Memphis vs SMU Odds & Prediction: Why to Back Mustangs

Memphis vs SMU Odds & Prediction: Why to Back Mustangs article feature image

Dylan Buell/Getty Images. Pictured: SMU’s Zhuric Phelps.

Memphis vs SMU Odds

Sunday, Feb. 18
4 p.m. ET
Memphis Odds
-105o / -115u
SMU Odds
-105o / -115u
Odds via BetMGM . Get up-to-the-minute NCAAB odds here.

Let's take a look at the college basketball odds for Memphis vs. SMU and make a pick for Sunday's AAC game.

After Memphis spiraled and lost four straight in the AAC, it began to turn things around by stringing together three straight wins.

Unfortunately for the Tigers, their positive momentum was halted again Thursday night when they fell on the road at North Texas. Memphis is now almost assuredly on the outside looking in as it relates to the NCAA Tournament bubble.

SMU is on a much different trajectory.

The Mustangs have won five straight games and likely believe their NCAA Tournament hopes are very much alive. After losing a close one in Memphis on Jan. 7, SMU will be intent on exacting revenge at home.

Find my Memphis vs. SMU prediction and betting pick below.

Check out our College Basketball Betting Hub for more NCAAB previews, predictions, news and analysis.

Memphis Tigers

In terms of pure talent, the Tigers hold a distinguishable edge over SMU, as they do in most conference games. The talent gap won't be as significant against SMU, but the three most talented individuals are likely playing for Penny Hardaway's side.

David Jones, Jahvon Quinerly and Nae'Qwan Tomlin all transferred from high major programs to play for Penny in his uptempo system.

The pieces seemingly fit together nicely at the beginning of the year, yet have seemingly lost chemistry as they've continued to develop throughout the year.

The addition of Tomlin — a key piece on a Kansas State team that reached the Elite Eight last year — has not gone according to plan for whatever reason.

Tomlin's athleticism and skill at 6-foot-10 stand out. Hardaway seemingly hoped Tomlin would become increasingly comfortable in his new setting, allowing Memphis to lift and separate from the rest of their AAC foes.

As many GMs in the NBA have discovered over the last decade, accumulating talent regardless of potential personality clashes often fails. And, judging by Memphis' record since acquiring Tomlin, this may not be a match made in heaven.

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Southern Methodist Mustangs

The Rob Lanier era is already showing signs of the progress Mustang fans were hoping for in Year 2.

SMU won only 10 games in its first season with Lanier. Entering Sunday's contest, the Mustangs have already won 18 games and seem to be well on their way to doubling last season's win total.

Last year's Mustangs lacked true ball-handlers, forcing the team's best players into facilitator roles.

That kept Zhuric Phelps and Jalen Smith from doing what they excel at — cutting and using off-ball movement to get open. That kind of offense likely also kept them from being able to conserve enough energy to play elite defense.

Phelps may find that his most important role on Sunday will be effectively guarding a Memphis star. Jones transferred to Memphis for the 2023-24 season from St. John's and was playing at an elite level before the Tigers' recent decline.

Tomlin is a similarly skilled and athletic forward who transferred midseason from Kansas State. Phelps is a better defender than offensive playmaker, so limiting the success of Jones and Tomlin should be the task occupying most of his focus.

Memphis vs SMU

Betting Pick & Prediction

When these two teams met a little over a month ago, Memphis was a 4.5-point home favorite. With no major injury issues on either side, it's certainly jarring to see a nine-point swing in such little time.

Typically, I'd be inclined to take the team catching 4.5 points that laid the same 4.5 points so recently. However, this is the time of year when emotions can certainly affect motivation.

SMU should be turned up and motivated to exact revenge against a spiraling Memphis team. I'm taking the Mustangs and trusting them to exploit the Tigers' careless defensive unit.

Pick: SMU -4.5 (Play to -5)

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Sean Treppedi
Apr 12, 2024 UTC