Only four teams remain in this year’s NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Just as everyone predicted, one of the Miami Hurricanes, UConn Huskies, Florida Atlantic Owls and San Diego State Aztecs will win this year’s dance. Per FiveThirtyEight’s pre-tournament projections, these teams had a 4.75% combined chance of winning the tournament. The Final Four odds point to value on this moneyline bet for San Diego State-Florida Atlantic at Caesars. For more Final Four predictions and March Madness bets, check out OddsShopper’s tools.
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San Diego State-Florida Atlantic Prediction: Will Elite Defense Prevail?
The San Diego State Aztecs are one of the NCAA’s best defensive teams. They rank third in adjusted defensive efficiency (88.9) for the full season year and rank second during postseason play (80.7). Their exceptional ability to slow down games and limit scoring allowed them to earn an upset win over the No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide. Only one other team left in the tournament, the No. 5 Miami Hurricanes, have also taken down a No. 1 seed.
The Florida Atlantic Owls make for a tough opponent, but they own a far less impressive resume than the Aztecs. FAU ranks 32nd in adjusted offensive efficiency (113.4) and 36th in adjusted defensive efficiency (95.5) this year. They also rank only 61st in adjusted offensive efficiency (112.6) and 24th in adjusted defensive efficiency (89.7) since the start of the postseason. The Aztecs have already taken down two teams that outrank the Owls in offensive efficiency, No. 1 Alabama and No. 6 Creighton.
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The pricing for this game feels somewhat inefficient. Florida Atlantic is only a 2-point underdog. San Diego State’s moneyline odds of -130 (56.5%) at Caesars Sportsbook don’t favor them by a wide enough margin. FiveThirtyEight’s projection (62%), BartTorvik’s projection (64%) and Pinnacle’s odds (57.5%) all suggest that the Aztecs have a better chance of winning than what Caesars would have you believe. VSiN, which indexes bets placed at DraftKings, reports that San Diego State has attracted 54% of the handle on the moneyline — but on only 39% of the tickets.
The number available at domestic books should steadily move further in San Diego State’s favor throughout the week. Bettors eager to get action on the Aztecs should do so quickly. Even a cursory glance at other projection sites and sharper sportsbooks reveals that Caesars has left too much value on the table. Readers yet to register at Caesars can get their first bet on the house up to $1,250!
San Diego State-Florida Atlantic Final Four Prediction & Bet: San Diego State Moneyline (-130) at Caesars