Georgia Tech vs. UCF Updated Odds & Betting Pick: Yellow Jackets’ New-Look Offense is Turning Heads (Saturday, Sept. 19)
Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Bobby Dodd Stadium, Home of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.
- Georgia Tech and UCF meet for a Saturday primetime matchup on ABC at 3:30 p.m. ET, and the Yellow Jackets are flying high after their Week 2 upset on the road at Florida State.
- Following Tech's big win last week, the betting market has largely been high on Georgia Tech’s prospects to contend with the Knights in their Week 3 matchup.
- Collin Wilson breaks down odds for the game, including why he’s eyeing the game total based on Georgia Tech’s Week 2 metrics.
Georgia Tech vs. Central Florida Odds
|Georgia Tech Odds||+8.5 [BET NOW]|
|Central Florida Odds||-8.5 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||63.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||3:30 p.m. ET|
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Georgia Tech opened Year 2 of Geoff Collins’ tenure with a straight-up victory as an underdog against Florida State. From our ACC Conference Preview article, we knew the Yellow Jackets would be scrappy on defense with a rise to 80th in success rate and returning 94% of their 2019 production.
Also unsurprising was a shortage of success in finishing drives. Out of 14 trips past the opponent 40-yard line, Florida State and Georgia Tech averaged just 2.15 points.
The game signified the emergence of quarterback Jeff Sims. The Georgia Tech freshman added 64 yards on the ground in addition to his 277 yards passing. The Yellow Jackets had five passes of over 15 yards and a 64% success rate on standard downs — well above the national average of 47%. The defense emulated Collins’ previous units at Temple and Florida: Havoc-minded defenders that forced two fumbles, six tackles for loss and seven passes defensed.
The Yellow Jackets now find themselves in a non-conference sandwich game against Central Florida. Georgia Tech draws a matchup against Syracuse in Week 4, while Central Florida gets a warm-up before conference play with East Carolina.
Central Florida Knights
The Knights had a few spring practices before the pandemic shutdown activities. After resuming practices in August, 10 players opted out of the season. Among them was Kalia Davis, who ranked third on the team in sacks and hurries last season.
On the offensive side, Darriel Mack Jr opted out of the season, leaving Quadry Jones as the new backup quarterback. Although Mack was behind Dillon Gabriel on the depth chart, the 230-pound quarterback was essential in short-yardage attempts on third-downs and in the red zone.
Despite the loss of Mack, UCF still returns 67% of an offense that ranked 41st in success rate in 2019. Moreover, Central Florida was one of the most explosive teams in the country last year, boasting more 30-plus yard plays than team in the FBS.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Our Action Network projections have UCF favored by 11 points as the spread has moved north of a touchdown most of the week. Considering that we have seen a number of teams with a game under their belt win decidedly against teams playing their first game this year, Central Florida may not offer value until -6.5. Arkansas State, South Alabama, Army and Houston Baptist all covered in Game 2 against opponents making their season debuts.
The better wager may come on the over in a sandwich spot for Georgia Tech. One hidden aspect of Georgia Tech’s performance in its win over Florida State is the Yellow Jackets’ marked decrease in seconds per play.Georgia Tech was dead-last in plays per game last season, but in Week 2, Georgia Tech averaged 24 seconds per play.
For the sake of comparison, the Yellow Jackets have the same pace as Memphis and are just one second slower than the new uptempo philosophy implemented at Miami.
We know Central Florida will run the fastest pace in the country under Jeff Heupel, but if there is an uptick in pace from Georgia Tech as well, then this number should sail to the over. Any offensive success rate and finishing drive improvement from Jeff Sims will help our wager.
The Bet: Over 60.5