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FAU danced all the way to the Final Four last season, and they’ve continued to take steps forward this season. The Owls are the 20th-ranked team in the land and 18-4 on the year.
The Owls will travel to Birmingham to battle the UAB Blazers. The Blazers have talent, which is apparent by their 14-8 record. Yet, they’re not on the same level as the Owls.
The Blazers must play perfectly to give themselves a chance as a home underdog. FAU has consistently won on the road over the past few seasons, so they shouldn’t be rattled on the road.
Here, we break down the entire matchup and give our best bets for FAU vs. UAB.
FAU enters this game as a 5.5-point road favorite. The line opened at 4.5 and quickly spiked, as the Owls are the better team.
FAU is priced at -215 on the moneyline, compared to UAB at +180. The Owls are a hefty road favorite for multiple reasons, but they’ve proven they can beat the Blazers.
The Owls hosted UAB earlier in the season, and they won by 13 points. We may see a repeat of this outcome on Thursday.
|Over 155.5 (-110)
|Under 155.5 (-110)
FAU hasn’t been covering spreads consistently in their recent stretch of games. The team has proven they can win, but they’re just 2-8 ATS in their past ten games.
One of the primary reasons for the poor spread performances is because they’re usually laying big numbers. FAU is dominant in a midmajor conference, so bookmakers price them accordingly.
Despite this, they already covered 5.5 against UAB a few weeks ago. There is no denying that FAU is more dominant as long as they can handle the Alabama-Birmingham crowd.
KenPom has Florida Atlantic as the 28th-ranked team in the country. They’re a dominant scoring team like last year, but they allow points. The team is 79th in defensive efficiency, according to KenPom, and they play a slow-paced style of basketball.
The Owls have used their gaping size all year against nearly every American Athletic Conference team. FAU has a large proportion of their team back, and all the veterans have stepped up throughout the year.
Johnell Davis is a physical guard who has taken his game to a new level. He leads the team in scoring with 18.9 points per game and has made 51.2% of his shots throughout the year.
He recorded a 34 and 28-point game in the past couple of weeks and has done excellent work with rebounding and facilitating the entire offensive strategy. The other player to watch for the Owls is Vladislav Golden.
Golden leads the Owls in rebounds with 6.8 per game. He is physical, but there are ways to attack him under the rim.
Yaxel Lendeborg will be tasked with winning the battle in the paint. The junior is the Blazers leader in rebounds with 9.5 per game. He ranks 26th in America in the category.
Lendeborg isn’t a great scorer, but this isn’t his job. Eric Gaines is the player taking most of the shots. He is shooting below 40% from the field, but he is a great passer when he isn’t making shots.
Gaines is 48th in the country in assists with 5.1 per game. Unfortunately for UAB, they’re 127th in the nation in the KenPom ranking. They’re 79th in adjusted offense and 220th in defensive efficiency.
This is a massive issue going against FAU. The Owls defense isn’t great, but it should keep Alabama-Birmingham in check. On the flip side, FAU will roll in the frontcourt against one of the worst defensive teams in America.
In college sports, it’s always hard to fade teams at home getting points. Yet, 5.5 still seems too small for the Owls. FAU dominated UAB once this season, and they’re a more efficient team in nearly every statistical category.
It’s hard to worry too much about home court with midmajor programs. UAB will have a crowd, but it should quickly die down when FAU begins to play its style of basketball. Lay the points with FAU.
FAU vs. UAB Pick: FAU -5.5 at FanDuel Sportsbook
When: Thursday, Feb. 8 @ 6:00 PM ET
Where: Bartow Arena, Birmingham, AL
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Tanner Kern has been working in the betting industry since 2020. He currently is a social media content creator at DraftKings and contributes to multiple sites in addition to WSN, including Forbes and VSiN. He is also the cohost of the podcast Ride the Line at WSN.More info on Tanner Kern
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