UCF vs Florida - 12/23/21 College Football Picks and Prediction

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The Florida Gators will play the UCF Knights in the Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl on Thursday night.

The Florida Gators are 6-6 this season and have lost 4 of their last 6 games. Florida has wins against FAU, South Florida, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Samford, and Florida State and losses against Alabama, Kentucky, LSU, Georgia, South Carolina, and Missouri this season. Florida is averaging 31.8 points per game and is giving up 26.6 points per game against, while also averaging 261.1 passing yards per game and 209.1 rushing yards per game. Emory Jones has completed 67.7% of his passes for 2,563 yards, 19 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions. Jones has also added 697 rushing yards and 4 touchdowns, while Dameon Pierce has added 517 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns on the season for the Gators. Jacob Copeland has caught 39 passes for 607 yards and 4 touchdowns. Florida has had a very rough season, which led to the firing of their head coach after the loss to Missouri.

The UCF Knights are 8-4 this season and have won 5 of their last 6 games. UCF has wins against Boise State, Bethune-Cookman, East Carolina, Memphis, Temple, Tulane, UCONN, and South Florida and losses against Louisville, Navy, Cincinatti, and SMU this season. UCF is averaging 32.2 points per game and is giving up 25.2 points per game against, while also averaging 211 passing yards per game and 188.7 rushing yards per game. Mikey Keene has completed 63.6% of his passes for 1,586 yards, 16 touchdowns, and 6 interceptions for the Knights. Johnny Richardson has rushed for 693 yards and 3 touchdowns, while Ryan O’Keefe has caught 77 passes for 727 yards and 6 touchdowns for UCF. UCF had higher expectations for this season, but stumbled early in the year. The Knights did finish the season strong and should be pumped up to play a power five opponent.

UCF is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 Thursday games and 6-15 ATS in their last 21 games overall. The under is 8-1-1 in UCF’s last 10 games against an SEC opponent. Florida is 3-8 ATS in their last 11 neutral site games and 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games as a favorite. The over is 4-1 in Florida’s last 5 bowl games.

Florida has not done well ATS in their last handful of bowl games and come into this game with a possible motivation issue. Their starting quarterback has decided to transfer after this game, they have an interim head coach for the game, and they had a very underwhelming season. UCF will be charged up to prove they are the best team in Florida and I think they have a chance to win outright. I like UCF with the points.

The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

Mitch's Take...

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