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NCAA Tournament: Florida Atlantic Owls vs. Kansas State Wildcats Betting Preview

A trip to the Final Four is on the line Saturday night as the No. 9 Florida Atlantic Owls take on the No. 3 Kansas State Wildcats. This game will be played at Madison Square Garden, with tipoff scheduled for 6:09 pm ET.

The Wildcats come into this one as the slight favorites. They are -132 to win, while the Owls’ moneyline sits at +110. The spread features Florida Atlantic as 1.5-point underdogs, and the over/under for total points is 144.5.

Florida Atlantic Trying To Extend The Fairytale Another Round

What a remarkable NCAA Tournament it has already been for the No. 9 Florida Atlantic Owls. They have beaten No. 8 Memphis (66-65), No. 16 FDU (78-70), and No. 4 Tennessee (62-55). Trying to get their fairytale postseason to the Final Four, the Owls will look to take down Kansas State Saturday night.

Florida Atlantic was sensational in their Sweet 16 win over Tennessee on Thursday. In the victory, Johnell Davis had a game-high 15 points, while Nicholas Boyd and Michael Forrest combined for 23 points.

This season, Florida Atlantic ranks 31st overall, averaging 77.3 points per game. In 35 games, Davis leads the way averaging 13.9 points and 5.4 rebounds. Alijah Martin (13 points, 5.2 rebounds) and Vladislav Goldin (10.2 points, 6.4 rebounds) are the other two Owls averaging double digits.

On the defensive end, the Owls rank 36th, allowing opponents an average of 65.1 points per game.

Wildcats Trying To Stay Hot After Wild Sweet 16 Game

After tough wins over No. 14 Montana State (77-65) and No. 6 Kentucky (75-69), the Wildcats certainly had their work cut out for them on Thursday against No. 7 Michigan State. After blowing a five-point halftime lead, the Wildcats were able to pick up the victory 98-93 in overtime.

Guard Markquis Nowell was the star of the show for the Wildcats. In addition to his 20 points, he tied a NCAA Tournament record with 19 assists on the night. Keyontae Johnson added 22 points and six rebounds.

These two have led Kansas State all season. In 35 games this year, Johnson has averaged 17.7 points and 6.9 rebounds. In the same amount of games, Nowell has averaged 17.2 points, 3.5 rebounds, 8.1 assists, and 2.5 steals per game.

As a unit, the offense ranks 49th in the nation in scoring, averaging 76.2 points per game (83.3 per game in their last three). The Wildcats rank 142nd in scoring defense, allowing 69.6 points per game (75.7 over their last three contests).

Take Kansas State To Win And Cover

For as good as Florida Atlantic has played this postseason, Markquis Nowell has quickly shown that he is one of the best in the nation. Even more impressive about his performance on Thursday is that he did it on a bad ankle as he rolled it during the game.

Between Nowell and Keyontae Johnson, the Owls will have their hands full on the defensive end. Florida Atlantic has already proven that they can’t be counted out of any game, but this feels like one that will be tough to win for them.

For that reason, take Kansas State to both win and to cover the modest 1.5 point spread (-115).

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