Two bids to the Final Four will be punched on Saturday evening in the 2023 NCAA Tournament. In the first of two regional finals during the night, the No. 3 seed Kansas State Wildcats take on the No. 9 seed Florida Atlantic Owls at Madison Square Garden. Jerome Tang leads Kansas State to a 26-9 record this season after victories over Kentucky and Michigan State in the last two rounds. FAU upset Tennessee on Thursday to improve to 34-3 overall with an active, 10-game winning streak entering this Elite Eight matchup.

Caesars Sportsbook lists the Wildcats as 1.5-point favorites for this 6:09 p.m. ET tip. The total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, or the over/under, is 144 in the latest Florida Atlantic vs. Kansas State odds. Before locking in any Kansas State vs. Florida Atlantic picks, be sure to see the college basketball predictions and betting advice from SportsLine's proven computer model

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every Division I college basketball game 10,000 times. The model enters the Sweet 16 round of the 2023 NCAA Tournament 83-54 on all-top rated college basketball picks this season, returning more than $1,500 for $100 players. It also went 4-1 on top-rated picks during the first week of March Madness. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns. 

Now, the model has set its sights on Kansas State vs. FAU and revealed its coveted picks and predictions for the NCAA Tournament 2023. You can head to SportsLine to see the picks. Here are several college basketball odds and trends for FAU vs. Kansas State:

  • Florida Atlantic vs. Kansas State spread: Kansas State -1.5
  • Florida Atlantic vs. Kansas State over/under: 144 points
  • Florida Atlantic vs. Kansas State money line: Kansas State -130, FAU +110
  • FAU: The Owls are 7-3 against the spread in the last 10 games
  • KSU: The Wildcats are 7-3 against the spread in the last 10 games
  • Florida Atlantic vs. Kansas State picks: See picks at SportsLine

Why Florida Atlantic can cover

Florida Atlantic is known for its explosive and efficient offense, ranking in the top 15 of the country in scoring well over 1.12 points per possession. However, the Owls are also stout on defense, as evidenced by the team's performance against Tennessee. Florida Atlantic held Tennessee to 33% shooting and 6-23 from 3-point range in the Sweet 16 victory, boosting its own defensive efficiency to 94.9 points allowed per 100 possessions for the season. That ranks in the top 20 nationally, and the Owls give up only 40% shooting from the field, 44.8% on 2-point attempts, and 31.6% on 3-point attempts. 

FAU is excellent on the defensive glass, securing 74.5% of missed shots from opponents, and the Owls are No. 2 in the country in assist percentages allowed (34.2%). That leads to only 8.1 assists allowed per game, and Kansas State has issues with ball security on offense. The Wildcats commit a turnover on 19.4% of offensive possessions this season, including 10.2% of possessions ending in a live-ball turnover that kickstarts transition opportunities for opponents.

Why Kansas State can cover 

The play of Markquis Nowell is one of the biggest stories of the 2023 NCAA Tournament. The All-Big 12 guard from New York City is lighting up the scoreboard for Kansas State during the tournament run, and Nowell made history on Thursday. He erupted for 20 points and set a new tournament record with 19 assists against Michigan State. Prior to that, Nowell scored 27 points in a win over Kentucky, and that comes on the heels of a regular season in which he led the Big 12 in assists (7.6 per game), steals (2.4 per game) and free throw accuracy (88.5%) while scoring nearly 17 points per game. 

With help from Nowell, Kansas State is in the top eight of the country with 17.1 assists per game, and the Wildcats also shoot 53% inside the arc. Jerome Tang's team takes full advantage of the free throw line, averaging 20.9 attempts per game and converting 75% of attempts, and Kansas State produces a stellar 30.4% offensive rebound rate. With a defense that also allows fewer than 0.97 points per possession, Kansas State is difficult to beat and also exceptionally well-coached by Tang and his staff.

How to make FAU vs. Kansas State picks

SportsLine's model is leaning Over on the total, projecting 146 combined points. The model also says one side of the spread hits 60% of the time. You can only see the model's pick at SportsLine.

So who wins Kansas State vs. FAU? And which side of the spread hits 60% of the time? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the model that has crushed its college basketball picks, and find out.