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FAU Getting Third-Highest Handle (79%) on Championship Weekend in C-USA Title Game vs UAB

Florida Atlantic Owls
Money is pouring in on Lane Kiffin's Florida Atlantic Owls versus the UAB Blazers in the Conference USA championship game. Photo by Neon Tommy (Flickr) [CC License].
  • The UAB Blazers clash with the Florida Atlantic Owls in the Conference-USA championship game
  • The Owls are 8.5-point favorites and are drawing 79% of the betting handle
  • Florida Atlantic leads the nation in turnover margin and interceptions – read below for our betting prediction

The Power Five title games might get all the publicity this weekend, but it’s the Conference USA championship that’s drawing a ton of action at online sportsbooks.

According to BookMaker.eu, Florida Atlantic is receiving 79% of the betting handle versus UAB, which makes it the third most lopsided title game in terms of action on the board. The Owls’ side has been hit hard by pros and joe’s alike, drawing 72% of the total bets, including 69% of the sharp money.

UAB vs Florida Atlantic Odds & Betting Handle

Team Spread Betting Handle at BookMaker.eu
UAB Blazers +8.5 (-110) 21.0%
Florida Atlantic Owls -8.5 (-110) 79.0%

All odds taken Dec. 6

Lane Kiffin’s Owls opened as 7.5-point favorites over the Blazers, but that line was quickly bet up to where it currently stands. Florida Atlantic has won nine of its last 10 games, and is 4-1 ATS since late October. UAB meanwhile, is 2-3 ATS over its last five, and 8 of its 12 games this season have failed to go over the total.

The Blazers are the reigning Conference USA champions, while the Owls claimed the title in 2017.

Why is FAU Such a Trendy Pick?

No team in Conference USA was hotter than Florida Atlantic down the stretch. They closed out the regular season with five straight wins and outscored their opponents 187-77 over that stretch. They’re the highest scoring team in the conference and have racked up at least 31 points in six straight games.

On the other side of the ball, they rank fourth in the conference in points allowed and 46th in the nation in defensive efficiency. They have a college football best +19 turnover differential and no team in the country has intercepted more passes (19). FAU held all but one of their final nine opponents to 27 points or lower, which is a mark UAB didn’t reach very often this season. The Blazers exceeded 27 points in just six of 12 games in 2019, despite having the easiest strength of the schedule in the country.

FAU held all but one of their final nine opponents to 27 points or lower, which is a mark UAB didn’t reach very often this season. The Blazers exceeded 27 points in just six of 12 games in 2019, despite having the easiest strength of the schedule in the country.

They scored the fifth fewest points in the conference and as of Friday evening, they still hadn’t named a starting QB versus FAU. Starter Tyler Johnston has thrown just one pass since November 2nd due to a shoulder injury, and if he can’t go, freshman Dylan Hopkins will make his fifth straight start.

Can the Blazers Surprise Bettors?

The best chance UAB has to win this game is to rely heavily on its defense. The unit led Conference USA in points allowed, and gave up more than 21 points to only two teams all season. They held seven of their 12 opponents below 20 points and allowed only one enemy QB to eclipse 300 yards passing.

Their front seven has a major advantage over the Owls offensive line, and that mismatch could play a pivotal role in Saturday’s outcome. FAU allows 8.5 tackles for loss per game, and the Blazers have the speed to disrupt the Owls offense. UAB allows a miniscule 2.7 yards per carry, and has the potential to force FAU into becoming a one-dimensional offense.

Should You Follow the Money?

8.5 points is a lot to lay with an Owls team that has offensive line concerns and that’s facing an elite defense. There’s a lot to like about FAU, but this game has slugfest written all over it. For that reason, the under is a very enticing play. The under has hit in four of the Blazers last five games, and three of the Owls’ past five outings.

The average margin of victory in UAB games this season is 6.58 points, and if we expect their defense to show up and their offense to be inefficient, there’s no way this game is hitting 50.

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