Saturday, May 21

Florida Gulf Coast vs Kennesaw State Picks and Odds (Jan. 13)

Florida Gulf Coast's Dakota Rivers grabbing a rebound

Florida Gulf Coast’s Dakota Rivers (0) grabs a rebound under pressure from Southern California’s Isaiah Mobley (3) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021, in Fort Myers, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)
  • Florida Gulf Coast (11-5, 1-1 ASUN) takes on Kennesaw State (5-8, 0-0 ASUN) Thursday, January 12th, at 4:30 pm ET in Georgia
  • The Eagles were beat on the road 69-66 by a Jacksonville 3-pointer with :02 left on Saturday, while the Owls last played Dec. 30 when they beat Toccoa Falls 108-51
  • See the current moneyline, point spread, and game total, plus predictions

The Florida Gulf Coast Eagles (11-5, 1-1 ASUN) — who were picked to finish sixth in the league preseason poll — aim to bounce back from a narrow loss on the road against the Kennesaw State Owls (5-8, 0-0 ASUN) Thursday at the KSU Convocation Center. Tip off is at 4:30 pm ET.

FGCU enters the contest as slight favorites according to oddsmakers and KenPom predicts the Eagles will win 72-70.

Florida Gulf Coast vs Kennesaw State Odds

Team Moneyline Spread Total
Florida Gulf Coast TBD -3 (-115) O 148.5 (-105)
Kennesaw State TBD +3 (-105) U 148.5 (-115)

Odds as of January 12th, 2022.

Michael Fly’s team got 24 points from leading scorer Tavian Dunn-Martin, while fellow senior Kevin Samuel finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds against Jacksonville. The Dolphins scratched out a three-point victory in the closing seconds to defeat the Eagles.

Meantime, Amir Abdur-Rahim’s club eclipsed the century mark for the second time this season and set new school records for best field goal percentage and most assists in a game in the demolition of the NAIA’s Screaming Eagles.

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Fly Boys

While the legacy of the 2013 Dunk City squad will be forever etched into college hoops fans’ memory, the 2022 group of Fly Boys hopes for a similar Big Dance run. With leaders like Dunn-Martin (who just recorded his ninth game of at least 20-or-more points this season) and Samuel (who is now just three points shy of 1,000 in his career), the sky’s the limit.

Dunn-Martin, a 5-foot-8 jitterbug, is Fly’s quarterback. He averages 19.9 points per game (good for second in the conference) and a league-best 6.1 assists. Meantime, Samuel is a TCU transfer who leads the ASUN in rebounds after leading the Big 12 in blocks last season. The 6-foot-11 post was the preseason Defensive Player of the Year.

FGCU is the third-best rated team in the ASUN by KenPom at 191st overall and — not surprisingly — is rated in the top-70 of several offensive categories. That includes 45th in offensive adjusted field goal percentage, 59th in offensive 2-point field goal percentage and 69th in offensive 3-point field goal percentage.

Something else to consider: this is an experienced roster, returning nearly two-thirds of its minutes played last season to the 2021-22 group.

Wise Ones

Sure it came against an NAIA program two weeks ago, but the Owls were just two points shy of having a season-high six players finish in double-figures against Toccoa Falls and saw two players hit 20+ in the same game for the first time this season. Senior guard Jamir Moultrie led the way with a career-high 23 points. Fellow senior Spencer Rodgers had a stellar night, collecting his second double-double of the season with 17 points and a game-high 10 rebounds

Of course, all these superlatives came against vastly inferior competition. In fact, only one of KSU’s victories (Charleston Southern) came against a Division I school. Prior to the 57-point win on Dec. 30, Abdur-Rahim’s crew lost to Nebraska 88-74 eight days prior.

Three players average in double-figures for the Owls, led by sophomore guard Chris Youngblood’s 14 points per game. He’s joined by Terrell Burden (12.3 ppg) and Rodgers (12.1 ppg). Moultrie’s scorching 58.3% from beyond the arc leads the ASUN. And one more bright spot for the club: KSU’s 78.6 points per game ranks 49th out of 358 D-1 programs.

The Pick

Even though the home team can score in bunches, I’m not sure the Owls will be able to handle the dazzling inside-out game the Eagles bring to the table.

Dunn-Martin is one of the better players in the league, while Samuel is an absolute presence in the paint.

FGCU is legit — and KSU has yet to prove it is. That’s why I like the road team in this spot.

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Pick: Florida Gulf Coast -3 (-115)

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