One of the more exciting conference championship games this weekend will come out of the American Athletic Conference with the UCF Knights taking on the Tulane Green Wave. The winner of this game will likely be heading to a New Years Six bowl game so a lot is on the line for these two teams. We’ll preview the game before going over a best bet involving a team total.
The UCF Knights enter this week with a 9-3 record and fresh off a narrow victory against in-state rival USF. The Knights allowed 32 second-half points in that game but for the most part, the Knights’ defense has been solid this season allowing an average of 22.4 points per game.
Offense has come easy to UCF this season averaging 33 points and 475.5 yards per game, however, it is unclear who will be under center come game time for this UCF team. John Rys Plumlee has been banged up the past couple of weeks and was unable to finish last weekend's game so we’ll see if he gets the nod even if he’s not 100% or if they go with reliable backup Mikey Keene.
Whoever is at quarterback they will need running back Isaiah Bowser to continue his strong season that includes 13 rushing touchdowns.
The 10-2 Tulane Green Wave have a strong defense as well allowing only 21.6 points per game but when they played the Knights three weeks ago they allowed 38 points. The Green Wave pass defense has been strong all season allowing an average of just 194.3 pass yards a game but UCF’s running game is what beat them the first time around so it’ll be interesting what adjustments they make defensively.
On offense, Tulane is scoring an average of 32.8 points per game, led by running back Tyjae Spears and quarterback Michael Pratt. Spears has rushed for over 1,100 yards and 14 touchdowns while Pratt has thrown 21 touchdowns and just four interceptions.
Despite both teams having strong defenses this season, I’m expecting a high-scoring game, much like the first match-up that ended 38-31. Right now on the DraftKings Sportsbook, the Tulane team total is set at 30.5 and I think the over on this total is one of the best bets that can be made for this game.
Tulane has scored over 30 points in six games this season and with the way Michael Pratt and Tyjae Spears have been playing, I think they’ll do it again this weekend. UCF allowed Pratt to throw for 236 yards and three touchdowns when the two teams played and I think Pratt will come out motivated for more since the Knights were their lone conference loss.
The Green Wave average less than a turnover a game which is a key factor when looking at a team total bet. UCF also has the 15th-highest place of play in college football so Tulane will get plenty of possessions on offense to go over 30.