AAC Week 5 Overview: UCF Will Slay Pittsburgh, Dilly-Dilly

Monday, September 24, 2018 4:42 PM UTC

Monday, Sep. 24, 2018 4:42 PM UTC

Central Florida was tested for a half before its offense hit another gear in a 56-36 win over Florida Atlantic in Week 4. UCF, winner of 17 straight, now plays Pitt. Let's look at this week's AAC action.

<p style="text-align:right;"><em><strong>Doug's 2018 CFB Record: 4-4</strong></em></p><h2 style="text-align:center;"><a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/betting-odds/college-football/pittsburgh-panthers-vs-ucf-knights-3449064/odds/" title="Game Odds">AAC Spotlight: Pittsburgh (2-2 SU, 1-3 ATS ) at No. 13 UCF (3-0 SU, 2-1 ATS)</a></h2><h2 style="text-align:center;">Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (ESPNU)</h2><h2 style="text-align:center;">Free NCAAF Pick: Central Florida -15</h2><h2 style="text-align:center;">Best Line Offered: <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/Sportsbook/?v=4406&amp;book=Heritage" rel="nofollow" title="Top Rated Sportsbook">Heritage</a></h2><p>[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3449064, "sportsbooksIds":[169,19,274,180,1275], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]</p><p>Central Florida brought back 12 starters from its self-proclaimed "national championship" team, six on each side of the ball. Offensively, under first-year head coach Josh Heupel, the Knights are very capable, averaging 50 points per game (9th nationally) and they are remarkably balanced.</p><p>UCF is 5th nationally in total offense, averaging 283.7 on the ground and 304 yards passing. If quarterback McKenzie Milton was even Drew Brees or Russell Wilson's height, the junior would be in the conversation for NFL prospects. He's fast, mobile and completing 64.1 percent of his passes, many that are thrown done the field. Though listed at 5-foot-11, TV analysts that love him as a college quarterback agree he's closer to 5-10.</p><p>[/]{"component":"video", "type":"youtube", "url":"https://www.youtube.com/embed/Lk0ePORTyas", "videoSize":"Large" }[/]</p><p>Milton and the Knights are 15-point favorites for Saturday's game against the Pittsburgh Panthers, according to the early <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/betting-odds/college-football/" target="_blank" title="Live NCAAF Odds Board">college football odds</a>. While Pitt is not an elite Atlantic Coast Conference squad, for Central Florida it still looks good on the resume when racking up wins over Power 5 programs.</p><p>When Pat Narduzzi was hired from Michigan State as a top-notch defensive coordinator, Pittsburgh fans thought they were going to see a return to a rugged Panthers defense and the offense would develop. To this point, the defense has been a disappointment and here are the results:</p><p><strong>2015: </strong>26.1 PPG allowed<br /><strong>2016: </strong>35.2 PPG allowed<br /><strong>2017: </strong>26.6 PPG allowed<br /><strong>2018: </strong>28.8 PPG allowed</p><p>This year's upperclassmen include Narduzzi's first two recruiting classes and he welcomed back nine starters. Even against a run-of-the-mill North Carolina team that is filled with controversy, Pittsburgh saw a 28-21 halftime lead fall apart, blitzed 17-0 in the third quarter and falling 38-35 as a three-point road favorite. Currently ranked 98th nationally against the run with 191 YPG surrendered, a Panthers offense that averages only 25 PPG will be asked to match points against an explosive team on the road.</p><p>Though Central Florida is not as strong against the run this season and is 119th (239 YPG), they have more than enough offense to compensate for that against a laboring Pitt defense. For <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/picks/college-football/" target="_blank" title="Free NCAAF Picks">college football picks</a> I see the Panthers are 7-19-1 ATS in their last 27 nonconference assignments, while the Knights are 8-3-1 ATS off a spread winner.</p><p>If you think Pittsburgh has a shot, consider they are 15-point road underdogs and Florida Atlantic closed at -14 last week in the same spot. Think about what that means when assessing Pitt.</p><p> </p><h2 style="text-align:center;">Around the AAC (All Games Saturday Unless Noted)</h2><p><strong><a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/betting-odds/college-football/memphis-tigers-vs-tulane-green-wave-3448869/odds/" title="Game Odds">Memphis at Tulane (+14)</a>, Friday, 8 p.m. ET, on ESPN2: </strong>Memphis has won 11 straight in this series and is 9-2 ATS. Tulane has covered seven of their last eight home games but is 1-10 ATS on Fridays.</p><p><strong><a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/betting-odds/college-football/temple-owls-vs-boston-college-eagles-3448639/odds/" title="Game Odds">Temple (+14.5) at Boston College</a>, noon ET, on ESPNU: </strong>You might remember these teams used to play in the Big East together. Temple comes in 11-4 ATS when facing a winning team. The B.C. Eagles are 17-7-1 ATS off a spread setback.</p><p><strong><a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/betting-odds/college-football/old-dominion-monarchs-vs-east-carolina-pirates-3448875/odds/" title="Game Odds">Old Dominion at East Carolina (-5)</a>, 3:30 p.m. ET, on ESPN3: </strong>Old Dominion is off a historic upset of Virginia Tech. The Monarchs faced East Carolina one previous time and lost 52-38. The Pirates come in 3-7 ATS vs. Conference USA foes.</p><p><strong><a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/betting-odds/college-football/cincinnati-bearcats-vs-connecticut-huskies-3448644/odds/" title="Game Odds">Cincinnati at Connecticut (+17.5)</a>, 3:30 p.m. ET, on CBSSN: </strong>When these teams met two years ago, Cincinnati had two yards rushing and lost 20-9. That won't happen this time but the Bearcats are 4-12 ATS in AAC play of late. Against FBS competition this season, the Huskies are losing by 41.3 PPG.</p><p><strong>Houston Baptist (TBA) at SMU, 7 p.m. ET, on ESPN3: </strong>Houston Baptist is out of the Southland Conference and is 1-2 this season. SMU is 10-5-1 ATS in nonconference games the last four years.</p>
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