UAB vs. FAU Odds, Picks and Betting Prediction: Will Conference USA Championship Game Be a Shootout?
Jasen Vinlove, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Lane Kiffin
- Updated UAB vs. Florida Atlantic odds list FAU as a 7.5-point favorite with the total at 49.
- Lane Kiffin appears headed to Ole Miss to be the Rebels' next head coach, so this could be his last game in Boca Raton.
- Get our experts' picks for the Conference USA Championship Game below.
Conference USA Championship Odds: FAU vs. UAB
- Spread: FAU -8
- Over/Under: 49.5
- Time: Saturday, 1:30 p.m. ET
- TV: CBS Sports Network
- Location: FAU Stadium, Boca Raton, Fla.
The Conference USA Title game will feature two head coaches on their way to bigger jobs. Lane Kiffin’s Florida Atlantic University Owls are an 8-point home favorite over Bill Clark’s UAB Blazers, the defending champions.
Both of these teams finished with 9-3 records, though FAU was slightly better against the spread at 8-4. UAB finished 7-5 ATS but played a much weaker schedule compared to its rival.
Will UAB go back-to-back? Or will Kiffin ride off into the sunset with a C-USA ring on his finger?
Odds as of Saturday morning and via DraftKings, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $200 and a deposit bonus of up to $500.
FAU vs. UAB Line Movement
The earliest release of this line had Florida Atlantic listed as a 6.5-point favorite … and that lasted all of about five minutes. By the time most books hit the market with a line for this game, the number was up to -7.5, and even still the Owls have been the overwhelmingly more popular bet. Seventy-fivepercent of bets and 78% of money have landed on FAU, moving this number to -8 across the market.
As for the total, while bets are relatively split (55% on the under), almost all the money (94%) being wagered thus far have landed on the under. That’s led a few books to drop the line a bit from 50 to 49.5, perhaps a result of the lacking overall ticket count to this point. — Danny Donahue
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Collin Wilson: UAB Steps Up in Weight Class
Bill Clark and the UAB Blazers won the Conference-USA title as 25-1 longshots in 2018. Clark has been nothing short of amazing since bringing UAB back from the dead in 2017. The Blazers are 25-13-1 against the spread since the program started back in 2017, making Clark the most profitable coach to back in FBS.
On the other sideline is Lane Kiffin, who will likely leave FAU after this game to take on a high-profile job in 2020.
While the Owls get a lot of credit for their explosive offense, the story here is FAU’s much-improved defense under new defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer.
Florida Atlantic ranks eighth in rushing success rate, 15 in line yards, 18th in stuff rate and 27th in finishing drives. Those are impressive numbers considering the Owls played Ohio State and Central Florida.
UAB also boasts a fantastic defense. The Blazers rank first in rushing success rate and fifth in passing success rate. UAB’s numbers sparkle, but it must be noted that it played one of the softest schedules in the country.
UAB’s offense has struggled at times, but the numbers are skewed by injury problems. Quarterback Tyler Johnson, plus plenty of other skill-position players have missed time. Still, the Blazers average just 25 points per game and if you throw out a safety against Southern Miss and a pick-6 against North Texas, UAB has scored 11.8 points per game against top-100 opposition this season.
FAU can be exposed by big rushing plays, but that is not a strong suit for this UAB offense.
Our Action Network projected spread is in line with the market, but the total seems to offer some value. These are two good defenses and UAB’s sputtering offense is stepping up in competition.
The Bet: Under 49.5
Collin Wilson is 482-404-23 (54.4%) overall betting on college football. You can follow him in our free app.
Stuckey: Can You Trust Either Offense?
UAB’s offense is ugly across the board. However, the Blazers make up for their offensive deficiencies with a stellar defense, led by a ferocious defensive front that can stop the run and get after the quarterback. The Blazers only allow 2.8 yards per carry, which ranks seventh in the country.
I expect FAU to be behind the sticks for most of the game, which means UAB can unleash its relentless pass rush against an Owls line that has struggled to protect the quarterback at times this year.
I think this total is a little inflated because of FAU’s reputation but the Owls have been sneaky good on defense this season. The Owls do play fast but UAB balances that out with their snail-like pace. Give me the Under 50 in a game that should be dominated by both defensive fronts.
The Bet: Under 49.5
Stuckey is 519-478-29 (52.1%) overall betting on college football. You can follow him in our free app.
Kyle Miller: Defense Should Be the Story
In what will likely be his last game on the sidelines in Boca Raton, Kiffin is looking for his second CUSA Championship. He’ll face the defending champion UAB Blazers on his home field. Everything sets up nicely for a particular bet in this one.
UAB’s defense was excellent last season and they’ve taken a step forward again in 2019.
Kiffin typically has a high-scoring team, but this year’s version of the Owls’ offense hasn’t produced the kind of results you’d expect. While they’re 42nd in points per play, they’re just 68th in yards per play so they’ve been fortunate.
FAU is about average in terms of passing success rate, but they rank 102nd in rushing success rate so it’ll be very difficult to efficiently move the ball against UAB. The Owls are highly explosive, but UAB does a great job of limiting chunk plays for opposing offenses.
UAB runs the ball almost exclusively yet the Blazers rank 122nd in rushing success rate. That’s not a recipe for success and their futility has come to fruition with 117th ranked offense overall by SP+. FAU is 8th in defending rushing success rate so UAB will have to get long running plays to score. I don’t see that happening it all.
To top it all off, both defensive lines rank in the top-15 in DL score and they’re going up against two of the worst offensive lines in the nation. I’m expecting the defensive lines to be in the backfield all day.
The Bet: Under 49.5 or better
Kyle Miller is 231-198-12 (53.8%) overall betting on college football. You can follow him in our free app.