Central Florida Takes Shot At Alabama, Sadly Not In Football

Willie Bee

Wednesday, November 28, 2018 2:46 PM UTC

Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018 2:46 PM UTC

We won’t see Alabama and UCF on a football field this year, but we do get them Thursday night on the basketball court, and we have a free pick for the Tide-Knights matchup.  Bet confidently with SBRpicks.com.

Season Record: 13-8-1 (+4.55 units)

Alabama (5-1 SU, 1-5 ATS) at Central Florida (5-1 SU, 5-1 ATS)Thursday, 7 p.m. ET (ESPNU)Free Pick: Central Florida ATSBest Line Offered: Heritage

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There’s no question that we’d rather see Alabama meet Central Florida on a gridiron and not hardwood. But the good folks in charge of the College Football Playoffs don’t seem too likely to let that happen, so we’re left with the Crimson Tide visiting the Knights for some Thursday night hoops action instead.

Each side is seeking its sixth win of the season, Alabama looking to avoid its sixth spread defeat while UCF can earn its sixth ATS victory as the favorite in the fifth meeting between the schools. Methodical offenses are shared by both the Crimson Tide and Knights, leaving bettors looking at a total in the mid-130s.

UCF Holding Foes To 37.8 Percent FG, 24th In Country

Despite failing to cover the NCAA basketball odds in five of their first six games, the Crimson Tide really only have one ugly mark on their record in the loss to Northeastern to open the Charleston Classic two weeks ago. Alabama was cold from the outset of that 68-52 setback while the Huskies shot a season-high 52.4 percent from the field in the upset. Avery Johnson’s troops bounced back in the tourney with wins over Ball State and Wichita State, just missing the cover in the latter, and come into this one off a 78-72 decision over Murray State, freshman Kira Lewis leading the way with his second consecutive 20+ point performance.

Johnny Dawkins doesn’t have a particularly deep roster, but there’s plenty of talent to make the Knights a legitimate AAC and NCAA Tournament contender if they can stay healthy. Aubrey Dawkins is finally getting a chance to play for his dad, and was the catalyst behind a 78-62 win to take the Myrtle Beach Invitational, UCF closing as 2½-point chalk over Western Kentucky at Bookmaker in that one, and 7-6 center Tacko Fall was behind the win and cover vs. Northern Kentucky last Saturday, just missing a double-double while netting a season-high 20.

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We went into their house and got the W last year.

Let's make it hard on Bama when they roll in Thursday night! #KnightNation #ChargeOn pic.twitter.com/A3sNb0VRdL

— UCF Men's Basketball (@UCF_MBB) November 28, 2018
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Can ‘Bama Avenge Last Year’s Upset Loss?

Then ranked No. 24 and off to a 6-1 start last season, Alabama blew a double-digit lead at home to UCF and fell, 65-62. The Crimson Tide went scoreless for more than four minutes in the second half to let the Knights back into the game, Central Florida backers getting 10 in the contest that didn’t quite have enough to get past a 135-point total. Alabama won the first three games in the series, those matchups coming in Tuscaloosa from 1987-94.

The coaching matchup between Johnson and Dawkins is almost as intriguing as the action we’ll see on the floor. What concerns me most is Alabama’s inconsistent offense against UCF’s fine defense, which is why I’m willing to lay the points with my free college basketball pick.

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