UCF vs. Florida Atlantic Odds, Picks: How to Bet This College Football Week 3 Battle in Boca Raton

UCF vs. Florida Atlantic Odds, Picks: How to Bet This College Football Week 3 Battle in Boca Raton article feature image

Photo by Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Zach Rodriguez & RJ Harvey (UCF)

  • UCF and Florida Atlantic square off in southern Florida as part of college football's Week 3 slate.
  • FAU has already played three games so far this season (2-1), and will face its toughest opponent yet, the Knights, who are 1-1.
  • Kyle Remillard previews the game and offers up his best bet.

UCF vs. Florida Atlantic Odds

Saturday, Sept. 17
7:30 p.m. ET
CBS Sports Network
UCF Odds
-110o / -110u
Florida Atlantic Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

It’s an in-state rivalry as Central Florida makes the short trip to match up against Florida Atlantic.

The Knights will utilize their extra day of preparation in this matchup after losing to Louisville, 20-14, last Friday. The Central Florida offense took a 14-7 lead early in the second quarter before being held scoreless over the final 40 minutes. It was the Knights' first loss in the Bounce House since 2020.

Now they match up against a sneaky Florida Atlantic team that is 2-1 on the season. The defense has shown significant improvement from a group that allowed over 400 yards of offense last season.

But is that improvement just a product of a soft schedule?

The Knights will look to put that to the test, as they attempt to bounce back from their home loss to Louisville. 

Central Florida Knights

Over recent years, Central Florida has owned a high tempo, fast-paced offensive scheme that loves to push the ball down the field. Finding explosive plays while mixing in a bruising running game was the staple of the program.

The offense appeared to be revived in Week 1 during a 56-10 thrashing of South Carolina State.

But last week, the offense completely stalled for much of the game against Louisville’s defense. The group was held without points on its final 10 drives after starting with touchdowns on two of its first three possessions.

John Rhys Plumlee looked out of sorts and completed just 16-of-34 passes for 131 yards — averaging only 3.9 yards per attempt.

The rushing game was efficient, putting up 5.5 yards per carry and finding paydirt twice.

Through two games, the UCF offense ranks outside the top 100 in Passing Success Rate and Finishing Drives.

Several players have preached that the offense would rebound in a big way against FAU this week. And I believe it. 

The Knights' defense was mediocre on Friday night against an explosive Louisville offense. They held Malik Cunningham to 6.9 yards per pass attempt, but he was able to expose them with his legs, rushing for 121 yards, including a 43-yard touchdown.

FAU quarterback N’Kosi Perry also possesses dual-threat ability, but he won’t see nearly as many designed runs as Cunningham did.

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Florida Atlantic Owls

Florida Atlantic laid an egg down the stretch last season, allowing 35 points per game over its final four games. The defense was expected to be the anchor of this program after returning 53% of its production, according to TARP.

Through three games, the unit has been a mixed bag.

It held a Charlotte offense — which was without its starting quarterback for much of the game — to 13 points. The group dominated Southeastern LA, holding it to less than 250 yards of offense and nine points.

But a mediocre Ohio offense thrashed the Owls' defense for nearly 350 passing yards and four touchdowns.

Now Florida Atlantic will need to formulate a plan to slow down Plumlee and the UCF high-tempo offense.

The Owls will likely stick with their 3-4 defensive scheme and utilize cornerback Jayden Williams to bring pressure from the outside. Williams leads the team in sacks despite lining up at the cornerback position.

The FAU offense will need to carry the load to keep the Owls competitive in this matchup. Through three games, the Owls have averaged 41 points per game with a well-balanced attack.

Fifth-year senior Perry will need to keep his hot streak alive after tossing nine touchdowns to two interceptions on the season. He's averaging 9.5 yards per pass attempt this season and has rushed for another two touchdowns.

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UCF vs. Florida Atlantic Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how UCF and Florida Atlantic match up statistically:

UCF Offense vs. Florida Atlantic Defense
Rush Success6359
Line Yards525
Pass Success130111
Pass Blocking**4483
Finishing Drives12185
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Florida Atlantic Offense vs. UCF Defense
Rush Success61108
Line Yards6938
Pass Success758
Pass Blocking**548
Finishing Drives3485
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling2999
PFF Coverage54119
SP+ Special Teams1282
Seconds per Play22.2 (14)24.5 (33)
Rush Rate56.9% (48)58.2% (38)
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.

UCF vs. Florida Atlantic Betting Pick

We’re at an interesting point early in the season where some advanced metrics may be skewed. I can assure you that Florida Atlantic does not own a top-10 offense in the country, and Central Florida’s offense isn’t in the bottom-100.

Much of that is because Florida Atlantic has played nobody.

The Owls are averaging an impressive 41 points per game, but they’ve matched up against the 105th-ranked Ohio defense, the 128th-ranked Charlotte defense and an FCS defense.

Now they face a major step up in class against a fired up Central Florida group who will want to avenge last week's defeat.

The Knights will come into this game inspired to find their offensive groove again. The high-tempo offense is like a train, once it gets going it becomes almost impossible to slow down.

Plumlee is poised to bounce back from his lackluster effort in a big way. I have Central Florida as a double-digit favorite, and I will be playing it all the way up to that number. 

Pick: UCF -8 (Play to -10)

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