Two teams enter their first-ever Final Four appearances as the FAU Owls face off against the San Diego State Aztecs. It is time to continue our March Madness odds series with an FAU-San Digeo State prediction and pick.
The Owls’ magical run began with a one-point win over Memphis in the 8-9 matchup. Then the nine-seed got a gift. They got to face off against Fairleigh Dickinson who pulled the 16-1 upset of Purdue. After that, FAU took down Tennessee and Kansas State. With two one-possession games, and no win bigger than eight points, FAU is battle tested and ready to go.
The Aztecs started by fending on 12-seed Charleston, before also getting to face a team off an upset. They handled Furman with ease, who beat UVA. Then they got the big test, and took out top seed Alabama, before a crazy finish to take out Creighton. San Diego State has played the harder gauntlet overall, and come out with four straight wins.
Here are the FAU-San Diego State March Madness odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
March Madness Odds: FAU-San Diego State Odds
FAU: +2.5 (-105)
San Diego State: -2.5 (-115)
Over: 131.5 (-114)
Under: 131.5 (-106
How To Watch FAU vs. San Diego State
Stream: March Madness App
Time: 6:09 PM ET/ 3:09 PM PT
*Watch college basketball LIVE with fuboTV (click for a free trial)*
Why FAU Could Cover The Spread
FAU had a grand total of zero tournament wins before this year. Now they have four and will be looking for number five. Last weekend they started with the upset of Tennessee, holding them to just 55 points. FAU then took a lead over Kansas State in the final seven minutes and held off a Wildcat comeback for the win. They showed they can play different styles too. Over the Volunteers, it was a defensive outing that held them to 33.3% shooting. Over Kansas State, they shot 48.1% to take the win.
Now FAU faces San Diego State, who was 81st in total rebounds on the season. FAU has shown they can win on the glass too. They have had a positive rebound differential in both of their past two games and had over 40 rebounds in both of the games as well. Against Kansas State, it was Goldin who led the way with 13 rebounds. It was a bigger team effort against Tennesse when Goldin had seven, but Boyd led the way with eight.
FAU is also a top-quality offense, ranking 32nd in the NCAA this year in scoring offense, at 78.4 points per game. They sit 19th in three-point attempts per game, led by Alijah Martin, Nicholas Boyd, and Michael Forrest, who all have attempted over 150 threes this year. Those three will need to be efficient in their shooting though. They are facing a San Diego State defense 6th in defensive three-point percentage, and top 25 in points per game allowed. FAU has shown this is possible though. They are 23rd in effective field goal percentage this year. This is a team that plays a deep rotation, with nine guys averaging over 15 minutes per game. If one of them can step up and dominate, his magical moment will lead to one for the team.
Why San Diego State Could Cover The Spread
KenPom rates this as the 4th best adjusted defensive efficiency unit in the country, and the best left in the field. They face off against the 24th-rated offensive efficiency unit in FAU. They have met this test before. Alabama ranks 20th in the nation, and in that game, they smothered the Crimson Tide from three. Alabama shot 32.4% overall, but only 11.1% from three. The Tide has some quality three-point shooters, and if San Diego State can shut them down, they can do the same to FAU.
They then proceeded to shut down Creighton, who is in between Alabama and FAU in terms of offensive efficiency. Once again, it was the three-ball that was almost eliminated. In that game, Creighton shot 40% but was held to 11.8% from three.
Rebounding has also been solid for the Aztecs. They tied Creighton with 37 rebounds each in that victory and managed 48 rebounds against Alabama. Still, they lost the rebound battle in that game, giving up 52. For a team that was 38th in rebounding margin on the year, this could be an area of concern. Alabama is one of the best at controlling the glass in the nation, but Creighton is not.
There is also a tempo piece to this game. FAU is not a quick-tempo team overall, but compared to San Diego State, they move at light speed. San Diego State has controlled tempo overall in the tournament and will want to do so again against FAU.
Final FAU-San Diego State Prediction & Pick
Both teams get their first chance to win a Final Four game. No matter who wins, this will be an exciting moment for one team and heartbreak for the other. San Diego State is the better side overall. They control games better, play better defense, and do better on the glass. FAU has shown something special though. They have a quality offense and can shoot well from deep. They have also shown they can play the rebound game as well. This should be an exciting, close match-up, and it will depend on which strength wins. San Diego State is stronger, and they get to the finals.
Final FAU-San Diego State Prediction & Pick: San Diego State -2.5 (-115)
The post March Madness Odds: FAU vs. San Diego State prediction, pick, how to watch – 4/1/2023 appeared first on ClutchPoints.