The Daily Sweat: Can Memphis and UCF give us a Friday night shootout?

·5 min read

Friday night features a game between two perennial American Athletic Conference powers that are simply playing for winning records in 2021.

Memphis and UCF kick off at 7 p.m. ET in a game between teams that have won five of eight AAC titles since the conference’s inception in 2013. With three losses apiece, neither team will be playing for the conference title this season. But there’s a decent chance we could get an entertaining game.

Memphis is favored by two and the total is 63.5. That feels a little low at first glance as both teams are scoring and allowing over 30 points per game. We could be in line for a shootout.

UCF enters after getting blown out 56-21 by Cincinnati. The Knights have lost two of three after QB Dillon Gabriel injured his clavicle on the final play of a loss to Louisville. Freshman Mikey Keene has started in his place and is completing over 60% of his passes but averaging just six yards per attempt.

Memphis broke a three-game losing streak with a 35-17 win over Navy a week ago. The Tigers had lost to UTSA, Temple and Tulsa in that streak after beating Mississippi State in a crazy 31-29 win in Week 3. Tigers QB Seth Henigan has thrown for 2,153 yards through seven games with 16 TDs and four interceptions. Throw in RBs Brandon Thomas and Rodrigues Clark averaging over six yards a carry and you’ve got a team that has no trouble scoring points.

Friday night starts at 6 p.m. ET when Middle Tennessee State visits UConn. The Blue Raiders are favored by 15.5 points and the total is 55.5. We don’t advise you to bet on UConn football, so unless you really want a piece of this action, go ahead and sit it out.

Colorado State and Utah State play at 9:30 p.m. ET in an intriguing Mountain West matchup. The Rams are favored by three on the road and enter with back-to-back wins over San Jose State and New Mexico after starting 1-3. Two of those losses came to South Dakota State and Vanderbilt. But CSU appears to have turned things around and is allowing fewer than 20 points per game.

Utah State beat UNLV 28-24 in Week 7 to avoid a third straight loss. Utah State is 4-2 on the season and has only lost to BYU and Boise State. The Aggies are a smart play here despite Colorado State’s recent run of form.

The nightcap is Washington’s trip to moribund Arizona at 10:30 p.m. ET. The Wildcats are 17.5-point underdogs and the total here is just 46.5. Arizona is 0-6 and hasn’t scored 20 or more points in a single game so far this season. Arizona is getting outscored by an average of 32-14 and its closest game came in Week 3 in a 21-19 loss to FCS-level Northern Arizona.

Washington is failing to live up to preseason expectations and sits at 2-4 after it was favored to win the Pac-12. But the Huskies should have no trouble with Arizona. A Washington cover shouldn’t be an issue here.

ALCS Game 6

The Houston Astros attempt to close out the Boston Red Sox on Friday night in the ALCS. The Red Sox are +145 with 1.5 runs, and the teams are both -110 to win. The total in the game is nine, and if you take the under it’s at -120.

We’re on the side of the over. Nate Eovaldi is pitching for Boston while Luis Garcia starts for Houston.

Matsuyama leads in Japan

You’re not going to see much live PGA Tour golf this weekend unless you’re up late. The Zozo Championship is in Japan and home country hero Hideki Matsuyama leads after 36 holes. Matsuyama is a huge favorite entering the final two rounds at +170. Cameron Triangle is a stroke behind Matsuyama and is at +600. Brendan Steele and Matt Wallace are two strokes behind Matsuyama and are +1400 behind Joaquin Niemann and Tommy Fleetwood on the board.

Formula 1 in the U.S.

There’s no better weekend to bet on Formula 1 than this one. Activities for the United States Grand Prix get underway on Friday. Lewis Hamilton is the favorite for the race at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin and he’ll take over at least a share of the points lead if he wins. The race begins at 2 p.m. ET on ABC and will be over before the late afternoon NFL games kick off.

Who cashed tickets Thursday?

You’re happy if you took the Dodgers and the over after LA forced a Game 6 in Atlanta. Over bettors were thrilled with SMU’s 55-26 win over Tulane as the teams didn’t stop scoring in the fourth quarter. San Jose State also covered late against UNLV in a 27-20 win after the Rebels were stopped on a 19-play drive to end the game. San Jose State scored 14 points in the fourth to win.

On the NFL side, an injury-riddled Cleveland Browns team covered 1.5 points in a 17-14 win that easily went under the total of 40.