Florida Gulf Coast vs Eastern Kentucky Basketball Prediction & Picks: Will the Eagles survive on the road?

By | January 12, 2023

Two of the top teams in the Atlantic Sun Conference meet tonight on the hardwood as Eastern Kentucky hosts Florida Gulf Coast. FGCU visits McBrayer Arena in Richmond, Kentucky at 13-4 overall and 3-1 in the ASUN, while the Colonels come in at 10-7 overall and 3-1 in the ASUN.

Tonight’s action is set for a 7:00 pm ET tip, and those interested in watching the game can catch it on ESPN+.

After losing at Austin Peay last Thursday, the Eagles rebounded on Saturday with a resounding 82-57 win over North Florida.

They will be in for another tricky trip tonight, as the Colonels are coming off of a 62-59 win over Liberty, the preseason pick to win the conference.

Will EKU follow that win with another impressive home win tonight? Read on for our Florida Gulf Coast vs Eastern Kentucky prediction, as well as our picks and analysis for this matchup.

FGCU vs Eastern Kentucky Odds

Odds are via FanDuel as of Thursday, January 12, 2023, at 2:30 pm ET. This article may also include odds from our other recommended legal sports betting sites.

Spread

  • Florida Gulf Coast -3.5 (-104)
  • Eastern Kentucky +3.5 (-118)

Over/Under

  • Over 145.5 (-110)
  • Under 145.5 (-110)

Moneyline

  • Florida Gulf Coast -156
  • Eastern Kentucky +130

FGCU, EKU Offenses Should Rise to the Occasion Tonight

Eastern Kentucky’s win over Liberty last Saturday was impressive not only because the Flames had won their first three ASUN games by 17, 29, and 34 points, but also because of how the Colonels extinguished the Flames.

EKU went into the game near the bottom of the conference defensively, but Liberty was held under 60 points in a regular season ASUN game for the first time since January 29, 2021.

The Flames shot only 39% (23 of 59) from the field, and after entering the game shooting 40.7% from three, they made just 4 of 23 (17.4%) from outside against the Colonels.

Liberty’s Darius McGhee, the conference’s leading scorer and one of the top three-point shooters in college basketball, was only 1 of 8 from three and 2 of 11 overall and scored a season-low seven points, the fewest points he had scored since he scored just five against North Florida on February 12, 2021.

The Colonels scored well below their pre-Liberty average of 80.8 points per game and managed only seven points over the final 9:23 of the game, but they banked enough points in the first 30+ minutes thanks to some sharp three-point shooting as they finished 10 of 22 (45.5%) from outside.

Offensive Stats & Metrics for Eastern Kentucky

  • PPG: 79.7 (36th in Division I)
  • FG%: 43.7% (234th)
  • 3PT%: 37.9% (40th)
  • FT%: 62.1% (354th)
  • Offensive Efficiency: 263rd
  • Tempo: 44th
  • Average Offensive Possession Length: 50th

The Colonels typically take a lot of shots, with only Marshall (69.7) averaging more shots per game than EKU’s 67.4. But there only two teams in the top 100 in scoring in Division I who shoot worse: Western Carolina (42.7%) and Seattle (42.1%).

Their scoring average is inflated by scoring 137, 122, and 140 points against non-Division I opponents, but the Colonels had scored 88, 75, and 77 points in their first three ASUN games before the win over Liberty. So, we are likely to see them closer to those numbers tonight.

That means that FGCU needs to be able to keep up. Can they?

Even though the Eagles average just 72.9 PPG for the season, they can keep up, as they have scored 80+ points three times in their last five games and have made double-digit threes in three of four conference games.

FGCU vs Eastern Kentucky Prediction and Picks

FGCU vs Eastern Kentucky Prediction: Florida Gulf Coast to win

FGCU vs Eastern Kentucky Picks: Florida Gulf Coast team total over (Best Value: over 73.5 @ FanDuel) & Florida Gulf Coast & Florida Gulf Coast first half over 68.5 (Best Value: Caesars Sportsbook)

Florida Gulf Coast, who won at USC to open the season, is a strong team and a worthy favorite here, even though they lost at Austin Peay in their most recent road game.

I don’t think EKU will replicate the defensive performance they had against Liberty and like the full game over, in addition to the two total picks listed here.

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