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FAU Spread Pick in NCAA Tourney Opener vs Northwestern

Usually, the matchups between the ninth and eighth seeds in the tournament are hard to predict for NCAAB lines, and this game in the East Region supports that claim. Northwestern and Florida Atlantic are two teams that have been inconsistent this season and fell short of expectations in the conference tournaments, which complicates this matchup.

In the Big Ten tournament, the Wildcats played only one game, suffering a tough 70-61 loss to Wisconsin. The FAU Owls did slightly better, getting a win before losing in the semifinals to 11th-seeded Temple 74-73.

FAU Spread Pick in NCAA Tourney Opener vs Northwestern
FAU Spread Pick in NCAA Tourney Opener vs Northwestern

Game Information

  • Game: Northwestern (21-11) vs. Florida Atlantic (25-8)
  • Location: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
  • Day/Time: Friday, March 22, 12:15 p.m. ET
  • Northwestern vs Florida Atlantic Live Stream: TBS.com


This is one of the more even matchups, and it starts the second day of the tournament’s first round, making it a difficult option for NCAA basketball free picks. Given Florida Atlantic’s experience from last season, it does make sense that it is favored.

Northwestern vs Florida Atlantic Odds and Spreads

Score Prediction

Florida Atlantic 76, Northwestern 71

  • Owls are 7-0 ATS in their last 7 games as an underdog.
  • Owls are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games as an underdog of 0.5-6.5.
  • Owls are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 NCAA Tournament games as an underdog.
  • Owls are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 NCAA Tournament games as an underdog of 0.5-6.5.
  • Over is 4-0 in Owls last 4 games as a favorite.
  • Over is 4-0 in Owls last 4 overall.
  • Over is 4-0 in Wildcats last 4 NCAA Tournament games.
  • Over is 4-0 in Owls last 4 games as an underdog.


ATS Pick: Florida Atlantic -3

In what seems to be an evenly matched game, it is hard not to side with the team with the most experience and the best player on the court. That does help when making college basketball picks, with Florida Atlantic having the advantage in both categories.

While Florida Atlantic does not have the same roster that made the Final Four last season, the core of Johnell Davis and Vladislav Goldin remains intact. That gives the Owls an advantage in a tight game, having had success in these types of games recently. On top of that, while Northwestern’s Boo Buie is averaging 19.2 points per game, it is hard to argue against Davis not being the best player on the court for this game.


However, Florida Atlantic’s loss to Temple in the American Athletic Conference tournament semifinals is a concern. The Owls went into that game favored to win by 14 points but ended up losing by one.

On the other hand, Northwestern has been just as inconsistent. The Wildcats have lost three of the last four games, including an early exit from the Big Ten tournament. It will be hard for college basketball predictions to back a team that has been so up and down this season.



Over/Under Pick: Over 141½

Defenses were a big reason for each team’s inconsistencies this season. That can help this game trend toward the over, especially with the college basketball line being somewhat low.

Both teams are headlined by two main offensive threats in Davis and Buie, but Florida Atlantic does have a better offense that averages 82.5 points. In conference play, Northwestern’s defense gave up 73.5 points per game, the eighth-most in the Big Ten, which Florida Atlantic might be able to exploit.



Player Prop Pick: Johnell Davis Over 17.5 points (-108)

In last season’s NCAA Tournament, the college basketball world fully became aware of Davis, who shined brightest on the biggest stage. Here is another chance for him to do so, having averaged 18.2 points this season. Davis is also coming into the tournament hot, averaging 19.8 points over the last four games. For Florida Atlantic to win this game, he must show up with a big game.



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Questions Of The Day

Will Florida Atlantic make a similar run to last season?

Last season’s run by Florida Atlantic was a special moment, which will be hard to replicate, and it probably won’t happen this season.

Who will lead Northwestern in scoring in this game?

Boo Buie has been one of the top scorers in the Big Ten this season and the main offensive threat for Northwestern. He should still have a big game no matter the outcome.


The odds and predictions in the article are based on the time of writing and publication. They may differ as to when the actual event takes place.

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