Boca Raton Bowl Pick – BYU vs. Central Florida – 12/22/20

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boca raton bowl pick
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BYU will take on Central Florida in the Boca Raton Bowl on Tuesday night in a game that is scheduled to kick off at 7pm est. BYU opened as a -4.5 point favorite and was bet up to -7 on Monday, before settling in at -6.5. The total is 75.

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Just a few short weeks ago, BYU was being mentioned in the same breath with the likes of Alabama and Clemson. Reporters were wondering if the playoff committee could possibly ignore such a dominant team despite a questionable schedule.

Coastal Carolina Kills the Dream

Well, a cross country trip and a date with Coastal Carolina took care of that as BYU came up short in their quest for an undefeated season.

We give BYU credit for taking the “Anyone, Anywhere” attitude. But let’s be clear. They didn’t travel across the country to take on Alabama (or Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Ohio State etc.) They took on a very good Sun Belt team. No disrespect to Coastal Carolina. But the game against UCF needs to be put in perspective.

BYU’s motivation should also be taken into consideration. Here they were a short time ago, at the very least looking at a major high profile bowl game. Instead, they get another cross country trip and a minor bowl game, one of the first to be played.

BYU’s players seem excited about the game, however it seems they may be more excited to just get out cold Utah and head for sunny Florida. We shall see.

Our Model Likes BYU – But Do We?

Our model likes BYU by at least two touchdowns. That will always get our attention. Certainly on paper, BYU would appear to have a dominating defense to go along with an offense that has lit up scoreboards this year. But again, remember the quality of opposition.

The feeling here is that the last two games BYU has played give us a clearer picture of BYU in 2020. Specifically, the loss to Coastal in which they gave up 281 rushing yards and a 28-14 win over San Diego St in a game where if you saw the box score only, you’d guess San Diego State was the winner.

UCF A Live Dog

With that in mind, it’s hard not to consider UCF  a live dog here. They lit up the scoreboard every time they took the field and lost a 3 point game to hghly regarded Cincinnati.

Both of these teams beat Houston by near identical scores with Houston gaining 438 yards on BYU and 434 yards on UCF. BYU managed 478 yards of their own on Houston but check UCF’s total. A whopping 681 total yards of offense divided evenly on the ground and through the air. Again, that’s a live dog if there ever was one.

We’re going to go against our model here and back UCF in a game where no lead regardless of how big, figures to be safe.

UCF +6.5 (prefer +7 if you can get it!)