UCF vs. Tulsa Betting Odds, Picks: Fade the Heavy Line Movement?
Alonzo Adams, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Shamari Brooks
- The line for UCF-Tulsa has seen some significant movement since opening, and Central Florida is now a 17-point favorite.
- Collin Wilson gives his take on the game, as well as how to play it at the current number.
UCF at Tulsa Betting Odds
- Spread: UCF -17
- Over/Under: 69.5
- Time: Friday, 7 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN 2
UCF at Tulsa Line Movement
For much of the week, this spread was reacting as expected to a 77% backing of Central Florida. Opening numbers varied as some of the earliest numbers were inside of 14, but by the time most books released the spread it was already past the two-touchdown point. Still, given the Knights’ popularity, oddsmakers increased the line up to 17 by Wednesday, and a few shops even went past that mark, only to be slammed back by some bigger bettors.
The spread now sits at a flat 17 as the 23% of bettors on Tulsa have accounted for 58% of actual money.
The total hasn’t seen quite as much movement, but it does feature a similar discrepancy between bets and dollars. With the 46% of bettors on the under generating 59% of money, the number has dropped a bit from 70.5 to 69.5. — Danny Donahue
Market data accurate as of Friday evening and via Sports Insights.
Collin Wilson: The Market Is Underrating Tulsa’s Defense
It doesn’t take long for money to flood the market when Central Florida is favored by multiple scores in a primetime weeknight game. Like clockwork, the market opens and steam comes in on the Knights before any underdog money shows up.
Circa Sports opened this game at UCF -12.5 on Sunday and predictably that number took off. Tulsa comes into this game on a five-game losing streak and, perhaps more importantly, are not bowl eligible since they have seven losses on the season.
If Tulsa is still motivated to finish this season strong, there is reason to believe the Golden Hurricanes can keep this game within the number. Tulsa covered the spread against Memphis, Cincinnati and SMU thanks to an improved 3-3-5 defense that ranks 22nd in opponent passing success rate. Tulsa’s defense also does a great job keeping teams out of the end zone, ranking 29th in opponent red zone scoring.
Bookmakers are expecting plenty of points, but our projections have this total at 63 points. If Tulsa is able to cut down Central Florida’s passing game, we could see plenty of punts as both of these defenses rank inside the top 30 in opponent 3rd-down conversion percentage.
Our projected spread for this game is UCF -14, so there is some value on the underdog, but I’m hoping this number ticks above 17 before I get involved. As for the total, I’m keying in on the Under at 71 or higher.
Pick: Tulsa +17.5 or better, Under 71 or better