Western Kentucky vs FAU Odds, Prediction: How to Target This C-USA Game

Western Kentucky vs FAU Odds, Prediction: How to Target This C-USA Game article feature image

Pictured: Western Kentucky Hilltoppers guard Dayvion McKnight. (Photo by William Howard/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Western Kentucky vs Florida Atlantic Odds

Saturday, Jan. 28
4 p.m. ET
Western Kentucky Odds
-110o / -110u
Florida Atlantic Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

No. 21 Florida Atlantic looks to stay perfect in Conference USA action with a win at home against Western Kentucky on Saturday.

The Owls’ only loss of the year came at Ole Miss on November 11. Florida Atlantic is 20-1 overall and 10-0 in C-USA.

Meanwhile, the Hilltoppers (11-10) have struggled this season due to injuries and health issues with head coach Rick Stansbury.

Based on the histories of these programs, this is a role reversal in who is the favorite for this game, and I expect this to be a great matchup in Boca Raton, Florida.

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers

Due to an undisclosed health issue, Stansbury was forced to leave the bench for nine games before returning Thursday against FIU. It's clear his leadership has been missed in conference play.

On the court, the Hilltoppers have also been hit by the injury bug as starters Luke Frampton (out for the season) and Jamarion Sharp have missed time, though Sharp did return against the Golden Panthers.

This means even more responsibility is on star guard Dayvion McKnight, who is sixth in the league in scoring with 17.3 points per game. He also averages 5.1 rebounds and 4.05 assists per game.

As a team, WKU does a great job avoiding turnovers (55th TO%) and shooting 3-pointers (85th), according to barttorvik.com. The Hilltoppers are average defensively, but are ranked in the top 100 in defending 2-pointers.

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Florida Atlantic Owls

In his fifth year leading the program, head coach Dusty May’s job at FAU this season has been one of the biggest surprises in the nation. The Owls are nationally ranked for the first time in school history, and look poised for their second trip to the NCAA Tournament.

Florida Atlantic needs to avoid any bad losses in conference play to secure an at-large bid to the Big Dance as the Owls are are inside the top 20 in the NET with two Quad 1 victories.

The Owls swept the regular season meetings with North Texas and won the first of two against UAB. However, they likely won’t have many more resume-building games on the remaining schedule.

May has built a well-balanced squad that is good on both ends of the floor, ranking inside the top 60 in AdjO (36th) and AdjD (55th). The depth on the roster is also shown via the high-quality players on the bench, including leading scorer Johnell Davis (17.4 PPG in C-USA).

Western Kentucky vs. Florida Atlantic Betting Pick

I have a hard time laying a spread of -14 in college hoops, but FAU has been the most profitable team in the country this season (15-3-1 ATS). Even though the Owls are continuing to cover big prices, I see better value in another market.

My best bet is to back WKU in the first half at a spread of +6 or better.

Yes, Florida Atlantic has been a great team in the opening period, but this has been a spot where the Hilltoppers have thrived. In C-USA play, WKU has led at halftime in seven of 10 games.

One of the times the Hilltoppers trailed was against FAU. However, the deficit was only one point, which surely covered the first-half spread.

If your book offers player props on college hoops games, you also could look at taking the over on McKnight’s points as he will continue to get increased shots with Frampton's absence. In the first contest without Frampton, McKnight scored 23 points on 17 shots.

Florida Atlantic is due an off night at some point, and I think the Hilltoppers can keep it close until halftime.

Pick: Western Kentuck 1st Half +6 or Better

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