The Rice Owls (6-22, 3-12 CUSA) will travel to Ocean Bank Convocation Center to challenge the FIU Golden Panthers (12-16, 6-9 CUSA) in their home finale. FIU is a 7-point favorite on the opening line, while the games Over/Under (O/U) opened at 139.5 points. Action begins at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday, February 24, 2018.
Rice Owls vs. FIU Golden Panthers Free Preview
The last time the Owls played, they barely escaped the Florida Atlantic Owls, 79-76. With 16 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists, Connor Cashaw played well for Rice. Rice had a much better turnover percentage (6.9 vs. 14.5) and held Florida Atlantic to an effective field goal percentage of 0.439 (below the 0.524 mark opponents have averaged against Rice this season).
The Golden Panthers will look to keep it rolling after edging the North Texas Mean Green in their last game, 69-68. With 14 points on 5-for-10 shooting, Trejon Jacob was FIU’s leading scorer. The Golden Panthers had a solid effective field goal percentage of 0.573 (above their season average of 0.481), while the Mean Green had a free throw rate of 0.095 (below their season average of 0.224).
FIU could put on a ball-control clinic in this showdown. FIU ranks 16th in the nation at avoiding errors (turnover percentage of 15.3 percent), while Rice forces the 62nd-fewest turnovers (16.9 percent).
Of Rice’s 23 games with betting action, 12 have finished over the projected point total, while 10 of FIU’s 21 games have finished over the O/U total. The Golden Panthers have the substantial advantage straight up (SU) (12-16 vs. 6-22) and a slight edge against the spread (ATS) (13-7-2 vs. 12-11).
These teams have already met once this season. In that game, the two teams combined to score 137 points, just under the projected point total of 137.5. The Owls won 73-64, covering as 1.5-point underdogs. The Owls dominated nearly every facet of the game. They had a superb free throw rate of 0.293 and a superb offensive rebounding percentage of 31.7. For those same stats, the Golden Panthers were 0.116 and 22.2, respectively. Brian Beard Jr. was the games top overall scorer with 22 points.
Rice Owls vs. FIU Golden Panthers Prediction
Free College Basketball Pick: SU Winner – Rice, ATS Winner – Rice, O/U – Over
- The Golden Panthers rank 146th in assists allowed per game (13.5) while the Owls rank 264th (16.7).
- Rice ranks 27th in blocks allowed per game (2.5) while FIU ranks 124th (3.6).
- FIU is 5-4-2 ATS at home, while Rice is 7-6 ATS on the road.
- The Owls have 7 overs and 6 unders in 13 road games.
- Of the Golden Panthers 11 home games, they have 5 unders, 4 overs and 2 pushes.
- Rice averages 36.5 rebounds per game, which ranks 100th in the nation. FIU ranks 290th in rebounds allowed per game (40.0).
- The Owls rank 39th in three pointers attempted per game (26.0) while the Golden Panthers rank 227th (19.6).
- FIU ranks 13th in steals allowed per game (4.7) while Rice ranks 174th (7.0).
- FIU is 3-2 ATS with 2 overs, 2 unders and 1 push in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, Rice is 3-2 ATS with 4 overs and 1 under.
- The Golden Panthers have been outscored by an average of 3.6 points in their last five games. On the season, FIU has defeated opponents by an average of 0.1 points.
- During their last five games, the Owls have scored an average of 71.2 points per game (2.8 above their season average) and allowed an average of 81.8 points per game (5.7 above their season average).