Head Coach Lane Kiffin and the Florida Atlantic Owls (-8) are coming into the Conference USA Championship Game as heavy favorites as they prepare to take on Coach Bill Clark and the UAB Blazers. CBS Sports Network owns the TV rights and the game is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. ET.
Betting Preview: Florida Atlantic Owls vs. UAB Blazers
UAB is a live dog and is currently getting 8 points in this Saturday CUSA game. The Blazers are also receiving +250 moneyline odds while the Owls are -330. It appears that there should be some good in-game betting scenarios in this showdown, and oddsmakers have set the over/under (O/U) at 50 points.
Each of these teams has been profitable this year as the Blazers have gained 4.5 units while the Owls are up 4.2 units.
The Blazers are 9-3 straight up (SU), including 6-2 SU against conference opponents. The Owls are 9-3 SU overall and are also 7-1 SU in conference play.
The Blazers are coming off a 26-21 victory over North Texas last week where their D allowed the Mean Green to throw for 268 yards and two touchdowns. Jaelon Darden had a productive day for the Mean Green in that one with 81 yards and a score on 10 catches. Offensively, Dylan Hopkins completed only six passes on 12 attempts for 99 yards. Spencer Brown (111 rushing yards on 19 attempts, one TD) and Lucious Stanley (72 yards on 14 carries, one TD) led the ground attack in the win while Kendall Parham (two receptions, 60 yards) and Austin Watkins (two catches, seven yards) handled the receiving duties.
Florida Atlantic enters this one after just getting a lopsided 34-17 win over Southern Miss. The Owls defense held its ground in the victory, limiting the Golden Eagles to just 198 passing yards and 60 rushing yards. Tim Jones was a bright spot in the defeat, recording 66 yards on seven catches for Southern Miss. For Florida Atlantic, Chris Robison completed eight-of-19 passes for 156 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. BJ Emmons (71 yards on 11 rush attempts, one TD) handled the ground game in the win while Harrison Bryant (three receptions, 75 yards, three TDs) and Deangelo Antoine (two catches, 37 yards) led the receiving attack.
UAB’s run the ball on 63 percent of its offensive possessions this year while Florida Atlantic has a rush percentage of 52.3 percent. The Blazers have rushed for 161 yards/game (including 176.1 per game versus Conference USA opponents) and have 16 touchdowns via handoffs this year. The Owls are totaling 154.2 rushing yards per game (179.9 in conference) and have 27 total rush TDs.
The Blazers offense has averaged 202.5 yards through the air overall (188.8 per game versus conference opposition) and has 18 passing scores so far. The Owls have recorded 277 pass yards per outing (274 in the CUSA) and have 23 total pass TDs.
Defensively, UAB appears to have the upper hand in both facets. The team has allowed opponents to rush for an average of 92.3 yards and pass for 177.5 yards per game. The Florida Atlantic defense has allowed 246.1 yards per game to opposing passers and 136.5 yards per game to opposing runners. Both teams allow similar adjusted net yards per pass attempt (ANY/A) to the opposition, as the Blazers have given up an ANY/A of 4.83 to opposing QBs, while the Owls are allowing an ANY/A of 5.22.
Robison likely has the advantage over Hopkins in this one. The Owls man under center has an adjusted net yards per pass attempt 7.39 for the season and 8.15 over his last two games while Hopkins’ ANY/A is 2.89 (and 6.61 over the last two games).
These two CUSA foes did not get a chance to face one another a year ago.
UAB Blazers at Florida Atlantic Owls NCAA Pick
SU Winner: Florida Atlantic, ATS Winner: Florida Atlantic, O/U: Over
Team Betting Trends
- The UAB defense has sacked opposing quarterbacks 43 times this year. Florida Atlantic has registered just 30 sacks.
- Florida Atlantic has lost three fumbles in 2019 while the UAB offense has lost six.
- The Blazers offense has recorded 12 pass plays of 40 or more yards, while the Owls have accounted for 10 such plays.
- The UAB defense has allowed seven pass plays of 40 or more yards, while Florida Atlantic has given up 10 such plays.
- The UAB offense has created 10 rushing plays of 20+ yards, while Florida Atlantic has created 26 such runs.
- The Blazers defense has allowed 11 rushing plays of 20 or more yards, while the Owls have given up 17 such runs.
- Florida Atlantic has won 10 of its last 11 games SU, with a -5-point defeat to Marshall on October 18th representing its only loss over that stretch.
- As a team, UAB has rushed for 5.1 yards per attempt over its past three games and 4.0 over its last two.
- Florida Atlantic has averaged 5.3 yards per carry over its last three contests and 4.8 over its last two.