Two unlikely upstarts will square off when Florida Atlantic plays San Diego State in the first national semifinal on Saturday at NRG Stadium in Houston.
The Owls and Aztecs are two of the three first-time Final Four participants in the historic 2023 NCAA Tournament. Despite going 35-3, FAU has been the underdog as the lower seed in three of its four NCAA Tournament games this year.
FAU has stunned all their opponents on their Final Four run, most recently defeating Kansas State 79-75 in the regional final in New York.
The Aztecs have been the opposite, favored in three of their four tournament games. Still, San Diego State has had arguably the best win of the tournament when it held No. 1 overall seed Alabama to just 64 points in its seven-point Sweet 16 win.
SDSU advanced to the Final Four with a 57-56 win over Creighton, keyed by Darrion Trammell‘s tie-breaking free throw with 1.2 seconds left.
Here’s a look at the FAU-SDSU odds for the first national semifinal.
Pat Pickens’ March Madness Betting Record: 29-23 (+11.3 units)
San Diego State vs Florida Atlantic Odds
Note: Final Four odds mentioned in this article for San Diego State vs Florida Atlantic were used from DraftKings Sportsbook, unless otherwise noted, and are current as of Monday, March 27, at noon ET.
- Moneyline: San Diego State (-130) • Florida Atlantic (+110)
- Spread: San Diego State -2 (-110) • Florida Atlantic +2 (-110)
- Total: Over 131.5 (-110) • Under 131.5 (-110)
San Diego State vs Florida Atlantic Pick of the Day
Keep scrolling for more San Diego State vs Florida Atlantic betting tips.
- Wager on the other Final Four game: Click for UConn vs Miami best bets.
San Diego State vs Florida Atlantic Prediction
San Diego State 65, Florida Atlantic 55
The ninth-seeded Owls are 35-3 and showing the world how underrated they were entering the tournament, but the Aztecs only have six losses this year and they are playing extraordinary defense, allowing just 57.25 points per game during the tournament and no more than 64 in any game.
I worry about the nerves and shots among first-time Final Four participants, particularly given the depth-perception issues that can come into play playing in a larger venue. I know FAU toppled defensive-minded Tennessee in the Sweet 16, but I worry about its ability to score in the stadium against the Aztecs, who rely on their defense to win.
I think SDSU’s style is a little more adaptable to the unique conditions.
📈 Keep track of NCAA Tournament winner odds to find our best March Madness bets:
San Diego State vs Florida Atlantic Best Bets
Under 131.5 Total Points (-110) • DraftKings Sportsbook
WAGER: 2 Units
The only Aztecs game this tournament to surpass even 130 points was their upset win over Alabama, which had one of the nation’s best offenses all season.
I like Johnell Davis, who leads the FAU offense, and Alijah Martin has been a great No. 2 option, but between SDSU’s defense, the extreme nerves both sides will be feeling, and the depth perception, I’d be shocked if the winning team finishes with 70 points.
Expect low scoring for this college basketball bet of the day.
San Diego State -2 (-110) • DraftKings Sportsbook
WAGER: 1 Unit
If you believe a favorite will win, you should absolutely be willing to lay two points, since there have only been a handful of one-point games in the tournament (it’s worth noting that FAU and SDSU have each participated in one).
Still, national semifinal games can often be lopsided since Cinderellas can run out of gas, and shooting woes persist in stadiums. I’m not saying the Aztecs will win by 20. But they should win by at least three.