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Tyjae Spears of the Tulane Green Wave celebrates after beating the Cincinnati Bearcats 27-24 at Nippert Stadium on November 25, 2022 in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Tyjae Spears of the Tulane Green Wave celebrates after beating the Cincinnati Bearcats 27-24 at Nippert Stadium on November 25, 2022 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images via AFP.

Tulane is making its first-ever AAC Championship Game appearance and gets to play on its home field against UCF. Read on for our top UCF-Tulane college football picks.

Tulane (10-2, 7-1) had everything at stake last week against Cincinnati, as the winner of that game would be guaranteed a berth in the AAC Championship. The Green Wave impressively ended Cincinnati's 32-game home winning streak (the second-longest active streak entering the week) with a 27-24 victory.

Once Tulane beat Cincinnati, UCF (9-3, 6-2) knew all it had to do to secure its spot in the championship game was to beat the one-win South Florida Bulls, which it did 46-39. Tulane gets a chance to avenge its only conference loss, as UCF won at Tulane 38-31 on November 12.

Here are our top picks for the college football AAC Championship Game between UCF and Tulane (odds via FanDuel Sportsbook, BetMGM, and DraftKings Sportsbook; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

Check out all of our college football best bets and all of our top picks for Week 14!

UCF vs. Tulane Game Info

Date: Saturday, Dec. 3, 4 p.m. ET
Location: Yulman Stadium, New Orleans, LA
Weather: 77 degrees, 18% chance of precipitation, 5 mph SE wind

UCF vs. Tulane Odds

UCF vs. Tulane Odds Analysis

With overwhelming support from the betting market for the team playing the AAC Championship Game at home, the consensus opening line of Tulane -2 is up to -4 as of Saturday morning. The Green Wave have drawn 69% of the tickets and 72% of the handle.

The consensus opening Over/Under of 58 has dipped to 57 despite 89% of the tickets accounting for 85% of the handle on the Over.

Check out Bet365's "Win and You're In" boost for this weekend's slate of games.

UCF vs. Tulane Picks

  • Spread: Tulane -3.5 (-115 via FanDuel)
  • Over/Under: Over 56.5 (-110 via BetMGM)
  • Prop pick: UCF-Tulane first-half total Over 27.5 (-115 via DraftKings)

UCF vs. Tulane ATS Pick

Tulane -3.5 (-115) ★★★

This is arguably Tulane's biggest home game in school history, with its first opportunity to secure an AAC Championship and a subsequent New Year's Six Bowl appearance on the line. Though UCF won at Yulman Stadium just three weeks ago, the Green Wave have been dominant at home, going 27-12 ATS there over the previous five seasons.

UCF may be without its starting quarterback, John Rhys Plumlee, for this matchup, as he left last week's game against South Florida due to a hamstring injury. Even if he can play, any lingering effects of that injury could hamper one of Plumlee's biggest strengths, as he carved up the Green Wave defense for 176 yards on the ground and two rushing touchdowns in their first meeting.

We also are concerned with how the Knights finished last week's game against USF. UCF raced out to a 28-0 lead after the Bulls turned the ball over on three of their first five possessions but trailed 39-38 and needed a touchdown with 20 seconds remaining to secure the victory.

FanDuel and DraftKings are the only sportsbooks where Tulane backers can find a line of -3.5, so placing wagers there is worth the extra -115 juice.

UCF vs. Tulane O/U Pick

Over 56.5 (-110) ★★★★

The Over cashed in five of Tulane's last six games, and we expect similar fireworks Saturday. The Green Wave have a well-balanced offense, as they entered last week with the 34th-highest run rate, which has opened things up in the passing game. Tulane also ranked 24th in passing PPA and 32nd in passing success rate, and that balance allowed it to control the ball for 34 minutes against Cincinnati. The Green Wave also racked up 221 yards on the ground against a defense that had ranked 19th in rushing success rate and 16th in PPA.

There is no doubt that Tulane benefitted from Cincinnati quarterback Ben Bryant's foot injury, which subsequently led to Evan Prater's first career start. But Prater still ran for 83 yards, and it is concerning for the Green Wave defense that it allowed 235 yards rushing on 5.5 yards per carry in last week's victory.

BetMGM is the only sportsbook offering both a line of 56.5 and at minimal juice, as FanDuel requires bettors to pay -115 odds to back the Over at that number.

UCF vs. Tulane Prop Pick

First-half total Over 27.5 (-115) ★★★

Tulane and Cincinnati combined for 23 first-half points in a game where a quarterback was making his first career start, so we have confidence that the Knights and Green Wave can combine for at least four touchdowns through the first 30 minutes, even if Mikey Keene is under center for UCF. These two teams nearly exceeded this projected total in the first quarter of their first meeting, as they combined for 38 first-half points. 

The Over is 8-3 in UCF's previous 11 road games, and we expect that trend to support early fireworks in this championship game.

Where to Bet on UCF vs. Tulane Picks

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UCF-Tulane picks made 12/2/2022 at 6:25 a.m. ET.