UCF over Auburn by 3

How well liked is UCF head coach Scott Frost? So much so that when the Associated Press Coach of the Year accepted the head job at Nebraska immediately after winning the AAC Championship over Memphis, his players convinced him to remain a little longer and coach them in today’s game. In fact, the Knights are gunning to complete the ’perfect cycle’ as UCF was winless when Frost took over last year and will be looking to go out undefeated (13-0) behind him here. Auburn’s season peaked with its home win over Alabama, then headed south fast after the Tigers’ 28-7 beatdown in the SEC Title game against Georgia. Thus, despite the fact that SEC bowlers are 9-4 ATS against ‘Group of 5’ teams in bowl games, we look for a goingthrough-the-motions effort from the disappointed Tigers against the high-as-a-kite Knights today. It’s bad enough for Auburn that conference championship game losers are 4-8-1 ATS as bowl favorites of 8 or more points, including 0-5-1 ATS with a win percentage of less than .800, but HC Gus Malzahn’s cats are just 21-18 SU, 16-21-2 ATS, and 22-17 ITS versus bowlers the last four years. Contrast that with Central Florida’s quantum leap from 2016 to 2017: the Knights were 0-7 SU, 2-5 ATS, and 1-6 ITS versus bowlers last season but improved to 7-0 SU, 5-2 ATS and 4-3 ITS this season. And even though UCF was one of the most heavily penalized teams in the FBS, the Knights managed a tie for No. 2 in the net TO Margin (+1.25). The cement comes from our well-oiled machine as it supplies THE CLINCHER: College bowl dogs of 7 or more points off a win of 7 or more points who allow less than 25 PPG are 2-15-1 ATS vs. foes off a loss who allow 15 or more PPG.



NFL

CINCINNATI over Baltimore by 6

The first of three “win and you’re in” teams on today’s season-ending card (the Falcons and the Titans the others) fi nds the Ravens taking on their pesky division rival from Cincinnati, a team that has taken down the Black Birds in 6 of the last 8 series meetings. Complicating matters, the Bengals are also likely stoked to send departing head coach Marvin Lewis out a winner. And they bring dual sparkling 10-2 ATS marks into this game, both as dogs following a SU underdog win and in Last Road Games when owning a sub .500 record. Aiding Baltimore’s 5-1 winning skein since its Bye week has been a superlative 15-2 turnover edge. Hence, it’s no surprise that the Ravens are 7-1 SU and 6-2 ATS in games in which they’ve managed to win the turnover battle, and 0-4 SU and 0-3-1 ATS when they’ve been on the wrong side of the giveaways this season. Thus the question begs, can Cincy play a clean game today (they are averaging a respectable 1.27 TO’s per contest this year). On the fl ip side, Baltimore is 1-10 ATS at home when coming off consecutive wins and facing an opponent coming off a home game. With QB Joe Flacco sporting 7 TD passes and only 1 INT this month, the pressure is squarely on his shoulders today. With that, we’ll fade these “must-win” birds. Remember, the Bengals’ abysmal season started in a hole with a 20-0 home loss to Baltimore in their season opener.