Florida Atlantic vs Charlotte Odds, Picks, and Predictions: Owls Defense is the Difference Maker

Friday night offers a standalone AAC game between FAU and Charlotte. Something tells me you could find a better way to spend three hours, but if value is what you seek then you mustn't look elsewhere. Our betting picks expect one defense to steal the show.

Oct 27, 2023 • 16:51 ET • 4 min read
Jalon Jones Charlotte 49ers NCAAF
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

There are probably 10 better things to do with your Friday night, if we are being completely honest, but in the background at the bar, you’ll have an eye on the only game to end this work week, the Florida Atlantic Owls against the Charlotte 49ers. And if you are savvy enough, you can use that game to pay your bar tab.

Many Group of Five games are outright entertaining, even if too many disregard them. This is not one of those games. This will be ugly and inefficient. But I have still found value among tonight's college football odds

Here is our free college football picks and predictions for Florida Atlantic vs Charlotte on October 27, with kickoff set for 7:30 ET.

Florida Atlantic vs Charlotte best odds

Florida Atlantic vs Charlotte picks and predictions

There is no need to overcomplicate this. Charlotte is not only bad, but its offense is dreadful. In their last four games, the 49ers have totaled 33 points, including getting shut out by Navy. They struggled against a range of middling defenses, though perhaps SMU should be upgraded to “good” status, depending on how much weight you want to place on its lackluster quality of opponent this season. (Not to go off on a tangent, but remove the best team the Mustangs have played, Oklahoma, and the worst, FCS-level Prairie View, and the remaining five opponents have an average rank of No. 101 in the current SP+ ratings.)

Florida Atlantic's defense fits right in that range of middling, no matter which metric you want to use. East Carolina and Navy rank Nos. 73 and 78, respectively, in SP+ defensive considerations, while the Owls are at No. 80. The Midshipmen, in particular, stand out for that shutout of Charlotte, given Navy is the worst defense of this grouping, most notably ranked in the bottom 25 in expected points added per defensive snap once adjusted for opponents.

While Florida (held the 49ers to seven points) gives up 5.73 yards per play, FAU gives up just 5.35. Don’t scoff because of the Power Five discrepancy; EPA rankings consider the defenses rather equivalent.

The Owls should be able to keep Charlotte in check as well as everyone has in the last month, if not even more so given a time will come when the 49ers’ locker room knows of its own offensive limitations.

It runs the ball nearly as much as anyone when considering game state, aside from the service academies. And every time Charlotte runs the ball, it lowers its expected point total. One might wonder if the rushes are a risk-aversion strategy, avoiding the two bad things that can happen when throwing the ball.

And while the 49ers have thrown eight interceptions (one every 22 pass attempts this season) and complete just 58.8 percent of their passes, they have also fumbled the ball nine times (losing just four) and average 4.5 yards per carry (sacks adjusted). That may sound like an encouraging average rush but recognize Charlotte falls short of success on 64.9 percent of its carries, part of converting only 30 percent of late downs.

The 49ers offense is a debacle. There is no other way to phrase it. Opening the season with 20 points at Maryland relied on a defensive touchdown and another score in garbage time. Then scoring 25 points against Georgia State should underscore the Panthers’ defensive woes more than anything else.

The Owls are at least decent defensively, not far from average. And average is all it will take to once again keep Charlotte’s offense out of the end zone for most of the night.

My best bet: Charlotte team total Under 19.5 points (-115 at Caesars)
Picks made at time of writing may not reflect live odds.

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Florida Atlantic vs Charlotte same-game parlay

Charlotte team total Under 19.5 points

FAU -2.5

Under 20.5 1H points

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Every inch of this same-game parlay is an acknowledgment of what should be a comically-inefficient football game. As critical of Charlotte’s offense as that best bet was, it is only fair to note the 49ers have covered three of their last four games and are 4-2 against the spread this season against FBS competition.

A cynic might suggest that is because opponents overlook Charlotte, and maybe that is the case, but if so, it may apply to Florida Atlantic as well. Then again, the Owls have not earned the right to overlook anyone this season.

Regardless, taking an alt line of below a field goal helps protect against the 49ers keeping this game closer than it should be, entirely thanks to their defense.

And the first half Under leans into those same thoughts. At some point, Florida Atlantic should find its way into the end zone a few times. It throws the ball a bit more than the average team, so the 49ers will not be able to load the box, and that leads to some explosive rushing plays.

But stacking a couple of those missed run fits in the first half would be a logical fluke. Betting against the fluke makes sense and helps add some heft to this payout.

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

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Florida Atlantic vs Charlotte spread and Over/Under analysis

The Owls opened as 5-point favorites on Sunday, a number knocked down to -4.5 on Monday and then some books reached -4 in the middle of the week. While this will be a low-scoring affair — more on that in a minute — and thus tightening the spread makes sense, some credit should be given to Florida Atlantic. It had covered three straight games before running into the blossoming buzzsaw of UTSA last week.

Opening the season with ATS losses to Ohio and at Clemson should hardly be seen as downgrade-worthy moments. To then keep within a touchdown of Illinois, as a 16.5-point underdog, slip past Tulsa, and blow out South Florida, as a road underdog, should have warranted greater upgrades than they received.

The total opened at 43.5 before flailing to 41.5 on Monday and even bottoming out at 41 on Wednesday morning before rebounding back to 42 or 42.5, depending on your book. Given the nicest thing that can be said about either offense is that Florida Atlantic sometimes finds an explosive run, expecting six total touchdowns out of the two may be a reach.

Florida Atlantic vs Charlotte betting trend to know

Nine of Charlotte’s last 11 games have gone Under their first-half totals, and eight of the 49ers’ last 11 games have hit the full-game Under. Find more college football betting trends for Florida Atlantic vs Charlotte.

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Florida Atlantic vs Charlotte game info

Location: Jerry Richardson Stadium, Charlotte, NC
Date: Friday, October 27, 2023
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET

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