CBB Pick 2/22/24: SMU Mustangs Aim to Tame FAU Owls in Pivotal AAC Showdown

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smu vs. fau cbb pick ats
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A critical American Athletic Conference (AAC) battle erupts Thursday night as the red-hot SMU Mustangs (19-7, 10-3) storm into Boca Raton to challenge the high-flying Florida Atlantic Owls (20-6, 10-3). The two teams are deadlocked in a tie for 3rd place in the conference standings, making this clash all the more significant.

FAU has opened as a -5.5 favorite at betonline sportsbook with a total of 152.

Home-court Edge vs. Momentum

The Owls will lean on their impressive 10-1 record at Abessinio Court, but the Mustangs arrive on the wings of a season-best 6-game winning streak. FAU boasts a high-octane offense, ranking 17th nationally in points per game, while SMU counters with a suffocating defense that ranks top-25 in numerous categories – field goal percentage allowed, 3-point defense, steals, and blocks.

Statistical Advantage

SMU’s stingy defense will be put to the test against an FAU squad with four players averaging double-digits in scoring, compared to the Mustangs’ two. On the flip side, the Owls must contend with SMU’s rebounding prowess and their 7-2 ATS record on the road.

The Model’s Verdict

Intrigue abounds as our predictive model offers conflicting outcomes. Season-long data favors FAU winning 79-72, but SMU’s recent surge tilts the scales toward an upset, with the model predicting an 86-82 Mustangs victory.

Key Questions

  • Will FAU’s offensive firepower overwhelm SMU’s staunch defense?
  • Can the Mustangs continue their scorching run on hostile territory?
  • Will this single regular-season clash have major implications for the AAC tournament seeding?

 

Our Pick

This is a great matchup and one that has earned the #1 ranking on the KenPom thrill chart for today’s card.

We’ll gladly grab the +5.5 points here in a game that should have playoff like intensity. We’ll side with current form every time and in this spot SMU is the hottest they’ve been all year.

SMU +5.5

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