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Underdog UCF Simply Can’t Beat Good Teams

UCF ended the regular season with a 6-6 record, which looks underwhelming when you consider just how badly the Knights have performed against competent teams. UCF has lost its past 10 games against teams with winning records, which includes its past two games. The Knights will look to pick up their first victory over a winning team in roughly two years when they take on the Arkansas State Red Wolves in the Cure Bowl.

Shark Bites
  • Arkansas State is 7-1 SU and 6-2 ATS in its last 8 games.
  • Arkansas State is 1-6 ATS in its last 7 games against the AAC.
  • UCF is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 games.

All things considered, a 6-6 season and a trip to a bowl game is a pretty damn successful season after UCF went winless last season. Scott Frost was hired this past offseason after spending seven seasons with Oregon and managed to get UCF averaging 30.1 points per game a year after the Knights scored a nation-worst 13.9 points per game. The biggest beneficiary has been freshman quarterback McKenzie Milton, who won the starting job from senior Justin Holman.

The UCF defense features the AAC defensive player of the year in Shaquem Griffin, who has been lighting it up thanks to a positional change during the offseason. Griffin, who shifted to linebacker from safety, has recorded 85 tackles, 19 tackles for a loss and 11 sacks.

After opening the season with four consecutive losses, Arkansas State has gone 7-1 in its past eight with an average scoring margin of plus-16.8 points. Quarterback Justice Hansen has been efficient for the Red Wolves, as the sophomore has thrown for 10 touchdowns and two interceptions in the past six games. The receiving game is built around explosiveness, as Arkansas State ranks 23rd in the country in average yards per catch among teams with 200-plus receptions.

Arkansas State’s aggressive defense has been its calling card all season, as the Red Wolves are tied for 13th in the nation in sacks. The defensive end duo of Chris Odom and Ja’Von Rolland-Jones was the best in the Sun Belt this season, as the tandem has combined for 35 tackles for a loss and 23.5 sacks.  

UCF Knights vs Arkansas State Red Wolves Matchup

Team Betting Records & Power Rankings

The Arkansas State Red Wolves are 7-5 so far on the season, and 6-6 ATS vs the point spread. The UCF Knights, meanwhile, are 6-6 and 8-4 ATS. Those over under betting have seen Arkansas State go 3-9 and the UCF Knights go 4-8 on the totals. Stay Informed: follow us on Twitter for odds specials, betting line moves and Arkansas State vs UCF injuries news.

According to the Power Rankings here at Odds Shark it's the No. 33-rated Arkansas State Red Wolves and the No. 34-rated UCF Knights in this matchup.

Statistical Matchup

The game also pits Arkansas State's No. 76-ranked offense, averaging 27 PPG, against a UCF defense that ranks No. 41 this week at 24.08 PPG. The Arkansas State aerial game is averaging 245.25 yards per game, more than the UCF Knights secondary allows through the air, 198.92 YPG per game.

Defensively, the UCF Knights feature the league's No. 38-rated road run defense, allowing 154.5 yards per game. Arkansas State, meanwhile, ranks No. 73 in rushing offense at home.

Recent Outings Betting Recap

UCF lost its last outing 48-31 against USF on Saturday, getting a 183-yard receiving performance from Tre'Quan Smith in a losing cause at Raymond James Stadium.

Texas State was unable to contain Warren Wand in its last action Saturday and the result was a 36-14 Week 14 loss against the Red Wolves.

Betting Trends
  • Central Florida is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 games
  • Central Florida is 6-19 SU in its last 25 games
  • The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Central Florida's last 7 games
  • Arkansas State is 6-2 ATS in its last 8 games
  • Arkansas State is 7-1 SU in its last 8 games
  • The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Arkansas State's last 5 games