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One of these Final Four teams are a sleeper and the other is a Cinderella story. The San Diego State Aztecs meets the Florida Atlantic Owls Saturday, April 1st at the NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. Tip-off is 6:09 p.m. ET and the game airs on CBS.
SDSU definitely had the tougher path to the Final Four. The 5-seed Aztecs went through the No. 1 overall seed, Alabama, in the Sweet 16. Then San Diego State upset 6-seed Creighton in the South Regional final.
That’s not to knock 9-seed FAU’s opponents. The Owls took down 4-seed Tennessee in the Sweet 16 and eked past 3-seed Kansas State in the Elite Eight in the East Region.
I backed Florida Atlantic in both of these victories but I’m jumping ship. Styles make fights and San Diego State’s offense is going to lock Florida Atlantic up in the Final Four.
OutKick Bets Podcast: Final Four 2023 Betting Bonanza Ft Grayson Weir
Florida Atlantic vs. San Diego State odds (DraftKings Sportsbook)
The Owls are 35th nationally out of 363 programs in offensive 3-point-attempt rate (3PAr), according to Ken Pom, and the Aztecs are 2nd in defensive 3-point percentage.
SDSU has held its four NCAA tourney foes to 17.0% from behind the arc. Alabama and Creighton to a combined 5-of-44 from deep vs. San Diego State in the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight.
Furthermore, FAU-SDSU is in a football stadium with weird sight lines. It’s going to take time for these teams to adjust. This is why the 1st-HALF UNDER 60.5 (-120) at DraftKings is a “good look”.
Also, Florida Atlantic likes to get out in transition and San Diego State will shut that down. SDSU is 345th in defensive adjusted tempo (per Ken Pom) and 20th in defensive effective field goal shooting (per Hoop-Math.com).
San Diego State’s last three opponents (Alabama, Creighton, and Furman) rank 20th, 22nd, and 38th, respectively, in Ken Pom’s adjusted offensive efficiency.
All-in-all, the Aztecs are nasty on defense. They have gone UNDER the total in 12 consecutive games and SDSU is going to turn this game into a rock-fight.
This line is on the move as well. San Diego State opened as -2 favorites and DraftKings is reporting via VSIN that the public action is 50/50. It appears as though the sportsbooks are reacting to sharp action on the Aztecs.
Since I’m getting late to the party, I’m gonna bet SDSU’s moneyline to win a half-unit and put a half-unit on the 1st-half total.
BET: SDSU (-150) moneyline & UNDER 60.5 in the 1st-half (-120)
PS Player Prop: Florida Atlantic C Vladislav Goldin points prop (8.5)
- Over 8.5 (-110)
- UNDER 8.5 (-120)
San Diego State starting big Nathan Mensah is going to put Goldin on a milk carton. Mensah is the 2023 Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year and has the best defensive rating for either squad.
The Aztecs are 282nd in defensive 3PAr and force opponents into a lot of contested 3s. Also, SDSU foes just end up settling for 3s because Mensah shuts down everything inside the arc.
Goldin scored 14 points vs. Kansas State in the Elite Eight. But, Goldin scored 6, 8 and 3 points in his other three NCAA tourney games. KSU has a weak frontcourt and it was easy for Goldin to put up numbers.
Florida Atlantic is going to rely on its guards vs. San Diego State and Goldin getting touches won’t be a priority.
BET: Florida Atlantic C Vladislav Goldin UNDER 8.5 points (-120)
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