It will be a battle between AAC opponents when the Houston Cougars (10-3) welcome the UCF Knights (9-4, 0-1 AAC) to the Fertitta Center. The game can be seen on ESPN2 at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, January 3, 2020.
UCF Knights vs. Houston Cougars ATS Prediction
The Knights are trying to rebound after their 62-58 loss to the Temple Owls in their last outing. Temple’s free throw rate was their biggest advantage over UCF. The Owls had a rate of 0.283 (above their season average of 0.207), while the Knights posted a mark of 0.070 (below their season average of 0.199). Dre Fuller Jr. led UCF in scoring with 14 points on 6-for-9 shooting.
In the Cougars’ last game, they beat the No. 21 Washington Huskies, 75-71. Houston’s turnover percentage was their biggest strength over Washington. The Cougars had a rate of 8.5 (better than their season average of 14.7), while the Huskies posted a mark of 20.1 (above the 14.6 mark opponents have averaged against Houston this season). With 14 points, six rebounds and six assists, Houston’s Quentin Grimes played well.
After splitting two games last season, this will be the first matchup of the year between these two teams. In the most recent contest, the Knights won 69-64. UCF’s free throw rate was their biggest advantage over Houston. The Knights had a rate of 0.367, while the Cougars posted a mark of 0.218.
Looking at effective field goal percentage, Houston figures to have a significant edge. The Cougars defense ranks 48th in effective field goal percentage allowed (0.449), while the UCF offense is ranked 252nd in effective field goal percentage (0.484).
UCF Knights at Houston Cougars Free Pick
Pick: ATS Winner – UCF, O/U – Over
Houston averages 42.8 rebounds per game, which ranks fourth in the country. UCF ranks 166th in rebounds allowed per game (35.9).
The Cougars rank eighth in steals allowed per game (4.5) while the Knights rank 106th (6.6).
Houston averages 13.8 assists per game, which ranks 110th in the country. UCF ranks 196th in assists allowed per game (14.5).
The Cougars rank 12th in blocks per game (5.6) while the Knights rank 78th (3.7).
The Knights’ average margin of victory in their last five games has been 4.8, down from 5.2 for the season.
During their last five games, the Cougars have scored an average of 71.6 points per game (0.0 below their season average) and allowed an average of 60.8 points per game (0.0 above their season average).