Florida Atlantic vs. San Diego State 2023 NCAAB Tournament Final Four Odds & Picks

Vladislav Goldin Florida Atlantic Owls March Madness 2023
Vladislav Goldin #50 of the Florida Atlantic Owls shoots the ball against Ismael Massoud #25 of the Kansas State Wildcats during the first half in the Elite Eight round game of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Madison Square Garden on March 25, 2023. Al Bello/Getty Images/AFP

NCAAB Pick: Over 131.5 (-108) at BetMGM

Finally, we’ve got the Over in our March Madness picks. It takes a special matchup to change the prevailing Under winds in the betting marketplace; we’ve got one lined up this Saturday when No. 9 Florida Atlantic faces No. 5 San Diego State in the Final Four.

This isn’t a 5-star lock by any means, but at press time, there’s a reasonably low total of 131.5 points on the NCAAB odds board at BetMGM, with -108 vigorish attached to both sides. Those two cents are just enough of a bargain to make this bet worth investing a single unit of your bankroll on the Over, at least in our estimation.

We can almost say the same thing about taking Florida Atlantic against the spread. They’ve got some underdog value at +1.5 (-102) over at FanDuel, but is it enough to make this bet profitable in the long run, even at that very low juice? Maybe not. 

Florida Atlantic Owls vs. San Diego State Aztecs

Saturday, April 01, 2023 – 06:09 PM EDT at NRG Stadium 

How Good Is FAU?  

Better than you’d expect from a Conference USA team – although the Owls (35-3 SU, 24-11-1 ATS, Over 18-17-1) are moving to the AAC next year. Head coach Dusty May still lost some players to the transfer window last summer, but not everyone; each of FAU’s top four scorers is a sophomore, led by guard Johnell Davis at 13.9 points per game. 

Davis is also the best all-around player on the Owls, checking in at plus-8.4 on the Box Plus/Minus sheet at Sports Reference. But he’s not alone; guard Alijah Martin (13.1 PPG) and 7-foot-1 forward Vladislav Goldin (10.3 PPG) have both shined at the Big Dance, with ample help from a deep and talented roster. 

All told, Ken Pomeroy has this FAU team ranked No. 17 overall (No. 24 offense, No. 29 defense) on his Division I efficiency charts. That’s miles ahead of anyone in Conference USA, and better than any AAC team outside of No. 2 Houston. 

How Good Is San Diego State? 

Slightly better on paper than Florida Atlantic, which you’d expect from SDSU (31-6 SU, 19-15-2 ATS, Under 22-14) that’s favored by two points on a neutral court at most of the top online sportsbooks – more on that in a moment. 

Pomeroy has this program ranked No. 14 overall (No. 75 offense, No. 4 defense) in efficiency, and that defensive imbalance explains why San Diego State have the Under at 22-14 this year – including each of their last 12 games, which covers all seven in the postseason. 

Their relatively slow pace of 65.7 possessions per game (No. 266) also plays a role. Putting the Over in our college basketball picks might seem a bit strange here; even the sharps appear to be on the Under, which has drawn 73% consensus according to the early numbers here at OddsTrader. 

Putting the Total in Perspective

It’s that low over/under that makes this pick possible. Only two of the games during SDSU’s 12-game Under streak (and none during March Madness) had a total this low, and two more during the season up to that point – that pair got split. 

The Owls are in much the same pea-green boat. They’ve seen a total of 131.5 points or lower just six times this year, although the Under did go 4-2 in those matchups, including their 62-55 win over Tennessee (Under 129.5) in the Sweet Sixteen. 

That was against the best defense in Division I, though, and a Vols team that’s even slower than San Diego State. FAU runs a slightly quicker pace than average at 67.7 possessions per game (No. 155); they’re also a little bit better at offense, so that will help the Over reach this low-hanging target. 

Why Does the Vigorish Matter? 

The more you pay, the more often your basketball picks have to cash in for you to make a profit in the long run. At the standard -110 vig, you need a success rate of 52.4% to break even, but that goes down to 51.9% for -108 vig, and a mere 50.5% at -102.

Having taken a close look at Saturday’s contest, we’re estimating that the Over has an edge that’s somewhere around 52%, making it a profitable bet at -108, but not -110. Meanwhile, even though peeling nearly two percent off your break-even rate is definitely worth taking FAU at +1.5 instead of +2, we’re still recommending the Owls for just a slight lean and a token wager. Bet accordingly. 

NCAAB Pick: Florida Atlantic +1.5 (-102) at FanDuel

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