Saturday afternoon’s American Athletic Conference Championship Game features one of the most resurgent teams in all of college football. After winning just two games a year ago, the Tulane Green Wave are set to host the UCF Knights in a battle for AAC supremacy. As these are the only two ranked Group of 5 teams entering the weekend, the winning side of the UCF vs Tulane prediction will also secure a trip to a New Year’s Six Bowl game. Despite losing the regular season meeting, the home favorite has been the popular choice for those making college football betting picks this week.
The following game preview provides the college football betting odds, trends and FEI Index ratings before sharing our official UCF vs Tulane prediction for the AAC Championship Game.
UCF vs Tulane Prediction | College Football Betting Picks
2022 American Athletic Championship Game
UCF Knights (9-3, 6-2 AAC) vs. Tulane Green Wave (10-2, 7-1 AAC)
Date: Saturday, December 3, 2022
Time: 4 PM EST
Venue: Yulman Stadium — New Orleans, LA
This weekend marks UCF’s second trip to Yulamn Stadium in the span of three weeks. After winning their regular season matchup against Tulane, the Knights looked to be on to host the AAC Championship Game. However, a stunning home loss to Navy the following week changed things. UCF went on to beat rival South Florida in the regular season finale to ensure a spot in the conference title game. Interestingly, Gus Malzahn has chosen to split reps at quarterback between John Rhys Plumlee and Mikey Keene in each of the Knights’ last two games.
Revenge figures to be a major motivator for Tulane on Saturday. To date, the Green Wave’s only conference loss is to UCF. A road victory over defending AAC Champion Cincinnati paved the way for Tulane to host the conference title game. With so many starters returning, many felt that the Green Wave were destined for a bounce-back year. However, few could’ve foreseen a resurgence to this degree. Quarterback Michael Pratt and tailback Tyjae Spears are the focal points of a Tulane offense that has only gotten stronger as the season has progressed.
UCF vs Tulane College Football Betting Picks and Odds
Moneyline: UCF: (+150) | TUL: (-175)
Point Spread: UCF: +4 (-110) | TUL: -4 (-110)
Total: 57 — Over: (-110) | Under: (-110)
College Football FEI Ratings
The following table shares the Fremeau Efficiency Index rankings for both teams involved in this AAC Championship Game matchup. The purpose of the FEI ratings is to represent the per-possession scoring advantage that a team would be expected to have on a neutral field against an average opponent. The rankings for offense and defense are out of 131 total FBS-level teams.
Fremeau Efficiency Index (FEI) ratings are from Football Outsiders
|Team||Overall FEI (Rk)||OFEI (Rk)||DFEI (Rk)|
|UCF||.42 (28)||.73 (26)||.00 (60)|
|Tulane||.48 (24)||.54 (35)||.60 (25)|
UCF vs Tulane College Football Betting Trends
- Knights are 5-1 ATS in their last six games following an ATS loss.
- Each of the Knights’ last seven games played on a field turf surface has gone OVER the total.
- Knights are just 1-7 ATS in their last eight games after scoring more than 40 points in their previous game.
- Green Wave are 7-1 ATS in their last eight games against teams with a winning record.
- Five of the Green Wave’s last six games have gone OVER the total.
- The total has gone OVER in four of the Green Wave’s last five games against opponents ranked in the AP Top 25.
- Betting underdogs are 6-1 ATS in the last seven UCF vs Tulane head-to-head matchups.
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UCF vs Tulane Prediction | College Football Betting Picks
Based on how poorly Tulane played defensively in the first matchup against UCF three weeks back, one has to believe that Saturday’s rematch will unfold differently. Bettors can certainly derive some confidence from how the Green Wave responded in their two subsequent games to finish off the regular season. The UCF vs Tulane odds have moved in favor of the Green Wave as home favorite indicating the level of respect that the market has for Willie Fritz’s team.
Speaking of Fritz, Tulane has had to deal with rumors regarding his coaching future in the week leading up to the AAC Championship. After last week’s massive road win over Cincinnati capped off a 10-win season for the Green Wave, reports surfaced that Fritz was set to take the vacant Georgia Tech head coaching job. Fritz issued a statement through the Tulane football program assuring that he was staying put.
While such news could be a distraction for some teams, it may only bring this veteran Tulane group closer together. If that is the case, UCF could be in big trouble on Saturday. The Knights jumped out to a 10-point lead after the first quarter in the previous meeting and never looked back. It seems reasonable to expect a more buttoned-up start for Tulane on both sides of the ball in the rematch.
The Knights gashed Tulane for 336 yards rushing in the first meeting. 176 of those came courtesy of John Rhys Plumlee. Replicating that kind of production against what has largely been a stout Green Wave run defense will be much easier said than done. The fact that both teams prefer to lean on their respective rushing attacks also bodes well for a fast-moving, lower-scoring affair.
UNDER THE TOTAL will be our official college football betting UCF vs Tulane prediction for the AAC Championship Game.
For what it’s worth, the ESPN Matchup Predictor gives Tulane a 59.3% chance to win this game outright.
Bet: Under 57 (-110 at Bovada Sportsbook)