There are three Friday night games on the college football docket; Metro gives out Central Florida USC odds.
Florida Atlantic Owls @ Central Florida Knights (-13.5)
The 16th-ranked Central Florida Knights draw an intriguing matchup with Lane Kiffin’s Florida Atlantic Owls on Friday night (7:00 p.m., ESPN).
UCF hasn’t played since Sept. 8 after being forced to cancel their Sept. 15 game with UNC due to Hurricane Florence. The Knights picked up where they left off in 2017, torching UConn 56-17 before shutting out South Carolina State, 38-0.
The UCF offense, led by quarterback McKenzie Milton, faces what looks like an easy assignment in the Owls’ defense. FAU surrendered 650 yards to Oklahoma in Week 1.
Florida Atlantic’s offense can be dynamic, as Chris Robinson is more than capable at the helm, but the big difference-maker is junior tailback Devin Singletary, who ran for over 1,900 yards and led the country with 32 rushing touchdowns last season. However, he faces an aggressive UCF defense that is 10th in the nation in tackles for a loss per game (9.5).
FAU’s inability to run with Oklahoma in their season opener (63-14 defeat) suggests that they don’t have the talent to keep up with UCF in Orlando. Lay the points.
Prediction: Central Florida wins, 38-20
The play: Central Florida -13.5
Washington State Cougars @ USC Trojans (-3.5)
Washington State carries a 3-0 record (3-0 against the spread as well) into its initial Pac-12 matchup of the year, while 1-2 USC (0-3 ATS) limps back to the Los Angeles Coliseum off a sobering 37-14 loss at Texas (10:30 p.m., ESPN).
The Trojans have never lost at home under Clay Helton (17-0), but a lot of those wins can be chalked up to Sam Darnold. Freshman quarterback J.T. Daniels, who is playing with an injured thumb on his throwing hand, surely has a bright future but is no Darnold at present. He’s tossed no touchdowns and three interceptions in his last 89 passes, per spokesman.com. Washington State’s pass rush has already tallied 10 sacks this year, so it could be a very uncomfortable night for Daniels.
In addition to Daniels’ recent play, USC’s ground game is a liability, as they finished with negative -5 rushing yards last week. And bettors shouldn’t put a ton of faith into Helton’s 17-0 home record; the Trojans have dropped six of their last seven against the spread in the Coliseum.
Adding to USC’s woes is kicker Chase McGrath’s ACL injury; he’s now out for the year.
Cougars’ signal caller Gardner Menshew, who’s completed 71 percent of his passes while averaging over 400 yards per game, according to oddsshark.com, should have a field day facing USC’s shoddy stoppers. Expect Mike Leach’s Wazzou squad to prevail for the third time in four games with the Trojans.
Prediction: Washington State wins, 31-21
The play: Washington State +3.5