The college basketball betting action goes on Monday with a ton of interesting games around the country, so I’m taking a closer look at the American Athletic Conference showdown between Tulsa and Memphis to find the best betting pick.
According to BetAmerica, the Golden Hurricane head to FedExForum in Memphis as 7.5-point underdogs to search for their second straight win over the Tigers. Tulsa has won three of its last five matchups with Memphis, but the Golden Hurricane are only 7-13 straight up in their last 20 encounters with the Tigers.
The Golden Hurricane outlasted Northwestern State for their second win in three games
The Tulsa Golden Hurricane had no problems beating the Northwestern State Demons 82-55 this past Friday. They easily covered a 16.5-point spread on the home court to bounce back from a painful 69-65 loss to Wichita State.
Tulsa is now 2-3 on the season and 0-1 in the conference play. The Golden Hurricane is No. 96 in the KenPom rankings, scoring 101.5 points per 100 possessions (146th) and allowing 93.7 in a return (61st).
Head coach Frank Haith mostly uses nine men in his rotation, and senior guard Brandon Rachal leads the way with 15.6 points and 6.4 assists per game. Another senior Elijah Joiner averages 10.4 points, 5.4 boards, and 3.8 assists a night, making a great duo with Rachal in Tulsa’s backcourt.
The Tigers have won four of their last five games
The Memphis Tigers beat the Tulane Green Wave 80-74 as 10-point road favorites this past Wednesday to bounce back from a surprising 74-71 home loss to Auburn. It was their fourth win in the last five outings, but the Tigers covered just once in that span.
Memphis is now No. 57 in the KenPom rankings. The Tigers have the 15th-best defensive rating in the nation, allowing only 89.2 points per 100 possessions, while they score 104.0 points in a return, enough for the 98th-most in the country.
Head coach Penny Hardaway leans on his sophomore quartet led by D.J. Jeffries (13.1 PPG, 7.0 RPG) and Lester Quinones (10.4 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 3.1 APG). Landers Nolley averages 14.4 points per game on 38.9% shooting from deep, while Boogie Ellis adds 10.9 points a night.
- 3-6 ATS in the last nine road games against Memphis
- 2-4 ATS in the last six games overall
- 6-3 ATS in the last nine home games played in December
The Winner Prediction
I’m a bit surprised by a 7.5-point spread, but the visitors obviously need some time to gel things after losing a few key players from the previous season when they went 13-5 in the conference play. Each Tulsa’s win this term came against bad teams, while three losses came against TCU, South Carolina, and Wichita State which are all solid teams.
Tulsa is winless in four straight visits to Memphis Tennessee, covering just once in the process. The Golden Hurricane dismantled Memphis 80-40 as a 3-point home dog this past regular season, so the Tigers will be fired up to get revenge at home.
Therefore, I’m betting on the hosts as 5.5-point favorites. The Tigers have impressed defensively thus far, while their offense is looking sharp and ready to beat Tulsa.
Pick: Take Memphis -5.5 at -160
Memphis loves to play at a very fast pace, recording 75.6 possessions per 40 minutes (13th in the country), but the Tigers also play tough defense. On the other side, Tulsa is posting only 68.7 possessions per 40 minutes (283rd), so the visitors will try everything they can to slow down the tempo.
The under is 4-1 in the last five meetings between Tulsa and Memphis, and it is 10-1-2 in the Tigers’ last 13 games overall, so I’m following the betting trends in this matchup.
Pick: Go under 138.5 points at -110