dangerous team they’ve been since before Blake Bortles put on the helmet. QB and gunslinger Dillon Gabriel will be back for his third year after throwing for 3,653 yards and 29 TD’s a season ago.

The Knights will be without WR Gabriel Davis, who’s off to play with the Buffalo Bills after being drafted in the 4th round. He’s an irreplaceable asset, but second and third-leading receivers Tre Nixon and Marlon Williams both return and they’ll be asked to step up in a big way. 

They face a similar challenge at the RB situation with Adrian Killins and Bentavious Thompson out of the mix. Otis Anderson returns, however, and he led the Knights in rushing a year ago with 726 yards and five touchdowns. Greg McRae will step in as the number two and the UCF rushing attack will be more concentrated than ever. 

If the Knights want to have success against the Yellow Jackets, they’ll have to avoid the land mines that FSU fell into. That shouldn’t be much of a problem with one of the best offensive lines in the country and a potent set of skill position players. 

When The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Have The Ball

The Yellow Jackets provided the College Football world with their first big upset in week one as they took a 16-13 win over the Florida State Seminoles. The game was messy, filled with lightning delays, blocked field goals, and four turnovers. The yellow Jackets slowed down a versatile Seminoles offense and controlled the pace with a better than expected passing game. 

Freshman Jeff Sims took the start out of nowhere and was more than impressive. He threw for 277 yards and a touchdown and ran for another 64. He did throw the ball to FSU twice, but the rest of his performance was near-perfect and Yellow Jacket fans have great reason to be excited for the next three or four seasons under Sims. 

The defense was great and looked a lot better than it did in 2019. Remember, this is a team under their 2nd year of transition away from the triple-option. Running back Jordan Mason leads the backfield and while he won’t do much wowing, he also won’t fumble and he always falls forward. 

Wide receivers Malachi Carter and Jalen Camp have certainly helped the ease of the transition as two of the better WR’s in the conference. Sims leaned on the pair heavily in week one and ended up with a combined for 123 yards and a touchdown. Eight other Yellow Jackets caught passes and FSU struggled with the balance. 

The Yellow Jackets get an even tougher test against the 14th ranked UCF Knights on Saturday at 3:30 PM ET on ABC. Sims will have to seal up the few mistakes he did make and the Yellow Jackets defense will be asked to stop a much more potent attack. 

Spread Prediction

The Pick: UCF -7.5

The Yellow Jackets looked great against FSU, but this Knights offense is just a different breed and I don’t expect them to have the same success slowing them down. Dillon Gabriel threw for nearly 4,000 yards in 2019 and he would have if it wasn’t for so many blowouts.

They might be without Davis at WR, but Tre Nixon was impressive a year ago and he won’t have a problem stepping up as WR1. UCF does a great job at mixing up looks and the tough Georgia Tech defense will have trouble keeping up. Marlon Williams is a dangerous red-zone threat and Gabriel is excellent at throwing the high-ball. Georgia Tech’s tallest CB is 6’0. 

The Yellow Jackets offense was undeniably impressive under Jeff Sims, but they still didn’t do much as it was mostly the defense that won them week one. Expect a few more scores out of Georgia Tech, but I don’t at all expect them to be able to keep up in the second half. 

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Total Prediction

I’m a big fan of the over here as both of these offenses should find success. While the Knights will likely score three or four more times, Georgia tech will still have more offensive success than they did against a tough Seminoles D. Jeff Sims rejuvenated the Yellow Jackets offense and I think they put up around 25 points. The Knights put up 40 or more points in eight of their 10 wins a season ago, never scoring less than 33. Give me the over. 

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