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Wichita State vs. UCF Odds, Picks | College Basketball Betting Guide (Wednesday, Dec. 28)

Wichita State vs. UCF Odds, Picks | College Basketball Betting Guide (Wednesday, Dec. 28) article feature image
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Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images. Pictured: Craig Porter Jr. & Melvion Flanagan (Wichita State)

  • Wichita State hosts UCF on Wednesday as both teams open AAC play.
  • The Knights are known for their top-notch defense under Johnny Dawkins, but will it be able to slow down the Shockers?
  • Brett Pund has your answers and more in his betting preview.

Wichita State vs. UCF Odds

Wednesday, Dec. 28
7 p.m. ET
ESPN+
Wichita State Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+7.5
-110
121.5
-110o / -110u
N/A
UCF Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-7.5
-110
121.5
-110o / -110u
N/A
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

UCF hosts Wichita State at Addition Financial Arena on Wednesday night in the AAC opener for both schools.

The Knights enter American action with a 9-3 record, picking up wins in four of their last five games.

Meanwhile, the Shockers have had a difficult start to the season (sitting at 7-5), but they are always a difficult team to beat in this conference.

These are two great defenses and two teams that both play at slow tempos. That’s why I think this could be a dogfight to open up AAC play.


Wichita State Shockers

When you look at the results from this season, you see some good and some bad for this Wichita State team. This is a squad that won at Richmond and has taken Missouri to overtime.

However, the Shockers have also lost at home to Alcorn State and failed to score more than 50 points in defeats to Kansas State and Oklahoma State.

Things will have to turn around in AAC play for coach Isaac Brown and his program, especially after a soft non-conference slate that ranks 218th by KenPom.

The identity of Brown’s team is on the defensive end of the floor, where the Shockers rank in the top 30 in adjusted efficiency (26th), effective field goal percentage (8th), opponent 2-point percentage (9th) and 3-point percentage (26th), according to Bart Torvik.

Wichita State has also played better away from home. On the road or on a neutral floor, Brown’s squad picked up wins over Richmond and Grand Canyon, while dropping narrow defeats to San Francisco and Kansas State.

One thing to keep an eye on is whether starting point guard and leading scorer Craig Porter Jr. will play in this game after suffering an injury in the last contest. He would be a huge loss in a conference opener.

UCF Knights

Legendary coach Johnny Dawkins has put together a solid program in Orlando, with this team aspiring for postseason play.

The Knights have victories over Florida State, Oklahoma State, Santa Clara and Ole Miss this season. They also have close losses to Missouri and No. 14 Miami (FL).

Similar to the Shockers, UCF also boasts a very stout defense that’s inside the top 35 in multiple categories, including AdjD (31st) and EFG (33rd).

Offensively, Central Florida does a great job at shooting the 3 and crashing the boards, but this is a team known for defense.

Dawkins’ squad is led by freshman forward Taylor Hendricks, who averages 15.3 points per game and seven rebounds per contest.

The Knights also have three additional players who average double figures in Darius Johnson, Ithiel Horton and C.J. Kelly.

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Wichita State vs. UCF Betting Pick

Looking at the odds at DraftKings, UCF is listed as the favorite (-7.5) while the total is set at 121.5. I don’t see any value in picking a side, but I do think you can attack the total.

With that said, my best bet is for this game to fall under the total of 121.5 points, which I would bet to as low as 117.5.

In matchups against solid defensive squads that also play at a slower tempo, Wichita State has struggled to score, averaging just 52.5 points. This same play would have cashed in all four of those contests.

If the Shockers are also without their starting point guard, they’re going to have even more issues scoring against a Knights defense that held the stronger teams on their non-conference schedule to 59 points per game.

The other key part to this that will help is the pace of play, as both schools are outside the top 290 in Tempo, according to KenPom.

UCF could have some success crashing the offensive boards, but I think the Shockers will do well enough to hold the Knights to just one shot on most trips.

Give me an under to start AAC action.

Pick: Under 121 (Play to 117.5)

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