AAC Tournament Odds & Picks: Our Analysts Aligned On Memphis To Win Conference
Joe Murphy/Getty Images. Pictured: Memphis guard Landers Nolley
There’s still a long list of conferences yet to crown champions, with 15 championship games on Saturday followed by five more before the NCAA Tournament bracket is released on Sunday.
In order to help you navigate the jam-packed week of college basketball, our analysts have come together to deliver their top picks to win each of the remaining Power 6 and high-major conference tournaments.
You’ll find their favorite outright bets for the AAC Tournament below. Be sure to also check out their picks for the Big Ten and more conference tournaments here.
BJ Cunningham: Memphis +550
Nobody is hotter than Memphis heading into the AAC Tournament.
It’s won six of its last seven games, and Houston needed a half-court buzzer-beater to beat it at home this past Sunday. The reason I like Memphis at a nice price of +550 is because it’s one of the best defensive teams in the country, ranking second in defensive efficiency, per KenPom.
The Tigers are the No. 3 seed and will have to play Houston in the semis, but if Sunday is any indication, they are absolutely capable of beating them. They also blew out No. 1 seed Wichita State back in January, holding it to 52 points and 2-of-23 from 3-point range.
They say “defense wins championships,” but their offense actually isn’t that far behind and can get hot from deep, as they’re the No. 1 3-point shooting team in the conference, averaging over 38% from deep.
Memphis is second in the AAC in adjusted efficiency, so getting it at the third-best odds is a price worth betting.
Kyle Remillard: Memphis +550
The Memphis Tigers had their best finish in AAC play since 2013-14, ending the regular season in third place at 11-4 on the year.
The Tigers are one of the hottest teams in the conference after winning nine of their last 11 conference games. The two losses come from a half-court miracle by Houston on Sunday and a two-point loss to SMU back in January.
Memphis owns the second-best defensive efficiency in the entire country, allowing just 86.3 points per every 100 possessions, according to KenPom. The Tigers rank first in conference play, holding opponents to 42.8% from the field and just 24.8% from behind the arc.
In addition, they own the highest block and steal percentage in AAC play. That defense flexed its muscles against the powerhouse of the conference on Sunday by holding Houston to just 37.0% from the field.
The Tigers are on the outside of the bubble and looking in. That win on Sunday may have pushed them over the edge, but fortunately, the Tigers will get another shot at Houston in the semifinals.
If they can get past the Cougars, they will most likely face off against Wichita State, a team Memphis beat by 20 earlier in the year. At a price of +550, I see value in a desperate Tiger team winning the AAC.
Pick: Memphis +550