Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#613 Wisconsin-Green Bay 157.5 vs.
#614 UCF -9.5
Tuesday, December 10, 2019 at 8:00pm EST
Written by Sporty Jordy

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#613 University of Wisconsin - Green Bay
#614 University of Central Florida
3-6
6-2
19-17
20-12-1
18-18
17-15-1
81
72
79
64

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This article covers a past game!

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When and where: December 10, 2019, Addition Financial Arena, Orlando, FL, 8:00 PM ET

The UCF Knights hope to continue on the winning track when hosting the Green Bay Phoenix for a visit on Tuesday. After rolling over Montana State, the Phoenix have gone on to lose back-to-back games to Xavier and Eastern Illinois. They’ll have their hands full in trying to oust a UCF team coming off three consecutive wins over Pepperdine, NJIT and Charleston. The Phoenix are 1-5 on the road this season, while the Knights are 3-1 at home.

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Defense continues to fail the Phoenix

Another couple of defensive flops for the Phoenix ended with them losing consecutive games to Eastern Illinois and Xavier. The Panthers heaped 93 points on them with a 50.0 field goal shooting percentage on Saturday. Good luck winning at the college level with those sorts of defensive struggles.

If the Phoenix can’t muster a better effort on Tuesday, there may not be enough luck on the planet capable of saving them against UCF. They are one of the worst defensive teams in the nation taking on a UCF team that ranks 80th in offensive efficiency. Perhaps the only saving grace for the Phoenix is the fact that they have the ability to punch back on offense.

They rank 56th in 3-point shooting percentage and 91st in efficiency. JayQuan McCloud is spearheading the offensive attack, but it would also help if the team gets significant contributions from the bench as they did against Eastern Illinois with Kameron Hankerson and Trevian Bell.

The Phoenix have a real shot of winning if they can get their bench going. They also have to do a better job of taking care of the basketball. The uncharacteristic turnovers against Eastern Illinois hurt them in that game.

UCF rolls to third straight win

The NCAA is lining up the opponents and the Knights are knocking them down with three consecutive wins over Pepperdine, NJIT and Charleston.

Granted, none of those opponents particularly stood out as a significant threat considering they each had losing or even records.

Green Bay falls into that same category with a 3-6 record on the season.

Collin Smith and the rest of the Knights offense will be aiming to put pressure on a Phoenix defense allowing a 51.0 field goal shooting percentage to opposing teams. It should be smooth sailing for UCF as long as they avoid bad shots. They won’t get many turnover opportunities against a Green Bay team that has done well in taking care of the basketball.

UCF has been decent on the defensive end of the floor. They aren’t shutting down high-end offensive teams, but they are holding opponents to 67.2 points per game. There shouldn’t be any problems on Tuesday as long as they contain McCloud.

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It’s no surprise the Knights are double-digit favorites heading into this game. Unless you’ve been living under a rock this season, it should be no surprise that I’m going to pick them.

Unfortunately for the Phoenix, bad defense doesn’t travel well on the road. Along with Eastern Illinois dropping 93 points on them, they also gave up 84 points to Xavier.

Both teams average around the same per-game point total as the Knights. So this will be another high-scoring game that forces the Phoenix to play out of their minds on offense to have a shot at competing. The only problem is UCF having the defense to give them some problems in the process.

McCloud can’t carry the offense, and they aren’t promised to get the sort of lift from the bench they received against Eastern Illinois in a game that they still lost. The Phoenix aren’t built for this sort of challenge on the road. I’m laying the points and taking the Knights to earn a fourth straight win.

Prediction: UCF Knights (-10.5)

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The Phoenix have been absolutely dreadful on the defensive end of the floor, and they’ll be facing a UCF team averaging 77.7 points per game in their last three outings. They are giving up points like free Christmas cards, and the Knights will be in the spirit of taking on Tuesday.

There is no doubt UCF is licking their chops when facing an opponent that has given up 84-plus points in six of their last seven games. It’s been a lingering issue for the Phoenix throughout the early part of the season. Why should we expect any different in this game? Give me the over betting total here.

Prediction: Over (157.5)
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Written By Jordy McElroy , "Sporty Jordy"

Born in Germany and raised in the beautiful state of Tennessee, Jordy McElroy is a storyteller of sports, a sports betting enthusiast and a semi-deep thinker. Being a New England Patriots fan means he's a six-time Super Bowl winner as well, which means you'd have to be a fool to ignore his advice. Prior to joining our team here at Winners & Whiners, Jordy’s work appeared on CNN.com, FOX Sports, Bleacher Report, USA TODAY and BJPenn.com. There are no beaches where he comes from -- just rolling hills, green valleys and all the Sun Drop you can drink.