Louisville vs UCF Odds, Tips & Predictions
In Week 1, Malik Cunningham and the Cardinals struggled while John Rhys Plumlee and the Knights thrived, but has the line moved too far towards the UCF? We think so – as we break down in our Louisville vs UCF betting tips and predictions.
The Louisville Cardinals opened the season with a humiliating loss to the Syracuse Orange at the Carrier Dome. And now they must contend with a second directly hostile environment as they head to the rockin’ Bounce House to take on the UCF Knights.
UCF mastered FCS South Carolina State in their opener, covering the 43.5-point spread, but doesn’t Louisville get enough respect here? I think so, especially when a team has one of the best two-threat quarterbacks in college football in Malik Cunningham.
Read our Louisville vs UCF college football betting tips and predictions to learn more.
Louisville vs UCF best odds
Louisville vs UCF tips and predictions
Louisville didn’t just stumble out of the gates in Week 1, it fell flat on its face. Quarterback Malik Cunningham couldn’t find his rhythm as he threw a pair of picks, then the Cardinals were treated to the Sean Tucker experience (get ready for it on Sundays next year) and combined for 183 yards and two points.
The end result was an embarrassing 31-7 loss in a game that left Louisville a 5.5-point favorite on the road.
Meanwhile, it was the Knights who actually had the impressive double threat quarterback in Week 1, as demonstrated by John Rhys Plumlee in his UCF debut. The Mississippi transfer went 20-to-31 for 308 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions while adding another 86 yards and a score on the ground.
Yes, Louisville now has to travel to Orlando’s boisterous bounce house, but making the Cardinals the underdog in this 6.5-point road game is an overreaction to a week of results.
Cunningham is way better than last week. The senior signal caller threw for 2,941 yards and completed 62% of his passes with 19 touchdowns while rushing for another 1,031 yards and an additional 20 points on the ground.
Also, Cunningham’s turnovers were out of character for him after he only threw six picks all of last season.
Well, there’s not much to say about UCF’s dismantling of an FCS opponent, but it should be noted that the Knights last season ranked 88th in rushing yards allowed per game and 78th in rushing yards allowed per attempt rushing yards occupied. Additionally, they must replace four starters from last year’s Front Seven, including first-team All-AAC defensive end Big Kat Bryant, who moved to the NFL.
It’s also worth noting that the Cardinals defeated the Knights 42-35 in Louisville last season, where Cunningham threw for 265 yards and a touchdown while adding another 99 yards and two points, and I think that went against the better quarterback was in Dillon Gabriel.
Louisville head coach Scott Satterfield will no doubt have better prepared his team for this game after last week’s humiliating defeat. I’ve got this game closer to -3.5 or -4 with the Knights, so I’m happy to take the 6.5 points.
my best bet: Louisville +6.5 (-110 at Caesars)
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Louisville vs UCF betting preview
•Spread Analysis •Over/Under Analysis •game info •injuries •weather •trends to know
We’ve already talked about this spread at length. And as mentioned, I favored UCF for this matchup by little more than a field goal. So I was a little surprised when this line came on the board with the Knights at -5.5 and then quickly switched to 6.5.
Yes, this game is at the Bounce House. Yes, Louisville looked bad in Week 1, and yes, UCF looked great, but you really can’t take much from a win over an FCS opponent. Plumlee played great in this game, but it really doesn’t tell us anything about how he’ll play against a Power Five team. In fact, during his time in Mississippi, Plumlee completed just 53.8% of his passes for a measly 6.2 yards per attempt.
So, I’ll say again to anyone who’s going to listen: That line is an overreaction to some Week 1 games. Satterfield is a good manager who is preparing his team to recover.
Additionally, UCF was not a good bet under Gus Malzahn when they were notable favorites, with the Knights going 2-5 against the spread in their last seven games when favored by 6.5 points or more.
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This matchup gets a pretty high total of 61.5 and it’s easy to see why.
UCF amassed 56 points in Week 1 even though it was an FCS opponent, the Knights still did and this was a team averaging 31.9 points per game a season ago. This is also a run-first offense under Malzhan, and while Isaiah Bowers isn’t Sean Tucker, he’s not too far off. And the Knights just watched Syracuse average 5.2 yards per carry against the Cardinals last week.
Although Louisville only scored seven points last week, the Cardinals actually had five possessions that landed in the Syracuse 40 and netted just once. So the sales really cost them.
Behind Cunningham, the Cardinals were a team that averaged 31.6 points per game a season ago and had 42 points in last year’s matchup against the Knights. I don’t have a strong sense of the total, but would lean towards the over.
Information on the match between Louisville and UCF
• location: Bounce House, Orlando, FL
• date: Friday 9 September 2022
• kicking off: 7:30 p.m. ET
• TV: ESPN2
Key injuries between Louisville and UCF
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Louisville vs. UCF weather
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Louisville vs UCF betting trends to explore
UCF is 2-5 ATS in its last seven games when favored by 6.5 or more points. Find more NCAA betting trends for Louisville vs. UCF.