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Opening Final Four Odds – FAU vs San Diego State Spread, Total & Moneyline

Jack Magruder

by Jack Magruder in College Basketball

Mar 26, 2023 · 1:53 PM PDT

Mar 25, 2023; New York, NY, USA; Florida Atlantic Owls center Vladislav Goldin, center, reacts as he holds the East Regional Champion trophy following their 79-76 victory against the Kansas State Wildcats in an NCAA tournament East Regional final at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
  • East Region champion FAU meets South Region winner San Diego State on Saturday in Houston, Texas
  • South No. 5 seed San Diego State is a 2-point favorite over No. 9 East seed FAU at NRG Stadium
  • Read opening FAU vs San Diego State odds and analysis, below

San Diego State (31-6 Mountain West) is a 2-point favorite over FAU in an NCAA Tournament Final Four semifinal on Saturday at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. The Aztecs have won 14 of their last 15.

Florida Atlantic (35-5, Conference USA) enters its first Final Four appearance on an 11-game winning streak. The Owls overcame a seven-point deficit in the second half to beat Kansas State 79-76 in the Elite Eight.

FAU vs San Diego State Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
FAU Owls +2 (-110) +110 Over 132.5 (-110)
San Diego State Aztecs -2 (-110) -130 Under 132.5 (-110)

FAU is 24-11-1 ATS, the fifth-best cover percentage in Division I this season. The Owls are 8-3 ATS in their 11-game winning streak and have covered two of their three NCAA Tournament games, beating both Tennessee and Kansas State as a small underdog. The Owls are 18-17-1 against the over.

San Diego State is 18-16-2 ATS and 14-22 against the over. The Owls and Aztecs have met twice, the Aztecs winning both at home in the 2001 and 2003 seasons.

 

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FAU Finds a Balance

Florida Atlantic will win the most games in Division I this season no matter what happens Saturday, and the Owls have done it with a balanced mix on both sides of the floor. Nine players — and only one senior — average at least 19.9 minutes per game, and because of that, the scoring is spread out.

All-purpose 6’4″ guard Johnell Davis (13.9 points, 5.5 rebounds), sophomore 6’2″ guard Alijah Martin (13.1, 5.2 ) and 7’1″ center Vladislav Goldin (10.3, 6.6) are the only double-figure scorers, but the Owls would not be in Houston without Nick Boyd’s layup with 2.5 seconds left after Brandon Weatherspoon’s steal for a 66-65 victory over No. 8 seed Memphis in the first round.

Davis had 29 points, 12 rebounds and five assists in the 78-70 second-round victory over Fairleigh Dickinson, an easier matchup that could have been expected after the Knights became the second No. 16 seed in NCAA Tournament history to take down a No. 1 seed Purdue with a 63-58 first-round victory. It has been something every game. The Owls limited Tennessee to 33.3 percent shooting from the field in a 62-55 win in the Sweet Sixteen, and guard Bryan Greenlee had a tournament-high 16 points against Kansas State.

Goldin, the only player to start all 33 games, provides critical rim protection for a team that holds opponents 40.2 shooting, 18th in Division I. He had his best game in helding neutralize Kansas State’s inside game with 14 points, 13 rebounds and two blocked shots. The Owls had a 44-22 rebounding edge and had 15 second-chance points.

San Diego State Clamps Down

The Aztecs are 8-0 SU and 7-1 ATS after their 57-56 victory over Creighton, when Darrion Trammell made the second of two free throws with one second remaining. They have not lost since falling to Mountain West regular-season runner-up Boise State on Feb. 28, and have made it this far combining coach Brian Dutcher’s in-your-face defense with a whose-turn-is-it today offense that features only one double-digit  scorer in 6’4″ wing Matt Bradley (12.8 points).

Bradley had 17 points in a first-round victory over the College of Charleston but has ceded the scoring load to 5’10” guard Darrion Trammell, who had 13 points against Furman and 31 points (with three three-pointers) in the 71-64 takedown of overall No. 1 seed Alabama.

With harassing Trammell on the perimeter and a frontline anchored by 6’9″ senior Nathan Mensah,  the Aztecs limit opponents to 40.8 percent shooting from the floor, 28.2 percent from three-point range. Mensah had five blocked shots against Alabama and has nineplus in four tournament games. Junior guard Lamont Butler had 18 points against Creighton, when the Aztecs overcame an eight-point lead late in the first half. Mensah made the tying field goal in the final 33 seconds.

FAU vs San Diego State Expected Line Movement

Both these teams have been undervalued, at least in the public’s eyes, Florida Atlantic more so because of its lower profile.  San Diego State made history over the weekend, winning its first Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight games for its first Final Four spot. FAU is the ninth team to open the tournament as a lower seed (9 through 16) to make the NCAA Final Four, although it has happened six times in the last 12 events. Expect the line to move in favor of the Aztecs, who like a grind-it-out game.

 

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