Time: 2 p.m. ET
Venue: Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium (Annapolis, Maryland)
Where to watch: ESPN
Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks
DraftKings: Duke -3; Duke -155, UCF +135; O/U 62.5
FanDuel: Duke -3.5; Duke -164, UCF +136; O/U 62.5
BetMGM: Duke -3; Duke -165, UCF +135; O/U 62.5
Caesars: Duke -3; Duke -164, UCF +140; O/U 62.5
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UCF - Duke preview, analysis and prediction
Central Florida analysis
The UCF Knights had everything going their way this season before a red-hot Tulane team stormed out of nowhere and eventually won the AAC championship. Now they have to settle for the military bowl while the conference champions are playing USC because of course they are, and have to try and put a cap on this season that would be considered somewhat successful but also disappointing at the same time. The Knights are led by quarterback John Rhys Plumlee, who totaled more than 3200 yards this season as well as 25 touchdowns. He is one of the better dual threat options in the country and if he is healthy, he should play a huge impact on this game in terms of the quarterback position. UCF, however, is not performing well in terms of the spread as of late. The Knights have lost three straight against the spread, twice as double digit favorites as high as 14.5 points, and of course have lost two of their last three. They are not the most reliable team when it comes to playing against the spread, but they are certainly the more talented team than their opponents in this matchup
Meanwhile, momentum is absolutely playing its way toward the favor of the Duke Blue Devils. They have won four of their last five both outright and against the spread, and closed the regular season with three straight victories against the spread including a 6.5 point cover in Pittsburgh on November 19th. They then followed that with an outright 3 point win over the struggling and disappointing Wake Forest demon deacons, but they were three-point underdogs in that game. Much like Plumlee is to UCF, Duke has a dual threat option of its own with quarterback Riley Leonard. The Duke quarterback has accumulated 31 total touchdowns this season and is closing in on 3500 total yards of offense. It is also helped that Duke has had a solid receiver in Jalon Calhoun who has 811 yards and four touchdowns this season. Duke has the ability to score a lot of points in bunches and has the ability to play stout defense when it can. But against offenses that are dominated by the quarterback position, Duke has clearly struggled against the likes of Sam Hartman and Drake Maye. Against another talented quarterback, albeit a similar style, this is going to be a tough task for Duke.
The over has cashed four of the last five times that UCF has played, And the Knights have done well after their secondary has been torched the previous game period UCF has covered in their last six when they allow more than 280 yards passing in their previous game. Meanwhile, Duke has seen the over cash in its last six bowl games and they have covered in their last five bowl games. I am of the mindset that UCF will find a way after a disappointing into the season to win this game. UCF 31, Duke 27
Duke is 6-16 ATS on the road after covering the spread in 4 of their last 5 since 1992.
Duke is 1-8 ATS after allowing 17 points or more in the first half in 2 straight games the last 3 seasons.
UCF is 6-15 ATS after playing a game where 60 total points were scored the last 3 seasons.
Passing: John Rhys Plumlee – 2,404 yards, 14 TD, 7 INT
Rushing: John Rhys Plumlee – 541 yards, 11 TD
Receiving: Javon Baker – 747 yards, 5 TD
Passing: Riley Leonard – 2,794 yards, 20 TD, 6 INT
Rushing: Riley Leonard – 636 yards, 11 TD
Receiving: Jalon Calhoun – 811 yards, 4 TD
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