Central Florida at East Carolina: 3/4/21 College Basketball Picks and Prediction

Central Florida at East Carolina: 3/4/21 College Basketball Picks and Prediction Photo by Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

East Carolina Pirates (8-8) vs Central Florida Knights (9-11)

Game Info: Thursday, March 4, 2021 at 9:00 pm (Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum)

Betting Odds: East Carolina Pirates +1.5 -- Over/Under: 134 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The UCF Knights will travel to Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum to take on the East Carolina Pirates this Thursday night in College Basketball action.

The UCF Knights won their 3rd straight game and improved to 9-11 on the season after defeating the Tulsa Golden Hurricane, 73-69, this past Tuesday night. UCF allowed Tulsa to fight back from a 37-21 halftime deficit to take a 67-62 lead with just 4:55 left in regulation, however, the Knights defense was solid down the stretch and UCF took the lead for good after going up 68-67 margin with :58 seconds left in regulation. UCF shot 47.3% from the field and 29.6% from beyond the arc while Tulsa shot 47.2% from the field and 38.1% from beyond the arc. UCF was outrebounded by Tulsa by a 29-28 margin, however, won the turnover battle by a 14-12 margin in the victory. Leading the way for the Knights was Isaiah Adams who had 19 points, 3 rebounds, 1 block, & 1 steal.

On the season, UCF is averaging 67.4 ppg on 43.1% shooting from the field. The Knights are averaging 8.0 three-pointers per game on 36.3% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, UCF has been led by Darius Perry (14.7 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 3.3 apg, 1.2 spg), Brandon Mahan (12.5 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.2 spg), Darin Green Jr. (11.6 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 1.0 apg), & Isaiah Adams (9.5 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 1.2 apg, 1.3 spg).

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Defensively, UCF is allowing their opponents to average 70.2 ppg on 43.7% shooting from the field. The Knights have a rebound margin of -1.7 and a turnover margin of -1.3.

The East Carolina Pirates have had their last 5 games postponed due to Covid-19 protocols and come into this game with an overall record of 8-8 after being defeated by the SMU Mustangs, 71-56, on February 8th.  East Carolina had no answers on the offensive end against the SMU defense and could not fight back after the Mustangs took a 61-52 lead with 3:33 left in regulation. East Carolina shot 30.2% from the field and 14.3% from beyond the arc while SMU shot 42.9% from the field and 18.2% from beyond the arc. East Carolina was outrebounded by SMU by a 38-36 margin and committed 14 turnovers in the loss. Leading the way for the Pirates was Jayden Gardner who had 23 points, 9 rebounds, & 1 steal.

On the season, East Carolina is averaging 67.4 ppg on 41.8% shooting from the field. The Pirates are averaging 5.9 three-pointers per game on 31.1% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, East Carolina has been led by Jayden Gardner (18.1 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 1.2 apg), J.J. Miles (10.4 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.0 apg), Brandon Suggs (9.4 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.1 apg, 1.1 spg), & Tristen Newton (7.4 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 4.1 apg, 1.3 spg).

Defensively, East Carolina is holding their opponents to an average of 67.1 ppg on 41.8% shooting from the field. The Pirates have a rebound margin of -0.9 and a turnover margin of 1.9.

The Knights are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games overall, however, are just 3-8 ATS in their last 11 road games. The Pirates are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games vs. a team with a losing straight up record and just 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games.

East Carolina has been solid at home this season, posting a 7-3 record, which included an upset win over Houston, but it is hard to trust the Pirates offense which has not played a game in almost a month and currently ranks just 268th in scoring offense & 276th in FG%. UCF has struggled a bit on the road this season, however, the Knights did pick up an impressive victory at Florida State earlier this season and as I think the Knights defense will be able to give East Carolina some trouble here, I am taking UCF to cover this small road spread. Good Luck!

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Brett’s Pick UCF Knights -1.5

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

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