College Football Picks: Bet UCF to Cover -13 Against Florida International

Troy West

Thursday, September 3, 2015 12:54 AM GMT

Thursday, Sep. 3, 2015 12:54 AM GMT

We look for betting value for your college football picks as Florida International Golden Panthers collide with the UCF Black Knights in Orlando on Thursday night.

Florida International with their hands full against the Black Knights in Orlando on Thursday's opening night in college football.

An early 6:00 PM ET start for this tilt, which features two programs that are not far apart in location, but are far apart in talent. College football odds have UCF listed as a 13.5-point chalk and the total at 46.

UCF has been guided by a great coach, George O Leary. He has essentially taken the Black Knights program from a 2.5 star rated program and moved them up to a 4 star. Meanwhile Florida Internationa, a 2-star program over all these years has failed to improve in a long time. Some would describe FIU as a having a culture of losing, a doormat to college football. We are predicting the trend of both these programs to play out the same way it has been going for awhile in Orlando on Thursday.

When examining the UCF football team there is high praise. They have a returning starter in Justin Holman at QB, a guy you can trust who threw for nearly 3000 yards. They have their top 2 leading rushers back. William Stanback and Dontravious Wilson combined for 1100+ yards last year. Their offense is clearly balanced. They have won back to back American Athletic Conference championships. They have also won 31 games and 2 bowl wins over the last 3 seasons. The stadium has received major upgrades, this will only help get the fans into a frenzy on Thursday. The Knights are 40-11 all time at there current stadium and have won 15 of there last 16 at home. The Black Knights are 9-3 all time on Thursdays and last season went 5-0 on weekdays.      

Now let's briefly examine the Florida International Panthers before predicting the outcome of this affair. The Panthers also return their starting QB Ale McGough, however he struggled as a freshmen. It looks like their running game will be the focus of their offense, returning 3 starters from the backfield. I have to question their coaching, as Ron Turner is 5-19 there and 47-80 in his career as a head coach. This is not the recipe to get a road cover.  The Panthers are coming off a 4-8 season in which they suffered an extremely embarrassing loss at the hands of Bethune-Cookman at home in their first game. There were 2 teams that fit the caliber of UCF on their schedule last year: Marshall and Rice. They played both those teams at home and suffered losses to both teams by 14 or more points. This bodes well for taking the Black Knights -13.5 with your college football picks. This is a disturbing trend if you happen to be a fan or backer of Florida International.

We are expecting a one-sided affair in Orlando on Thursday. Everything points to a coaching mismatch. The Black Knights with coach O' Leary and the luck of his Irish heritage will dominate early and often in a rout of the Panthers. Also the caliber of talent UCF has put out in the last few years out weights the FIU Panthers greatly, therefore the Black Knights cruise to a 41-10 win.

College Football Pick: UCF -13 (-105) at BetOnline 

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