Final Four: FAU-SDSU Preview, Betting Trends & Prediction

The Final Four officially gets under way when Florida Atlantic (35-3) and San Diego State (31-6) tip off at NRG Stadium in Houston on Saturday.One of the two Cinderella stories from this year’s Final Four will play in Monday’s national championship game.San Diego State was a consensus 2.5-point favorite as of Friday afternoon.That’s a shift from when it opened at 1.5 at BetMGM, with the Azetcs drawing 60 percent of the spread-line bets and 75 percent of the money. However, the most popular Final Four bet at the sportsbook has been FAU’s +130 moneyline, which has shifted from +105 with the Owls backed by 64 percent of the total bets.BetRivers’ also reported more spread-line action on San Diego State, which has been supported by 57 percent of the bets and 56 percent of the money.While the Owls and Aztecs made surprising runs to Houston, their season-long success belies the notion that their appearances are an aberration.The Owls are currently riding an 11-game winning streak that isn’t even their longest of this season. FAU had its 20-game win streak snapped by an 86-77 road loss to UAB on Feb. 2.To many, the Owls might seem to be a bunch of unknowns. However, FAU leads the nation in victories and is ranked 17th in efficiency in KenPom ratings.At 13.1 points per game, Alijah Martin is one of three Owls averaging double figures in points with five-plus rebounds alongside fellow sophomores Johnell Davis and Vladislav Goldin.FAU has thrived via collective effort, and white-knuckle tournament victories over Memphis, Fairleigh Dickinson, Tennessee and Kansas State validated the Owls’ egalitarian approach to success.”Extremely rewarding to see a group give as much as these guys have all season,” Owls coach Dusty May said. “Shots, playing time, minutes, everything you could imagine. Grit, everything 100 percent every day in practice, and then be rewarded because there’s never a guarantee.”You’re always relying on faith that you believe it’s going to happen, but you never really know. In this era where everyone wants the whole pie, these guys continued sharing the pie every single day, and this was the result.”

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