UCF vs Arkansas State Free Cure Bowl Total Prediction
Central Florida Knights (6-6 SU, 8-4-0 ATS, 4-8-0 O/U) vs
Arkansas State Red Wolves (7-5 SU, 6-6-0 ATS, 2-9-1 O/U)
Saturday, December 17, 2016 at 5:30pm
Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida
Line: Arkansas State +5.5, O/U 50
The UCF Knights will be staying in their hometown this bowl season, as they take on the Arkansas State Red Wolves in the AutoNation Cure Bowl. The Knights have lost their last two games while the Red Wolves have won seven of their last eight games. The Autonation Cure Bowl was added last season to expand the number of bowl games and while it’s not a high profile bowl game the majority of the proceeds goes to cancer research. The Cure Bowl is the first of it’s kind and we can expect to see more of these bowl games in the future.
UCF was a miserable 0-12 last season but they had a bounce back year going 6-6 in 2016. UCF has won 3 of their last 4 bowl games and they seem to be back on the right track heading into the future with HC Scott Frost. The Knights have been led this year by McKenzie Milton, who has thrown for 1808 yards, 9 TDs and 7 INT’s. This has not been a very good offense this year as they are 108th in total yards, 88th in passing, 96th in rushing and 61st in scoring, putting up 30.1 ppg on the year so far.
The defense ranks 49th in total yards allowed, 29th vs the pass, 69th vs the run and 40th in points allowed, giving up just 24.1 ppg. If you’re looking for a player to watch, Linebacker Shaquem Griffin is one of the most inspirational players in college football, racking up 11 sacks and 85 tackles while playing with only one hand.
After Week 4, the Red Wolves may not have been on anyone’s radar in college football. Starting the season (0-4) it was an uphill climb to get to winning season. However, Arkansas State showed fight winning 7 of their last 8 games to clinch a spot in the Cure Bowl. The Red Wolves are lead by sophomore quarterback Justice Hansen who was impressive, passing for 2,514 yards, 16 touchdowns and 8 picks.
The team ranks 42nd in total defense, allowing 374.5 yards, but they do manage to keep teams out of the end zone, allowing only 22.2 points per game which ranks 24th in the nation. The Red Wolves have played non-conference games not particularly well but they are an impressive 15-1 the past two seasons in Sun Belt Conference games. It’s concerning, however, they are 1-8 SU in their last 9 non-conference games. This will be their 6th bowl game in a row and they have gone 2-3 their L5 bowl games.
This should be a close game with two even matched teams. My play will be on the Total and here are some key trends: Under is 6-1 in UCF’s last 7 games overall, Under is 4-0 in UCF’s last 4 games after allowing more than 40 points in their previous game and the Under is 5-2-1 in UCF’s last 8 non-conference games. The Under is 4-0-1 in Arkansas State’s last 5 games overall, the Under is 4-0 in Red Wolves last 4 games following a ATS loss and the Under is 28-11-1 in Red Wolves last 40 non-conference games.