The Florida Atlantic Owls have been one of the best kept secrets in sports betting this season. They’ve now amazingly covered the spread in eight straight games and rank in a tie as the sixth-most profitable team in the country for college football bettors at 8-2 ATS (against the spread).
The Owls have done it all quietly, tucked away neatly in the unheralded Sun Belt Conference, where the only games appearing on ESPN are on the “U” and they are played on days that end in “riday”. The Owls are also just 3-7 straight up this season, a record typically not associated with raking in profits for bettors.
Well the secret is out, for those who have been listening. FAU opened as a 1-point underdog for Friday’s home game against FIU in the Shula Bowl and sharps quickly propped the Owls up to a 2-point favorite.
It marks the first time FAU has been favored against an FBS squad since Nov. 13, 2010 when the team was an 11.5-point fave against La.-Lafayette. The closest the Owls came to being favored this season versus an FBS foe was when they were a 4.5-point dog on Oct. 20 at Southern Alabama and lost 37-34 in OT.
FAU has been slow to get rolling this season under new coach Carl Pelini with new systems while playing in a brand new stadium. But Pelini told the Palm Beach Post recently he thinks his team can win its final three games.
The Owls ended a 15-game road losing streak with a 37-28 win as a 15.5-point underdog over the weekend. One clear sign of improvement is in the yardage battle. FAU was badly out-gained in yards in its first three games against FBS competition this year. But then it lost the yardage battle by a mere 40 yards combined in its next two games and has now won the yardage war in three of its past four games.
One area they’ll want to clean up on to get past FIU is defense, though. FAU hasn’t held an opponent to fewer than 24 points in any of its past five games.