The UCF Knights and Michigan Wolverines are more known for their battles on the football field, but they meet on the hardwood this Thursday.
UCF is 8-2 following four consecutive wins, but it hasn’t been smooth sailing for the 7-4 Wolverines.
NCAA basketball odds have the Knights as home underdogs, which could be a value line.
- Game: Michigan Wolverines (7-4) at UCF Knights (8-2)
- Location: Addition Financial Arena
- Day/Time: Thursday, 7 p.m. ET
Michigan Wolverines at UCF Knights
Wolverines Missing Guards
Most of the Michigan Wolverines offense comes via center Hunter Dickinson, who is a quality player in his own right. However, if they want to be an Big Ten team, the guards need to stand up.
Michigan guards often need a few years to find their rhythm, but that’s no good for bettors looking to make a profit. The Wolverines are only 5-6 against the spread, so they haven’t been a good bet.
Scoring only 73½ points a game ranks 149th in the country, but they are 38th in field goal percentage, which further demonstrates their struggles at the guard position.
Dickinson is the anchor for the offense, but it’s predictable. The Wolverines need to start playing inside-out, so Dickinson gets the ball in the paint and kicks it out for a better shot.
Michigan fans are happy just to have Dickinson, who turned down a chance at the NBA Draft to return for his sophomore season.
“I felt where teams had me going in the draft wasn’t where I wanted to be,” Dickinson told ESPN earlier in the year. “I am better than a mid-second round pick and teams told me if I come back another year, they see me as a top-25 guy.”
Central Florida isn’t a defensive powerhouse, so 15 points should be available. It’s a case of getting the confidence levels back for Michigan after losing to Minnesota and North Carolina in a four-game stretch.
The Wolverines rebounded with a win over Southern Utah, but the Knights present a much stronger challenge.
It’s not unusual to see the sportsbook favor Michigan to win, but it could be a risky bet on the road against an in-form Knights outfit.
Knights Hit Back
Losing to the Auburn Tigers was expected for the UCF Knights and they have done well to bounce back with four straight wins.
The Knights suffered an 85-68 loss to the Tigers, but Auburn is a top-20 team and the Knights are still a work in progress.
Subsequent wins over easier teams should have their confidence levels up, but they know they’re in for a much stiffer test against Michigan.
UCF is 4-6 ATS, which isn’t as impressive as we expected. Bettors often get good lines for the Knights, which is the case here.
Betting online markets have the Knights at +3, which is a generous line for a team with a 5-1 home games record. It’s an ideal spot for their toughest home game to date, so there is value with the line.
We like what guards Darin Green Jr. and Darius Perry have done. Green Jr. leads the Knights with 14.8 points per game and Perry is the assists leader with 5.2 per game.
Position Favors Knights
On any given day we would usually be confident in backing the Wolverines, but this is a bad spot for them.
They face a tough home team that is riding a four-game winning streak and Michigan hasn’t been playing well.
It looks out of ideas and the roaring home crowd could see AAC front-runners UCF score a statement win.