NCAA Football Mid-Major Free Betting Picks: Florida Atlantic Owls Week 11
I mentioned this last week, but I have the urge to mention it again. Besides winning bets and making money, there is nothing more satisfying than handicapping a game, expecting it to go a certain way and then watching that exact scenario play out. I told you last week that we were taking Marshall over FAU because their offense was simply too powerful for FAU to keep up with. While the yardage was almost equal, the ability to turn their red zone opportunities into touchdowns instead of field goals was why Marshall won. The Thundering Herd have one of the best red offenses in the nation, and that was the difference in the ball game. We connected for a solid 2-Unit play and we expect a similar result this week as FAU travels to Norfolk to tangle with the Monarchs.
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Week 11 at Old Dominion
As of writing this, the Owls have been tabbed as -6.5-point road favorites with the total set at 49. This line opened at Owls -6 but has been bet up a half-point for some strange reason. I’ve talked in length all season long about how different FAU is on the road compared to at home, so asking them to lay nearly a touchdown against anyone, including a 3-6 Old Dominion team, is a big ask.
In classic FAU fashion, the offense was a no-show for the entire game, and we couldn’t have been more pleased about it. If you look at the box score, you will see the Owls put up 441 yards (just seven less than Marshall) but were held to just a single field goal in the second, third and fourth quarters combined. The Owls offense was done in by allowing six sacks on N’Kosi Perry, and they also turned the ball over once. Perry was his usual self, completing around 50 percent of his passes for just 198 yards and one touchdown. The running game was the only bright spot as Johnny Ford carried the ball 13 times for 138 yards, but he did turn the ball over. And with the Owls down by multiple scores, they had to abandon the run game in an attempt to get back into the game.
So, what do the Owls have in store for us this week? Well, they are going against a defense that isn’t the worst we’ve seen this season. The Monarchs rank 128th in total yards allowed (better than FAU), 186th in passing yards allowed (worse than FAU), and 57th against the run, giving up just 119.6 yards per game (better than FAU). They give up nearly 30 points per game and allow their opposition to convert on 40 percent of their third-down plays. The Owls need to find a way to throw the ball, and Perry needs to be better than a 50 percent passer if the Owls are to cover this spread.
As for Old Dominion, well yes, they are just 3-6 on the season and are just playing out the string, but the Monarchs have actually won two games in a row, with their wins coming at home against Louisiana Tech and on the road at Florida International. In that FIU game, the Monarchs’ offense put up 565 total yards and converted 12 of 18 third-down chances. If they can build off of that momentum and continue to put up yards and make first downs and score points, FAU – who we know to struggle on the road – could be in big trouble in this one.
Series History: This will be the seventh meeting between these two programs, and it is the Owls that hold the slight edge of four wins to two. The first meeting came in 2014, and Old Dominion won it and then won again two years later. However, the last three meetings have since gone in favor of Florida Atlantic, including a 41-3 beatdown in 2019.
Florida Atlantic Owls at Old Dominion Monarchs Football Picks
Part of me wants to take the Monarchs in this one getting a touchdown on their home soil, and part of me thinks the Owls are at a buy-low opportunity right now as they need a win to become bowl eligible. I’ve gone off on several tangents this year on the Owls’ home/road dichotomy. And because of that, I’m hesitant to pull the trigger on laying the points with FAU. What I will do is take the over as I see both teams coming to play and the offenses getting the better of the defense. Look for a 30-24 type game that could really go either way.
Selection: 2-Unit Play. Take Over 49 – Florida Atlantic vs Old Dominion (Saturday at 3:30 pm)
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