NCAA Final Four: Florida Atlantic vs. San Diego State Picks, Predictions, Odds

Final Four debutantes will make history this weekend when the Florida Atlantic Owls take on the San Diego State Aztecs for a spot in the national championship game.

Florida Atlantic is in the Final Four in just its second NCAA Tournament appearance, while San Diego State had never advanced further than the Sweet 16 prior to this year. The winner of this game will have the opportunity to be the biggest Cinderella to win the NCAA Tournament in the modern era.

On Thursday, March 30, 2023, the Florida Atlantic Owls and San Diego State Aztecs will square off in the first Final Four game. Tip off is scheduled for 6:09 p.m. ET on CBS from NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas.

The Aztecs are 6-0 ATS in their last six games. (Getty)

Florida Atlantic Owls vs. San Diego State Aztecs Betting Prediction

It's unlikely that we see a lot of points in this game. San Diego State does a good job of slowing down games and making them pretty low scoring, and we saw Florida Atlantic show they could play at that pace when they took down Tennessee in the Sweet 16. Picking a winner is difficult considering how these teams match up with each other, but the Under is a solid bet as long as the total stays in the 130s.

Best Bet: Under 131.5 (-110)
Score Prediction: San Diego State 64, Florida Atlantic 62

Florida Atlantic Owls vs. San Diego State Aztecs Betting Odds

Florida Atlantic Owls vs. San Diego State Aztecs Betting Resources

Date: Saturday, April 1st, 2023
TV-Time: CBS, 6:09 p.m. ET
Venue: NRG Stadium
Location: Houston, Texas
Expert Picks

Florida Atlantic Owls vs. San Diego State Aztecs Betting Stats

Florida Atlantic Owls
SU: 35-3
ATS: 24-11-1
O/U: 18-17-1
PPG: 78.1
OPPG: 65.1

San Diego State Aztecs
SU: 31-6
ATS: 20-16
O/U: 14-22
PPG: 71.5
OPPG: 62.9

Straight Up (SU), Against the Spread (ATS), Over-Under (O/U)
Points Per Game (PPG), Opponents Points Per Game (OPPG)

Updated on 05/21/2024
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Florida Atlantic Owls Betting Analysis

The Florida Atlantic Owls were as much as 500-1 to win the national championship earlier this month, so they could be one of the biggest futures wins in modern sports history if they were to win it all. Florida Atlantic was an underdog to UAB in the Conference USA Championship Game a couple weeks ago, and the Owls have been an underdog to every team save Fairleigh Dickinson along the way, but they have garnered more and more respect from the oddsmakers after every victory.

Florida Atlantic has four starters that can effectively shoot the three. Bryan Greenlee is the most effective perimeter shooter, making 41.1% of his threes, but Johnell Davis, Alijah Martin, and Nick Boyd are all hitting 37% from beyond the arc. The Owls have a pretty efficient offense, as all of the guards are solid ball handlers and center Vladislav Goldin is an effective big to play off of even if he isn't a great passer. Goldin is averaging 10.3 PPG and 6.6 RPG this season, and his size was a big reason why Florida Atlantic beat Kansas State in the Elite Eight. Giancarlo Rosado is the other big man to watch as he came up big in the first round win over Memphis.

This is the 30th best defense in the country according to Ken Pomeroy's metrics. Florida Atlantic ranks 15th in defensive field goal percentage, and the Owls do a great job protecting the interior with opponents making just 44.8% of their two-point field goals. Goldin does a good job protecting the rim with his 7'1 frame, and FAU will likely force San Diego State to settle for a lot of mid-range jumpers.

The Owls are 4-1 ATS in their last five games. (Getty)

San Diego State Aztecs Betting Analysis

Many bracketologists were surprised to see four Mountain West teams make the NCAA Tournament, and it didn't look good when Nevada, Boise State, and Utah State all lost their first games. However, San Diego State has picked up the conference's banner in the process of taking its own program to new heights. The Aztecs made just their third appearance in the Sweet 16 this season, and they ended up gritting out wins over top offenses Alabama and Creighton to make it to the Final Four.

San Diego State isn't great on offense as the Aztecs rank outside the top 200 in effective field goal percentage. Matt Bradley is the only player scoring in double figures with 12.5 PPG, but timely performances from Damion Trammell and Lamont Butler have been instrumental to the Aztecs continuing to advance in the NCAA Tournament. Occasional hot hand Adam Seiko has been a non-factor in March Madness so far with just 2.5 PPG, so points have been at a premium.

Fortunately for the Aztecs, they have the best defense of any Final Four team. They rank fourth nationally according to Pomeroy, and they are outstanding at defending the perimeter. Teams have made just 27.8% of their threes against San Diego State this season, and the defense has been even better during the postseason. Opponents are just 16 of 94 from beyond the arc in SDSU's four NCAA Tournament games. Nathan Mensah is an incredible defender in the paint too with a total of 12 blocks.