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The East Region's No. 8 vs No. 9 seed of the NCAA Tournament will take place Friday night when the VCU Rams take on the UCF Knights. 

Both teams have a strong body of work and the necessary talent to keep their national title hopes alive, but only one will earn the opportunity to move into the second round and likely go up against the Duke Blue Devils. 

The Knights are a one-point favorite on FanDuel Sportsbook. With a matchup this close, consulting any and every expert opinion you can find could go a long way in making the right pick. 

Here are a few expert opinions for Friday's first-round clash between UCF and VCU.

UCF vs VCU Expert Predictions

Hero Sports

Despite UCF having better team stats this season, the staff over at Hero Sports predicts that higher-seeded VCU will both win and cover with a projected 76-70 victory over its first-round foes Friday night.

Scores & Stats

The Scores & Stats staff, on the other hand, believes that UCF will win and cover in a nail-biter, projecting a 64-61 final in the Knights' favor. The key to a UCF victory will be center Tacko Fall's production, as the Knights are 18-2 this year when he scores in double figures.

Sports Chat Place

Randy Chambers, of Sports Chat Place, is also going with the Knights to both win and cover against the Rams Friday night. Chambers notes that both teams are excellent defensively and because of this, it'll all come down to which star players can carry their team to victory.

ESPN Basketball Power Index Matchup Predictor

ESPN BPI is also in UCF's corner heading into Friday's matchup, but not by much. The Knights currently have a 54.5 chance to win against VCU.

Overall, that's three out of four experts that like the UCF Knights to win and cover the spread in this first-round matchup. 

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Mike Esposito is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Mike Esposito also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username espo6891. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.