Baylor at UCF Prediction - College Football Picks 9/30/23

UCF Knights (3-1) vs Baylor Bears (1-3)

Game Info: Saturday, September 30, 2023 at 3:30 pm (FBC Mortgage Stadium)

Betting Odds: UCF Knights -12 -- Over/Under: 56.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The Baylor Bears will fly to Orlando to face the Central Florida Knights in Big 12 play this weekend from FBC Mortgage Stadium on FS1. This contest is new to the conference, but it may look familiar, as Baylor and UCF faced off in a classic Fiesta Bowl matchup back on New Year’s Day in 2014. Blake Bortles and Bryce Petty would give us a duel from the quarterback position, with the former cementing his name in the NFL Draft after leading the Knights to an upset victory, 52-42.

Baylor Bears Preview

Baylor comes in at 1-3 after losing to Texas in Waco, 39-6. The Bears were wacked by the Longhorns in their conference opener, and they’ll now have to travel for the first time this weekend. The Baylor offense is scoring 20.0 ppg, while passing for 265.0 ypg, rushing for 166.3 ypg, and converting 36.1% of their third downs.

Baylor Player Notes

• Sawyer Robertson struggled versus Texas at home last week, going 20/35 for 203 yards, with a pick and five sacks taken. The sophomore quarterback was thrown into the fire after an injury to returning starter Blake Shapen pushed him to the QB1 spot against a fierce Utah defense, and he’s in for another tough test this weekend with Texas coming to town. Robertson has passed for 444 yards, with a touchdown to three interceptions through three games.

• The Baylor backs were unable to get anything going on the ground last week, but junior RB Dominic Richardson leads the team with 160 rushing yards thru three games.

• Arkansas transfer Ketron Jackson leads the team in receiving through four games with 13 catches for 223 receiving yards.

• The Baylor defense has allowed 26.7 points per game.

 

Central Florida Knights Preview

UCF comes in at 3-1 after losing to Kansas State in Manhattan, 44-31. The Knights stuck around in their first taste of Big 12 action, but after allowing 21 unanswered points in the second half, they’ll look to bounce back here against Baylor. The Central Florida offense is scoring 38.3 ppg, while passing for 304.8 ypg, rushing for 260.3 ypg, and converting 50% of their third downs.

UCF Player Notes

Timmy McClain honestly played well in John Rhys Plumlee’s absence last week at KState, passing for 264 yards, with three touchdowns to one interception. The sophomore quarterback will face a lighter matchup here at home against the offensively challenged Bears, and he should be able to grow more into the QB1 role. McClain has passed for 638 yards, with five touchdowns to interception. 

RJ Harvey and Johnny Richardson have split the touches again for UCF this season. Richardson led the way with 76 yards against the Wildcats, and he leads the team with 289 rushing yards, while Harvey has scored in all four games, and he’s right behind him with 283 yards on the ground. 

• Senior wideout Kobe Hudson continues to be a stud on the outside, and after reaching the 130-yard mark for third week in a row, he leads the Knights in receptions (20) and receiving yards (463).

• Fellow veteran Javon Baker caught four passes or more in each of the first three games, and he’s posting splits of 14/219/1.

• The UCF defense is allowing 20.0 points per game.

 

Baylor vs UCF Trends

Baylor is 0-3-1 ATS, with a 1-3 over/under record.

Central Florida is 2-2 against the spread, with a 3-1 O/U record.

• BAY has failed to cover the spread in seven of its last eight road openers.UCF has hit the Team Total Over in 5 of their previous 7 games.

Corey’s Free Pick

Central Florida ran into an angry Kansas State team, that lost on a 61-yard field goal to Mizzou the previous week, and Gus Malzahn’s team should see their first breakthrough in the conference this weekend. UCF’s has managed to stay afloat offensively with John Rhys Plumlee on the shelf, and they come into a very manageable spot here against Baylor. The Bears have remained respectable on the defensive end, but they have real problems on the offensive side of the ball, and it’s not worth trusting them to keep up in their first taste of road action. Look for UCF to accomplish a milestone this weekend with their first Big 12 win, and back them for this contest. The Under may also be in play if Baylor continues to struggle on offense.

Corey’s Pick UCF to Cover

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

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