- SMU is a 3-point favorite against FAU in the 2019 Boca Raton Bowl
- This is FAU’s second Boca Raton Bowl in three seasons, which is played in their home stadium
- SMU finished the year 2-2 straight up, and 1-3 against the spread
This year’s edition of the Boca Raton Bowl will feature two ten win teams from college football’s Group of Five conferences.
The FAU Owls (10-3, 7-1 C-USA) and SMU Mustangs (10-2, 6-2 AAC) will go head-to-head, and the SMU vs FAU odds have the Ponies listed as a 3-point favorite.
SMU vs FAU Odds
|Team||Spread at BetOnline||Moneyline||Total|
|SMU Mustangs||-3 (-115)||-155||O 70.5 (-110)|
|FAU Owls||+3 (-115)||+135||U 70.5 (-110)|
Odds taken Dec. 18th
This bowl matchup will be the first ever meeting between the two programs. Each of these teams has reached the postseason sparingly throughout most of the last decade, but it appears that trend may be reversed. They’ve now both reached a bowl in two of the last three seasons.
Mustangs Reach Ten Win Mark
On the way to ten wins this season, SMU got it done with a three-headed offensive attack. Quarterback Shane Buechele racked up 3,626 yards passing, along with 33 touchdowns and just nine interceptions. The main benefactor of that passing game has been James Proche, who eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark in receiving yardage, and caught 14 touchdowns.
On the ground, Xavier Jones kept this unit from being a one-dimensional offense. He ran for 1,249 yards and scored 21 touchdowns this season.
This game is important for the Mustangs on a few fronts. They finished the season with just a 2-2 record in their last four contests, so a bowl win could keep SMU from spending an offseason with the bad taste of a poor finish in their mouths.
Additionally, the last bowl game for SMU was a 51-10 loss to Louisiana Tech in the 2017 Frisco Bowl, and Sonny Dykes’ team is looking to avoid a similar bowl game embarrassment.
Owls Playing Without Kiffin
The Owls, meanwhile, finished the season as hot as could be. They won six straight to wrap up the 2019 season, but they are now without the man that led them there.
Head coach Lane Kiffin took the Ole Miss head coaching job, and defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer will coach in the interim for the game. FAU has played in just one bowl in the decade, a 50-3 win over Akron in the 2017 edition of the Boca Raton Bowl. As they seek a second bowl victory to finish out the decade, they’ll be led by a group of defensive playmakers.
Akiles Leroy had a strong season in which he led the team in tackles, as well as sacks with 7.5. He was followed closely by Leighton McCarthy’s six sacks.
On the back end, it has been Meiko Dotson who has shone this season. The ballhawking defensive back intercepted nine passes in 2019.
What’s the Best Bet?
It’s rare to get a de facto home underdog in bowl season, but that’s the case in this matchup. FAU is located in Boca Raton, and this bowl game is played in the Owls’ backyard.
The Owls were the more reliable against the spread bet in 2019. FAU finished with a 9-4 mark, while the Mustangs finished just 7-5.
FAU has also been the much hotter team, covering the spread in 5 of their last 6 contests. Meanwhile, SMU only covered in 1 of their last 5.
In their backyard, the Owls are the way to go in the Boca Raton Bowl.
Let's have fun and keep it civil.