FAU vs UAB Odds, Picks: How to Bet This Big Mid-Major Duel
Pictured: UAB Blazers guard Jordan Walker. (Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Florida Atlantic vs. UAB Odds
|Florida Atlantic Odds|
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
In a matchup between two top mid-major teams, UAB hosts No. 19 Florida Atlantic at Bartow Arena on Thursday night.
The Blazers came into the campaign as the Conference USA preseason favorite, but they’ve stumbled to five league losses and are 15-7 on the year.
Meanwhile, the Owls have rattled off 20 straight wins and are at the top of the conference standings at 11-0.
In the first meeting, the schools combined for over 170 points in a game that was decided by one possession, which means this could be one of the best matchups of the night in college hoops.
When you look at FAU’s remaining schedule, this trip to Birmingham, Alabama, is the hardest test standing between the Owls and a perfect conference season. They have already defeated North Texas twice and beaten the Blazers once.
In ESPN’s most recent Bracketology, the Owls were projected as a No. 9 seed in the NCAA Tournament, which makes you think their resume may be good enough to secure an at-large bid. However, head coach Dusty May’s team must avoid bad losses in the conference to hold its place.
As a team, May’s squad is very balanced, ranking in the Top 50 in AdjO (47th), AdjD (43rd) and EFG% on both ends of the court, according to barttorvik.com. Meanwhile, the Owls also clean the glass defensively (38th) and defend 2-pointers (9th) at elite levels.
The Owls are led by a Sixth Man of the Year candidate in Johnell Davis, who is averaging 16.6 points and 6.0 rebounds per game in conference play. He scored 36 points in the first meeting, and FAU needed every one of them.
After making the Big Dance last season, most were expecting the Blazers to be the C-USA representative again this year, especially with the strong core returning to the program.
It started with point guard Jordan “Jelly” Walker coming back for another season. The senior is one of the best scorers in the country and is tied for second in the NCAA with 23.8 points per game.
Unfortunately, Walker has missed the past five games, which included a pivotal contest against North Texas. It will be very important to monitor his status as we get closer to first tip.
With the Blazers sitting 74th in the NET rankings with no Quad 1 wins, this is easily their biggest game of the season, and we should get maximum effort.
Florida Atlantic vs. UAB Betting Pick
In a matchup between two great teams, the handicap really does come down to Walker’s status. I believe his availability swings who will win this contest.
So, my best bet is to back UAB on the moneyline at anything better than -130 odds if he plays. However, I would bet FAU at the same price if Walker sits out a sixth straight game.
The full scope of what Walker means to this team is hard to quantify, but you can see the struggles without him in recent games. The Blazers were unable to beat Middle Tennessee and North Texas in a pair of matchups Walker missed.
He also scored just shy of 25% of UAB’s 86 points in the first matchup. Speaking of that first meeting, it follows a trend for coach Andy Kennedy’s team this season.
On the season, the over has cashed in 71% of UAB’s games and that could also be worth a look as both these teams play at decent tempos.
Make sure look for updates on Walker’s status and I hope he plays to make this one of the best games on Thursday’s college hoops slate.
Pick: UAB ML -130 or Better if Walker Plays | FAU ML -130 or Better if Walker Sits
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