Florida Atlantic vs. San Diego State Predictions, Odds & Picks: Can the Owls Continue March Madness Run?
For just the second time in the last 50 years, the two teams meeting in the national semifinals are making their Final Four debut, as the No. 9 seed Florida Atlantic Owls take on the No. 5 seed San Diego State Aztecs. Read on for our Florida Atlantic vs. San Diego State college basketball picks based on the top NCAAB odds.
Florida Atlantic never won an NCAA Tournament game and made only one tournament appearance before this year’s historic run to the Final Four. In the process, the Owls became the ninth seed of No. 9 or lower to reach the Final Four since seeding began in 1979. They are trying to become the first of those teams to reach the national championship, as the other eight before them all lost in the semifinals.
San Diego State is the first program ever from the Mountain West Conference to appear in the Final Four. Perhaps the Aztecs’ run is not as surprising as FAU’s, as their .761 winning percentage is the sixth-highest in men’s college basketball since 2010-11.
Here is our best Florida Atlantic vs. San Diego State prediction (odds via BetMGM; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).
Florida Atlantic vs. San Diego State odds
Florida Atlantic vs. San Diego State prediction
Florida Atlantic ML (+115 via BetMGM) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Florida Atlantic has won a D-I-best 35 games this year and is the first team to reach that mark since Virginia in 2018-19. For what it is worth, the Cavaliers won the national championship that year.
In addition, the Owls had a 20-game winning streak this season, which was the third-longest in Conference USA history. And yet, the only game they played as favorites in this tournament was against a No. 16 seed (FDU) in the Round of 32. Thus, we are running to the betting windows to back Florida Atlantic on the moneyline at plus odds, as it has proved time and again it is worthy of competing on this stage.
San Diego State’s defense has been phenomenal all tournament. The Aztecs held its first three opponents to 57.7 points per game and 32% shooting (18% from 3-point range). San Diego State then limited a Creighton team that was averaging 81 points per game in the tournament and shooting 50.6% from the field to 56 points and 40% shooting (11.8% from beyond the arc). In the process, the Bluejays became the 15th consecutive opponent that the Aztecs have held under their season scoring average.
That said, Florida Atlantic is well-prepared to face the stingy Aztecs defense, as the team it beat in the Sweet 16 (Tennessee) abides by very similar defensive principles. Tennessee had entered that game allowing 0.77 points per possession (second only to Houston in D-I). Still, the Owls used their team speed and athleticism to carve the Volunteers up for 1.07 points per possession and out-rebounded Tennessee by four.
San Diego State’s bench averaged 26.7 points per game in the tournament leading up to the Creighton game. However, Florida Atlantic mitigates that advantage with a deep bench that averages the 15th-most minutes this season.
This is a four-star play as Florida Atlantic is 24-11-1 ATS this season, the best ATS team of any that made the tournament. The Owls have experienced game pressure unlike any other team remaining in the field, overcoming second-half deficits of at least five points in all four wins. That experience will serve them well in a game we expect them to win outright.
Check out our best March Madness odds and Wooden Award odds.
Florida Atlantic vs. San Diego State best odds
|FAU ML||FAU ML||FAU ML||FAU ML||FAU ML|
When getting fewer than three points (what amounts to one possession) in basketball, it is always more tempting to back the underdogs on the moneyline if we are confident in them covering. The Owls have the most wins of any D-I team and are currently on an 11-game winning streak, which makes it easier to forgo the +2 spread at most sportsbooks and back an outright win.
Florida Atlantic vs. San Diego State odds analysis
San Diego State opened as a consensus 1.5-point favorite, and any line movement has gone in its direction, as it now hovers around -2.5 at most books. Around 55% of the point spread wagers have backed the favorites.
The consensus opening total of 131.5 has also held firm for the most part, while some sportsbooks (DraftKings, Caesars, BetRivers) have gone to 132. Just like the point spread, there is solid two-way action on the total, as 56% of the wagers have backed the Under.
Florida Atlantic vs. San Diego State game info
- Date: Saturday, April 1, 6:09 p.m. ET
- TV: CBS
- Location: NRG Stadium, Houston, TX
Florida Atlantic-San Diego State pick made 3/30/2023 at 6:22 a.m. ET.
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