Boca Raton Bowl Odds & Pick: Bet UCF to Cover vs. BYU on Tuesday Night
Conor Kvatek/Collegiate Images/Getty Images. Pictured: Marlon Williams.
- Tuesday brings us a Boca Raton Bowl between two teams who love to put up points in the UCF Knights and BYU Cougars.
- With such a high total, points are expected, but Collin Wilson sees value on a side — the underdog, to be exact.
- Check out Wilson's full betting preview below to see why he's backing UCF against a powerful BYU squad.
UCF vs. BYU Odds
The Boca Raton Bowl quickly sold out an allotment of 6,000 tickets at FAU Stadium, which has a max capacity of 30,000.
The game between BYU and Central Florida will be a preview of the future, with a home-and-home schedule between the teams in 2023 and 2024. These two programs have met twice in previous history, as both squads won by a touchdown in 2011 and 2014.
The Cougars and Knights have preferred high-scoring ball games this season with a combined 7-2 mark to the over on the road. Central Florida runs the fastest tempo in the nation at 19.3 seconds per play.
The 2020 pandemic season got off to a tough start for Josh Heupel’s team. Central Florida had 10 players opt out before the season began. A 2-2 start may have been a result of depth and inconsistent scheduling due to COVID-19.
The Knights would win four of their final five games, but news of more opt-outs came after the Thanksgiving weekend win over South Florida.
Leading wide receiver Marlon Williams declared for the NFL Draft and will not be a part of the Boca Raton Bowl. The senior leads the Knights in targets, receptions, and touchdowns while accumulating over 1,000 receiving yards.
Williams had 22 avoided tackles on the season, as no other UCF player had more than five. Quarterback Dillon Gabriel will have plenty of other weapons at his disposal, targeting Jaylon Robinson and Jacob Harris at least 47 times this season.
The BYU strength of schedule was a concern for the College Football Playoff committee, as Sagarin ranks the Cougars 106th.
BYU failed to cover the spread over the final two games against Coastal Carolina and San Diego State, with both games going under the total.
Head coach Kalani Sitake indicated that offensive lineman Clark Barrington, wide receiver Gunner Romney and running back Tyler Allgeier will all be cleared after missing the game against the Aztecs.
Time of possession will be key for the Cougars. BYU struggled down the stretch, allowing San Diego State almost 37 minutes of possession and Coastal Carolina close to 38 minutes.
Standard downs Success Rate by opponents were the main component, as the Cougars defense could not get opposing offenses off the field.
The national average sits at 47%, but Coastal Carolina posted a 60% Success Rate in standard downs while San Diego State notched 57%.
Betting Analysis & Pick
There is reason to think BYU will find plenty of success against the Central Florida defense. The Knights are outside the top 80 in Defensive Success Rate, with a rank of 113th against pass explosiveness.
Zach Wilson should feast through the air, as UCF ranks 104th in passing downs Success Rate.
BYU vs. UCF Matchup Matrix
Central Florida’s owns a rank of 102nd in Defensive Finishing Drives, allowing 4.1 points per trip when the opponent passes the 40-yard line.
Despite the defensive failure, the offense has been excellent in putting points on the board. The Knights are 15th in the nation at 4.5 points per opportunity. Even with the loss of Williams at receiver, the UCF offense should easily move the ball against a BYU defense that is 71st in Line Yards and 59th in defending pass explosiveness.
The BYU schedule had a few uptempo teams throughout 2020, but none were as fast as Central Florida.
UTSA runs at 24.6 seconds per play and put up 14 straight points in the fourth quarter for a cover. Both UCF and Central Florida rank top-15 in third-down conversions, making the total in the market justified.
Look for the Knights to keep pace with the Cougars in a scoring extravaganza.
Pick: Central Florida +7.