The Florida Atlantic Owls and UAB Blazers may not be in Conference USA anymore, but both still maintain a conference rivalry as they meet up as American Conference foes on Sunday in Boca Raton.
UAB Blazers vs. Florida Atlantic Owls (-16, 152.5)
After being one of the most balanced teams in the nation last season en route to the Final Four, Florida Atlantic’s defense has slipped while the offense has been a constant, ranking 15th in the country in points scored on a per possession basis.
As first the Owls defense, the team has allowed at least 70 points in four of their last five games and overall entered the weekend 122nd in the country in points allowed on a per possession basis with a defensive rebound ranking of 188th, allowing opponents to rebound 27.7% of their missed shots.
This is a bad weakness to have against a UAB team who’s offense has struggled, entering the weekend 99th in points scored per possession, but grabbing an offensive rebound on 34.5% of their missed field goals, which is 25th in the nation.
The Blazers offense has also traveled better than most, ascending to 78th in points scored on a per possession basis away from home and are making 35.6% of their 3-pointers when away from home, which is 66th in the country.
Since conference play began, Florida Atlantic is allowing opponents to make 36.7% of their 3-pointers and overall, entered the weekend 227th in opponent 3-point shooting percentage.
While the UAB defense has had issues on defense this season, ranking 269th in points allowed on a per possession basis, the team has performed better away from home, allowing 4.9 points per 100 possessions fewer in a road or neutral court environment than at home.
With Florida Atlantic’s inability to defend the same way they did a season ago, coupled with UAB playing some of their best basketball away from home, the wait for Florida Atlantic’s first spread cover in an American Conference game will continue.
The Play: UAB +16