San Diego State vs FAU Odds, Picks, Prediction | How to Bet Final Four

San Diego State vs FAU Odds, Picks, Prediction | How to Bet Final Four article feature image

Elsa/Getty Images. Pictured: Johnell Davis of the FAU Owls.

San Diego State vs FAU Odds

Saturday, April 1
6:09 p.m. ET
San Diego State Odds
-110o / -110u
FAU Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

In a 2023 Final Four that features many “firsts,” many of them will come in the opening matchup between Florida Atlantic and San Diego State.

For Florida Atlantic, this is not only its first trip to the Final Four, but the first year in which it recorded an NCAA Tournament win. The Owls were defeated by Alabama in their only other tournament appearance in 2002.

On the other side, San Diego State will be making its first trip past the Sweet 16 in program history. In addition, the Aztecs are the first team in the history of the Mountain West Conference to make an appearance in college basketball's final weekend.

Although this will be uncharted territory for each team, both units have incredibly experienced rosters that will be ready to perform under the bright lights.

Florida Atlantic ranks 26th nationally in minutes continuity, returning 66.1% of its minutes from a team that finished with 19 wins a season ago. Similarly, San Diego State is one of the most experienced teams in all of college basketball, ranking 21st nationally in D-I experience.

To pick which experienced unit will take advantage of this significant moment in their program’s history, let’s take a look at the odds and make a prediction for Florida Atlantic vs. San Diego State.

San Diego State Aztecs

Brian Dutcher's experienced Aztecs squad has repeatedly outperformed expectations on the way to their first Final Four in school history.

Although SDSU has relied on its defense to carry most of the weight up to this point in the season, it will need to match a stout FAU offense in order to advance to the national championship.

The Aztecs offense is the second-weakest unit left in the field, behind only the Miami defense.

Offensively, SDSU ranks 75th in Adjusted Efficiency, averaging 72.1 points per game. A lot of that is due to the Aztecs' inability to find consistent high-quality looks. SDSU ranks 223rd nationally in effective field-goal percentage at just 46.9%.

FAU will look to force the Aztecs into low-percentage looks from the perimeter given its defensive abilities on the interior. The Owls rank 11th nationally in 2-point percentage defense, allowing just 44.8% shooting from inside the arc.

Interior shooting is already an Achilles' heel for SDSU, as they rank 203rd nationally in midrange percentage at 37.4%.

Unlike FAU, I don't believe San Diego State will find consistent offensive success if forced into shots from the perimeter, as the Aztecs have attempted just 33.8% of their field-goal attempts from deep, connecting on just 33.9% — both outside the top 170 nationally.

There will be a great deal of talk about San Diego State's stout defense, but I believe Florida Atlantic has the defensive philosophy and personnel to succeed on that end of the floor.

Florida Atlantic Owls

After winning its last 11 contests, Florida Atlantic brings the longest active winning streak in the country to the Final Four in Houston.

This success has come can be attributed to the Owls playing at a high level on both ends of the floor.

Offensively, FAU has a plethora of scorers who give them the ability to overextend their opponents. The Owls have three players averaging in double figures (Johnell Davis, Alijah Martin and Vladislav Goldin) and have had a lethal attack from the perimeter.

The Owls have shot 44% of their field goal attempts from beyond the arc, connecting on 36.5% of those attempts, both inside the top-45 nationally.

Florida Atlantic gets the scoring going with this early 3 🔥

— SportsBettingDime (@SBD) March 25, 2023

Their outside shooting ability will be mandatory against a San Diego State defense that has carried them to Houston. The Aztecs have climbed to fourth nationally in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency, allowing no more than 64 points during their tournament run.

SDSU achieves this defensive success by protecting the rim and forcing teams into shots from the perimeter. The Aztecs rank 22nd nationally in near-proximity defense, allowing teams to convert just 53.1% of their layups, dunks and tip-ins.

As a result of this emphasis on rim protection, SDSU opponents have shot 40.1% of their field goal attempts from 3-point range, well above the D-I average of 37.3%.

Although the Aztecs defense has been a puzzle for opponents throughout the tournament, I like FAU to find some success here by spreading the floor with a plethora of scorers.

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San Diego State vs FAU Betting Pick

It seems as if San Diego State has been faded by the public at nearly every stage in this NCAA Tournament and continues to answer the bell.

This trend seems to have finally been bucked, as the Aztecs have been bet up to a 3-point favorite against a Cinderella team in Florida Atlantic.

Although San Diego State does deserve some praise, I will once again be fading it against an FAU team that has real advantages on both ends of the floor.

Offensively, the Owls will not shy away from the 3-point attempts the Aztecs will allow them to take, thus spreading the floor for their high-low offense featuring 7-foot-1 Goldin.

On the other end, an FAU defense that ranks 15th nationally in effective field-goal percentage allowed will clog the interior and force SDSU into low-percentage outside looks that it doesn't like to take.

I will gladly take the points with a Florida Atlantic team that's being undervalued given its Cinderella status.

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