Tuesday, January 1, 2019 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, AZ
Betting Line: LSU -7.5
Over/Under: 55.5 points at Bovada
LSU Tigers form
LSU ended the NCAA football season with three losses, all against ranked teams. They lost their season finale to Texas A&M 74-72 in seven overtimes in a barnburner to say the least. The Tigers rank 29th in the nation in overall defense, but they did give up 521 yards, including giving up 234 rushing yards, in the loss to Texas A&M. Some 84 of the 146 points scored in that game were in the overtime.
UCF Knights form
For the second straight season UCF ended undefeated and was left out of the playoffs. They play in a non-major conference, but they still come into this game with a 25-game winning streak. The Knights lost their leader in quarterback McKenzie Milton to a season ending injury late in the season, but they regrouped and had another campaign with no losses. They only beat one ranked team this season and that was facing 24th ranked Cincinnati. Can they hang with the big boys of the SEC in LSU? Well, can they do it for a second straight season, as last season they beat a 7th ranked Auburn team, from the SEC, in the Peach Bowl.
This Fiesta Bowl clash is the first-ever meeting between these teams.
This season LSU is 9-3 SU with an ATS record of 6-6`and an O/U record of 6-5-1 and UCF is 12-0 SU with an ATS record of 9-3 and an O/U record of 4-8.
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LSU was 4-3 facing top 25 teams this season and their defense comes into this game a little shorthanded with star cornerback Greedy Williams not playing. Joe Burrow passed for 2,500 yards and 12 touchdowns this season with four interceptions. He has a good wide receiver corps, but his offensive line has to give him time and he was sacked 33 times this season.
Nick Brossette led the Tigers with 922 rushing yards and Clyde Edwards-Helaire had 626 rushing yards, but only rushed for 35 yards in his last two games. These guys may get a lot of work in this game, as they will be facing a UCF run defense that only ranks 117th in the nation.
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UCF won the AAC for the second straight season and even in losing Milton Darriel Mack Jr. came in and played well including having a six-touchdown game in the AAC title game. Knight running back Greg McCrae (1,101 yards, 9 TDs) averaged nine yards per carry on the season and will be facing a LSU run defense that ranks 38th in the nation.
The run game is key for the Knights and while they averaged 5.9 yards per carry as a team they will face a Tigers defense that only gave up an average of 3.8 yards per carry.
UCF ranked third in the nation with a turnover margin of +14. If the Knights can come up with some turnovers they have a shot in this game, but if they do not they may be toast with the run defense they have.
LSU Tigers betting trends
- 2-5 ATS in their last seven bowl games
- 1-6-1 ATS in their last eight non-conference games
- Under record of 3-1-1 in their last five games
UCF Knights betting trends
- 4-0 ATS in their last four games facing a team with a winning record
- 5-2 ATS in their last seven non-conference games
- Under record of 7-2 in their last nine games
LSU vs. UCF betting prediction
UCF is undefeated and they upset a SEC in a bowl game last season. Well, that will not happen this season. The Tigers played a much tougher schedule and they will take advantage of the Knights’ less than stellar run defense. LSU will win this game and cover the spread, snapping UCF’s 25-game win streak.
Get the best odds for the 2019 Fiesta Bowl at Bovada
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