The Central Florida Knights look to stay perfect on the season when they take on the host Louisville Cardinals in non-conference college football action on Friday night. The Knights (2-0) are coming off a 63-14 thumping of Bethune-Cookman after opening the season with a 36-31 win over Boise State. This will be UCF’s first road game of the year. The Cardinals (1-1) rebounded with a 30-3 thrashing of Eastern Kentucky on Saturday, following a 43-24 loss at Ole Miss in the opener.
Kickoff from Cardinal Stadium in Louisville, Ky., is set for 7:30 p.m. ET. The all-time series is tied at 1-1, with UCF winning the last meeting, a 38-35 triumph in 2013. The Knights are seven-point favorites in the latest UCF vs. Louisville odds from Caesars Sportsbook, while the over-under for total points scored is set at 67.5. Before locking in any Louisville vs. UCF picks, check out the college football predictions from SportsLine’s Zack Cimini.
Cimini is a highly respected Las Vegas handicapper who’s never afraid to buck conventional wisdom. He also has an uncanny feel for the tendencies of the Cardinals, going an incredible 7-1 in his last eight college football picks involving Louisville, returning nearly $600. Anyone who has followed him is way up.
- UCF vs. Louisville spread: UCF -7
- UCF vs. Louisville over-under: 67.5 points
- UCF vs. Louisville money line: UCF -270, Louisville +220
- UCF: The Knights are 39-16 against the spread in their last 55 games after allowing fewer than 20 points in their previous game
- LOU: The Cardinals are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 home games
Featured Game | Louisville Cardinals vs. UCF Knights
Why UCF can cover
The Knights are off to a fast start in part largely because of the play of junior quarterback Dillon Gabriel. He came into the season as one of the top returning quarterbacks in the country, having led the nation in passing yards per game last year. His 357 passing yards per game also set a UCF record. Gabriel has opened the season averaging 315 passing yards per game and ranks in the top 10 in the country in touchdown passes, points responsible for and total offense.
Also powering the offense is running back Isaiah Bowser, a graduate transfer from Northwestern, who had 334 carries for 1,300 yards and seven touchdowns the past three seasons for the Wildcats. In his first game as a Knight, Bowser rushed 33 times for a career-high 172 yards and a touchdown. In Week 2, he scored four rushing touchdowns and is now second in the nation in that category. As a team, UCF ranks 11th nationally in rushing.
Why Louisville can cover
Despite that, the Knights are not a lock to cover the UCF vs. Louisville spread. That’s because the Cardinals have had a lot of success on Friday nights, going 51-32-1 all-time. Junior quarterback Malik Cunningham is off to a solid start to the season, completing 37 of 60 passes (61.7 percent) for 469 yards and two touchdowns. He has one interception with a rating of 135.0. He is also the Cardinals’ second-leading rusher, carrying 29 times for 108 yards (3.7 average) and four scores.
Freshman wide receiver Ahmari Huggins-Bruce is off to an explosive start to his collegiate career. In the win over Eastern Kentucky, Huggins-Bruce hauled in four passes for 150 yards, including a school-record-tying 94-yard reception. His 37.5 yards-per-catch average was the third-highest mark in school history. For the season, he has six receptions for 169 yards.
How to make UCF vs. Louisville picks
Cimini is leaning over on the point total. He has also found a critical X-factor that has him jumping all over one side of the spread. You can only get the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Louisville vs. UCF? And which side of the spread is a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the expert who has crushed his college football picks involving Louisville, and find out.