Vaughn Dalzell breaks down his best bets for the Final Four between the two Cinderellas, the Florida Atlantic Owls and San Diego State Aztecs.
Florida Atlantic vs. San Diego State (-2): O/U 131.5
This game will be played at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas, the home of the NFL's Houston Texans. With that, I expect the game to start slow with both teams feeling each other out, but also playing in the biggest game of their lives on an even bigger stage (literally).
San Diego State ranks 345th in adjusted defensive tempo and FAU is 280th, so expect both defenses to lock in early.
The Aztecs are No. 4 in efficiency (89.9) and No. 2 in three-point defensive percentage (27.2%). SDSU has allowed opponents to go 15-of-86 (17.4%) from three during the NCAA Tournament.
The Owls are No. 29 in defensive efficiency (95.3), No. 11 in two-point defense (44.8%) and No. 70 in three-point defense (32%).
FAU hits the triple at 36.5% on the season (44th) but that dropped to 31.1% in the tournament (34-of-109). The Owls made eight or nine triples in every tournament game, but that should end versus the Aztecs.
San Diego State uses seven seniors and two juniors in the rotation as one of the oldest teams in the country and most experienced (21st). FAU is old, but not as old and return 66% of their minutes from last season (26th) to assist to the improved 35-3 record.
The Aztecs lost the first round of its last two NCAA Tournament's so this is a Cinderella run in its own right but just not as popularized because of FAU's improbable run as a No. 9 seed.
I played the 1H Under 61.0 points at -115 odds and played San Diego State on the ML at -130 odds.
Pick: 1H Under 61.0 (1u), San Diego State ML (Risk 1u)
These games are being played at NRG Stadium, which is owned by the NFL's Houston Texans arena, which we know makes things a little weird for some teams. 1H Unders are usually the angle of attack in NFL stadiums.
Per Action Network, "Historically, Connecticut (-135) or San Diego State (+360) will likely win the national championship. In 17 of the past 18 Final Fours, one of the two favorites entering the weekend went on to win it all. The one exception was in 2014 — when UConn won it all."
Per Action Network, "The public was 0-3 ATS in last year's Final Four and is 5-13 ATS since 2016."
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