Houston Cougars vs Central Florida Knights Prediction, Picks and Game Preview - 01/25/2023

by Rod Pearson

Game Time: 7:00 pm ET, Wednesday, January 25, 2023
Venue:  Addition Financial Arena, Orlando, FL
Where to Watch:  ESPN+


Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks

DraftKings:  Point Spread:  Houston -9, UCF +9; Over/Under:  126 points
Bet365:  Point Spread:  Houston -9, UCF +9; Over/Under:  126 points
BetMGM:  Point Spread:  Houston -9, UCF +9; Over/Under:  126 points

Season Record

Houston Cougars:  18-2 (6-1) (1st place, AAC)
Central Florida Knights:  13-6 (4-3) (6th place, AAC)

Do not miss out on our expert handicapper analysis! Will Rogers is on a HOT STREAK on an INSANE 19-2-1 L22 COLLEGE HOOPS! 9-0-1 L10! Make sure you check out his picks and many more from the expert handicappers featured in the Shop Picks section.

Recent Form
Houston Cougars:  4-1  last 5
Central Florida Knights:  3-2  last 5


Houston Cougars vs Central Florida Knights Preview and Analysis


Houston is coming into this game with an 18-2 record overall and they are 5-0 in their road games this season where they will be in this game. They are also 6-1 in their conference games this season as well. They are entering this game off of a loss against the Temple Owls in their last game. Jamal Shead led the team in points in that game with 13 while Marcus Sasser was next on the team with 12 points. Marcus Sasser led the team in assists in that game with 5 while Jarace Walker led the team in rebounds with 12. They were 33.9% from the field, 35.3% from 3-point range, and 52.4% from the free throw line with their shooting in that game. Their offense is averaging 75.1 PPG and their defense is allowing their opponents to average 53.4 PPG against them. Houston has an ATS record of 13-7 this season and their O/U record is 8-12.


Central Florida is coming into this game with a 13-6 record overall and they are 9-2 in their home games this season where they will be in this game. They are also 4-3 in their conference schedule this season as well. They are entering this game on a 2 game losing streak with losses coming against the Tulane Green Wave and the South Florida Bulls in their last game. CJ Kelly led the team in points in that game with 18 while Ithiel Horton was next on the team with 15 points. CJ Kelly led the team in assists in that game with 4 while Taylor Hendricks led the team in rebounds with 9. They were 41.8% from the field, 36.4% from 3-point range, and 72% from the free throw line with their shooting in that game. Their offense is averaging 72.1 PPG and their defense is allowing their opponents to average 64.5 PPG against them. Central Florida has an ATS record of 10-7-2 this season and their O/U record is 9-9-1.



Houston vs Central Florida Prediction

The current betting odds have Houston listed as a 9 point favorite in this game according to Draftkings Sportsbook. Houston has been having a great year as they enter this game as the 1st ranked team in the country with their 18-2 record overall. They have been great in road games with a perfect 5-0 road record and they are leading the AAC with their 6-1 conference record too. They did just lose their last game to Temple as that was their 1st conference loss of the season, but the team seems very convinced that it was just an off-night for them so they will be looking to bounce back with a much better performance here. UCF is 13-6 overall this year and they have a 9-2 home record too, but they haven't been great in their conference games with a 4-3 conference record and they just lost a big rivalry game against USF in their last game which they weren't even able to keep close. They are back at home for this game but now have the best ranked team in the country coming into their building and they are not going to be able to keep up with Houston as they look to bounce back after a loss and keep their 1st ranked spot. The best way to place a bet here is on Houston to cover the spread in this game.

Houston Central Florida Prediction:  Our NCAAB Pick for Wednesday, January 25, 2023 (7:00 pm ET start time) is Houston 76 UCF 62.
Don't miss our champion handicappers free picks and expert basketball picks today. And if you enjoyed this Houston Cougars Central Florida Knights prediction, be sure to drop by every day for our weekly NCAAB predictions and previews.

NCAAB Betting Trends


Houston Cougars: 56-32 ATS in all games. 53-31 ATS as a favorite. 17-6 OVER in a road game where the total is 129.5 or less.
Central Florida Knights: 3-12 ATS as a home underdog of 6.5 to 9 points. 5-11 ATS off a road loss against a conference rival. 23-16 OVER after playing a game as favorite.

Key Injuries


Houston Cougars:  D. Bowser (C) Ques Wed - Personal. R. Walker Jr. (G) Ques Wed - Personal. M. Wilson (G) out for season - Redshirt.
Central Florida Knights:  D. Johnson (G) Ques Wed - Foot. M. Durr (F) Out indefinitely - Hand. C. Walker (F) out for season - Leg.

Notable Quotes


"We had a bad day, but we still have a good team. All of our dreams and goals are still ahead of us." - Kelvin Sampson after his team’s loss against Temple in their last game.


“Our guys understand what that means even though we have so many new players that were never in the rivalry before. They’ve been in rivalry games wherever they’re from, so they understand the magnitude of games like this.” - Johnny Dawkins Jr. before his team’s game against USF in their last one which they went on to lose.


Starting Lineups


Houston Cougars
T. Mark 
J. Roberts 
M. Sasser 
J. Shead 
J. Walker

Central Florida Knights
M. Durr 
T. Hendricks 
I. Horton 
D. Johnson 
C. Kelly

Statistical Leaders


Houston Cougars
PPG: M. Sasser (16.7)
APG: J. Shead (5)
Reb/G: J. Roberts (7)

Central Florida Knights
PPG: T. Hendricks (14.3)
APG: D. Johnson (4.3)
Reb/G: T. Hendricks (7)

Coaches:
Houston Cougars: Kelvin Sampson (9th season)
Central Florida Knights: Johnny Dawkins Jr (7th season)


Rod Pearson

About the Author:

Rod Pearson has been a rabid sports fan his entire life.  He grew up in Ontario, and was skilled in both hockey and baseball, and pitched in an elite baseball league for many years.  In 2022, Rod decided to hang up his glove, so that he could write about the sports he loves -- but from a gambling perspective.  Join Rod every day as he breaks down the games to find the best betting value.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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