SMU vs Florida Atlantic Odds, Picks and Predictions: Points at a Premium in Thursday's Conference Clash

Tonight's matchup in Boca Raton holds significant importance in the AAC standings, as the Owls and Mustangs seek a top spot in the conference. Read more in Jason Logan's SMU vs. Florida Atlantic betting picks.

Feb 22, 2024 • 12:22 ET • 4 min read
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This article contains predictions for an old game!

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A heavy road schedule has resulted in some mixed results for the FAU Owls this month. They’re hoping a home stand can cook up some consistency, especially with a red-hot SMU Mustangs team coming to Eleanor R. Baldwin Arena in Thursday's college basketball odds.

The Owls have played five of their last eight outing away from home, including Sunday’s loss to South Florida. While Florida Atlantic is 6-2 straight up in that eight-game stretch, the Owls have produced a 3-5 mark against the spread for college basketball bettors.

Southern Methodist is riding a six-game winning streak but much like FAU, the Mustangs aren’t a sure thing when the spread’s involved. They’re only 3-3 ATS in that span and have played just two of those six contests on the road. 

I dissect the spread and Over/Under total for this AAC affair and give my best college basketball picks and predictions for SMU vs. Florida Atlantic on February 22.

SMU vs Florida Atlantic best odds

SMU vs Florida Atlantic picks and predictions

Southern Methodist’s recent scoring surge should be taken with a grain of salt. 

The Mustangs have faced six foes all below them in the AAC standings, with stellar offensive outings against defenses ranked ninth, 12th (twice), and 13th in the conference. The other two games in this stretch were against defenses sitting fourth and sixth in the AAC and producing only 71 and 72 points for SMU.

Florida Atlantic is renowned for its offense, but at home, the Owls put the clamps on opponents. They’re giving up less than 66 points against inside Eleanor R. Baldwin Arena, checking foes to 40.6% shooting. Overall, FAU is the seventh-ranked defense in the AAC, but that metric is skewed by its downtick in defense on the road.

Southern Methodist is no slouch on the defensive end, either. It’s 36th in defensive efficiency at KenPom and has complemented many of those recent offensive efforts with stingy work on the defensive end. That defense travels for SMU, holding host teams to less than 68 points on an effective FG rate of 45% on their own floor.

As my Covers colleague Rohit Ponnaiya pointed out on our college basketball picks page, both teams force opponents deep into the shot clock and rank Top 25 in average length of defensive possession. Tonight’s game carries a lot of weight in the AAC pecking order, with FAU and SMU fighting for a Top 3 spot in the conference. This crucial contest will have a postseason-like atmosphere.

Game models are calling for a closer contest and all see this final score falling Under the current Over/Under number. Those projections range from 151.5 to as low as 150 points, which is more than enough headroom for the Under.

My best bet: Under 154 (-110 at bet365)

SMU vs Florida Atlantic same-game parlay

Under 154

SMU +6.5

Chuck Harris Over 12.5 points

The Mustangs won’t find the same offensive output on the road at FAU and this game will lean into a defensive battle.

Game projections are pointing to a close contest, with SMU staying within the 6.5-point spread. The Mustangs are 7-2 ATS in true road games this season.

Meanwhile, Chuck Harris doesn’t shrink on the road, averaging close to 15 points per game in enemy territory. Player projections call for more than 14 points versus FAU tonight.

Learn how to bet a same-game parlay with these helpful tips and strategies.

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SMU vs Florida Atlantic spread and Over/Under analysis

Florida Atlantic opened as short as 5.5-point home chalk for this Thursday night contest and drew early action overnight, jumping up to as high as -7. However, that spread has been chipped away at by bets on the Mustangs, bringing the line down to as low as -6 at some sharper sportsbooks.

The Owls have stumbled in recent weeks after a solid start to the year, but as mentioned, they’ve played a road-hefty sked the past month. Florida Atlantic’s high-powered offense tends to travel well, but the defense has a tough time slowing down host teams.

The Owls are giving up 77.8 points as a visitor compared to just 65.9 average points against at home. The Mustangs will put that home-court edge to the test, with their offense fueling this recent run.

Southern Methodist is averaging more than 85 points per game during its current six-game winning streak, including a 106-79 rout of Memphis at home on Sunday. Overall, SMU sits at No. 50 in offensive efficiency at KenPom and is one of the better bets in the conference at 14-9-2 ATS, including 7-2 ATS on the road.

Thursday’s total opened at 154 points and is down to as low as 153 at some sportsbooks. 

Florida Atlantic is 13-12-1 Over/Under on the year, with a 5-5-1 O/U mark at home. The Owls have gone Under in four of their last seven games heading into tonight’s tilt.

The Mustangs own a 12-13 Over/Under record, but this recent offensive eruption has SMU topping the total in four straight outings. 

SMU vs Florida Atlantic betting trend to know

Southern Methodist is 7-2 ATS in true road games this season. Find more college basketball betting trends for SMU vs. Florida Atlantic.

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SMU vs Florida Atlantic game info

Location: Eleanor R. Baldwin Arena, Boca Raton, FL
Date: Thursday, February 22, 2024
Tip-off: 7:00 p.m. ET

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