American Conference Week 7 Overview: Central Florida Escapes at Memphis a Winner

Doug Upstone

Monday, October 8, 2018 4:05 PM UTC

Monday, Oct. 8, 2018 4:05 PM UTC

The American Athletic Conference, which is the correct name, has a trio of teams that have not tasted defeat yet. All three this week are ranked and one of them has climbed into the Top 10. That one team is Central Florida, who has won 19 games in a row (13-5-1 ATS) and is taking on a Memphis team that is undefeated at home.

Central Florida (5-0 SU and 4-1 ATS ) at Memphis (4-2 SU and 3-3 ATS)Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (ABC/ESPN2)Free NCAAF Pick: Central Florida coversBest Line Offered: 5Dimes

A large chunk of the country will get to see UCF on ABC Saturday afternoon and the college football odds have the Knights as 4.5-point favorites. This is an all-out war for Memphis, whose lost five in a row at home to UCF, though they have covered the spread four times. Here is what to look for.

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Two Elite Offenses

Some might scoff at the fact Central Florida is 7th nationally in scoring (48.6 PPG) and Memphis is 11th (46.2), go ahead and create the story about all the tough teams Alabama has played to lead the country in points.

Each of these squads knows how to run and pass, which is what makes them so hard to defend. The Knights are third in the country in total offense, rushing for 269 yards a game and throwing for 305 YPG.

Memphis is sixth nationally and is about as close as you can get to complete balance at 274 yards running and 272 yards passing.

Defense Will Decide Outcome

While most acknowledge this Central Florida team does not have as many defensive playmakers as last year, this is still a strong unit, holding opponents to 17.4 PPG. The Knights struggled early against the run, permitting 239 YPG, but in the past two outings, they have only allowed 192 total rush yards.

Both of Memphis defeats were on the road and they got run over, conceding 291 YPG on the ground at Navy and Tulane. The Tigers are typically better at home but have always had a hard time with UCF's offensive diversity.

Whichever defense can make their opponent at least somewhat one dimensional, they will have the edge.

No Hero Pick Here

It is worth entertaining the thought Memphis could win outright or cover, yet there is not much to back it up. The Tigers are 0-11 all-time against Central Florida and when the spread has been a touchdown or less, they are 1-6 ATS, with the lone cover by a half point. It's hard to imagine the Knights will be completely slowed down running the ball and the Tigers are 10-32 ATS when they allow 200 to 250 rushing yards. Take UCF for college football picks.

Doug's 2018 CFB Record: 8-7

Around the American Conference

South Florida at Tulsa (TBA), Friday 7 p.m. ET, on ESPN: South Florida was not expected to get off a 5-0 start and they are winning by 12 PPG and they are 8-1 ATS after scoring at least 40 points. This is not your typical Tulsa team but they are still a dangerous 12-1 ATS vs. winning foes.

Temple at Navy (+5.5), 3:30 p.m. ET, on CBSSN: Temple is in the rugged AAC East and has to win these crossover games to stay in contention. The Owls are 5-1 ATS at Navy. This Navy team is decided weaker on offense than past versions, yet is 18-7-1 ATS at home recently.

Houston at East Carolina (+16.5), 7 p.m. ET, on CBSSN: Houston's in a great spot to win the AAC West even now and just has to keep winning. However, they are only 4-11 ATS in their latest 15 conference clashes. For East Carolina, it's about hanging in and the home club in the matchup is 4-0 ATS.

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