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The SMU Mustangs and UCF Knights will meet on Wednesday night in Orlando, Florida. It's a delayed Week 5 matchup held in Week 6 due to Hurricane Ian's arrival last week. Handicapper Matt MacKay is here to make his predictions.

UCF vs. SMU Prediction, Pick, and Odds: Can John Rhys Plumlee and the Knights Get Revenge?

SMU and UCF share identical records at 2-2 and play in the American Athletic Conference (AAC), so these opponents are familiar with each other. The head coaches are new to their programs as well. Gus Malzahn, former University of Auburn head coach, led the UCF to a 9-4 record in 2021 during his first year in Orlando. Meanwhile, SMU brought in first-time head coach, Rhett Lashlee, who has the Mustangs off to a .500 start through its first four games.

SMU enters this game on a two-game losing skid. It's important to note that the games have been against opponents like Maryland and TCU, both Power 5 conferences which almost always roster superior talent. The Mustangs lost by one possession in both games, but both were much different in terms of game script. SMU held a brief 27-20 lead over Maryland late in the third quarter, while they scored empty points in garbage time to make the loss against TCU appear much more contested than reality.

Can UCF continue building its momentum off of a dominant win over Georgia Tech in Week 4? Here are our picks, predictions, and odds for Wednesday's game between SMU Mustangs vs. UCF Knights.

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Date: Wednesday, October 5

Game time: 7:00 pm ET

Where to Watch: ESPN2


Spread: SMU +3 (+100), UCF -3 (-120)

Total: Under 65 (-110), Over 65 (-110)

Moneyline: SMU (+130), UCF (-150)

Click Here for UCF vs. SMU Odds



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WR Amari Johnson (Questionable - Leg)


SMU still has senior quarterback Tanner Mordecai, who had a massive outing in a 55-28 win over UCF during the 2021 season. Mordecai threw three touchdowns and nearly 400 yards, but the story of the matchup was the Mustangs' effective rushing attack. Ulysses Bentley IV is gone but Tre Siggers is still in SMU's backfield, averaging 4.0 YPC and four touchdowns through four games played in 2022. Siggers also gets help from TJ McDaniel and Velton Gardner, who are both averaging over 6.0 YPC and splitting six to ten carries per game.

Sportsbooks have UCF favored to win by three points at -120 in a Gus Malzahn revenge game. The Knights' only loss this season came against Louisville at home in Orlando, as senior quarterback, John Rhys Plumlee, is new to the program after transferring out of Ole Miss. Plumlee did not play well against the Cardinals during UCF's loss, completing less than 50 percent of his passes and finishing with zero touchdowns and one interception. Plumlee is an effective ball carrier, using his legs to rack up 89 rushing yards to lead the Knights during the 20-14 loss.

UCF is playing great defense under Malzahn in 2022. They're holding opponents to only 13.5 points per game, ranking eighth-best in the country. The offense is effective but relies on a strong rushing attack. SMU's defense is allowing its opponents to average 180.5 rushing yards and 1.8 touchdowns per game, which is good enough to force Mordecai to complete obvious passes under pressure. He played better last year than his current start in 2022, which Malzahn will focus on exposing to get UCF out to an early lead.

SMU is 1-3 ATS but they did cover on the road this season. UCF is 2-2 ATS overall but they have struggled to cover the spread at home through four games, going 1-2 ATS in FBC Mortgage Stadium in Orlando. The question is how well prepared each team will be after being delayed due to the hurricane last week. Malzahn has a decorated resumé and definitely won't let his team forget about the embarrassing blowout loss against SMU last November. UCF has positive momentum from a 17-point win over its last opponent from the ACC, while SMU is trending in the opposite direction after getting stomped by TCU. I like UCF to cover the spread in a decisive home victory on Wednesday night.


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Article Author


Matt is an avid writer, editor, and researcher. He enjoys analyzing the game within the game which is fantasy sports and sports betting. Music is another constant in his daily life. Matt loves spending time with his wife and three pets. He likes to read, listen to podcasts, and is constantly motivated to create the most accurate and engaging content in the sports betting industry.


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