The UCF Knights (9-3) look to lengthen their five-game winning streak against the SMU Mustangs (10-3) at Moody Coliseum. The games Over/Under (O/U) has been set at 128 points with SMU opening as an 11-point favorite. Tip-off is scheduled for 9 p.m. ET on Wednesday, December 27, 2017, and it can be seen on ESPN2.
UCF Knights at SMU Mustangs ATS Preview
The Knights dismantled the South Carolina State Bulldogs in their last matchup, 89-64. Tacko Fall was UCF’s leading scorer with 18 points on 7-for-9 shooting. UCF played a perfect game. They had an offensive rebounding percentage of 29.0 (below their season average of 32.1) and an effective field goal percentage of 0.657 (above their season average of 0.484). For those same stats, South Carolina State was 19.4 and 0.446, respectively.
In the Mustangs last game, they blew out the Cal Poly Mustangs, 84-64. SMU rallied around Malik Milton, who put up 16 points, eight rebounds and six assists. SMU played a nearly perfect game. They had an extraordinary free throw rate of 0.327 (above their season average of 0.228) and an offensive rebounding percentage of 25.8 (below their season average of 36.1). Cal Poly put up marks of 0.136 and 18.4, respectively, for those same stats.
The game should be a battle of strength against strength as the prolific offense of SMU (28th in the NCAA with an offensive efficiency of 117.3) takes on the top-notch defense of UCF (33rd in the NCAA with a defensive efficiency of 92.4). Ball security could be troublesome for the Knights. They rank 328th at avoiding errors (turnover percentage of 22.8 percent), while the Mustangs force the 25th-most turnovers in the NCAA (opponents turnover percentage of 23.9 percent).
Of UCF’s 7 games that accepted bets, six have finished under the projected point total, while 4 of SMU’s 8 games have finished over the projected point total. Both teams have excellent straight up (SU) records (9-3 for UCF; 10-3 for SMU), but the Knights hold a slight advantage against the spread (ATS). UCF is 5-2 ATS, while the Mustangs are 5-3.This is the first time these teams will go head-to-head this year, after the Mustangs won both matchups last season. In the last matchup, SMU won 70-59. The Mustangs dominated every stat category in the game. They had a fantastic free throw rate of 0.391 and a phenomenal offensive rebounding percentage of 38.5. The Knights put up marks of 0.184 and 23.1, respectively, for those same stats.
UCF Knights vs. SMU Mustangs Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – SMU, ATS Winner – UCF, O/U – Under
- The Mustangs rank 40th in steals allowed per game (5.4) while the Knights rank 135th (7.3).
- SMU averages 3.8 blocks per game, which ranks 81st in the nation. UCF ranks 133rd in blocks allowed per game (4.3).
- SMU is 4-0 ATS at home, while UCF is 3-1 ATS on the road.
- The total has gone under in 4 of the Knights 4 road games, while 3 of the Mustangs 4 home games have gone over.
- SMU ranks 14th in assists per game (18.3) while UCF ranks 210th (11.7).
- The Mustangs rank 143rd in three pointers attempted per game (22.1) while the Knights rank 259th (15.7).
- UCF ranks 37th in rebounds per game (39.5) while SMU ranks 150th (35.7).
- SMU is 3-1 ATS with 3 overs and 1 under in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, UCF is 1-0 ATS with 1 under.
- The Mustangs average margin of victory in their last five games has been 12.4, down from 15.7 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Knights have scored an average of 73.0 points per game (5.4 above their season average) and allowed an average of 58.8 points per game (3.9 below their season average).