Florida Atlantic Owls v. UTEP Miners at the Don Haskins Center in El Paso, Texas
Saturday, January 14th, 2017 at 9:00 p.m. EST
Point Spread: UTEP Miners -1
The Florida Atlantic Owls are headed across the Gulf of Mexico to El Paso, Texas for a date with the UTEP Miners in this C-USA clash. The Owls have had a really tough season thus far. FAU is just 5-10, and they’ve gone 1-3 in their first four conference games. UTEP has been even worse. The Miners have dug themselves in quite the hole. They’re 3-13 on the season. The UTEP Miners are also 1-3 in conference play. Which one of these struggling teams will pick up their second conference win on Saturday night?
Florida Atlantic falls to UTSA
Florida Atlantic lost their third conference game of the season on Thursday night, losing 68-63 to the UTSA Roadrunners. The Owls had a terrible finish to the game. They were outscored 27-14 by the Roadrunners in the final 13 minutes of play. Gerdarius Troutman led Florida Atlantic in scoring, despite coming off the bench. Troutman scored 16 points on 56% shooting. Nick Rutherford also added 14 points of his own as a starter.
The FAU Owls really struggled defensively against the UTSA Roadrunners. The Owls did not get enough pressure on the ball. They were only able to force 8 turnovers in the loss. As a team, Florida Atlantic blocked just one shot, and they only had one steal. The Owls are ranked near the bottom of Conference USA in both steals and blocks this season. Florida Atlantic averages 5.43 steals a game, which is the third fewest in the conference. The Owls are getting just 2.31 blocks per game, which is the second fewest in the conference. Florida Atlantic needs there defense to step up if they expect to beat the Miners in this trip out to El Paso.
UTEP snaps losing streak
The UTEP Miners had lost twelve straight games prior to their 88-87 double overtime victory over the Florida International Golden Panthers. Dominic Artis was spectacular in the win, and he hit the game-winning shot. Artis nearly had a triple-double in the double overtime victory. He finished the night with 18 points, 10 assists, 9 rebounds, and 3 steals. Omega Harris led the Miners in scoring with 20 points on the night.
UTEP’s offense had a great night in the win over Florida International. The Miners made over 49% of their shots from the field. They also had an impressive game from beyond the arc. UTEP converted over 46% of their attempts from the outside. However, the Miners did not shoot well from the charity stripe. UTEP made just 53% of their shots from the line. They’ve had trouble from the line all season long. They’re connecting on less than 64% of their freebies. The Miners will need to hit their free throws if they expect to win this one at home.
The Florida Atlantic Owls are:
- 17-36 ATS in their last 53 games vs. a team with a losing straight up record.
- 5-13 ATS in their last 18 games as an underdog of 0.5-6.5.
- 2-6 ATS in their last 8 Saturday games.
- 3-10 ATS in their last 13 games as a road underdog of 0.5-6.5.
- 1-4 ATS in their last 5 road games vs. a team with a losing home record.
The UTEP Miners are:
- 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games as a favorite of 0.5-6.5.
The Miners have some momentum after winning an emotional double overtime game. The Owls haven’t been great on the road this season. They’re just 1-4 on the road this season. UTEP has had Florida Atlantic’s number in recent years. The Miners have won three in a row against the Owls. I think UTEP stretches its win streak to two games with a victory at home over the Florida Atlantic Owls on Saturday night.