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College Basketball Odds, Pick: Tulane vs Memphis Prediction (Sunday, Feb. 11)

College Basketball Odds, Pick: Tulane vs Memphis Prediction (Sunday, Feb. 11) article feature image

(Photo by Matthew Visinsky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) Pictured: Sion James

Tulane vs Memphis Odds

Sunday, Feb. 11
2 p.m. ET
Tulane Odds
-110o / -110u
Memphis Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via DraftKings . Get up-to-the-minute NCAAB odds here.

You could make a serious argument about the Memphis Tigers and Tulane Green Wave being the two most perplexing teams in the AAC.

About a month ago, I'm sure nobody pictured this being a must-win game for Memphis' NCAA Tournament hopes. However, following a brutal stretch in league play, Memphis can't afford another ugly loss on the resume. Meanwhile, Tulane never makes sense. The team isn't lacking in talent, but loses games against inferior teams and plays up to better competition.

So, here's my Tulane vs. Memphis pick and prediction.

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Tulane Green Wave

Tulane ended a rough-three-game losing streak with an overtime win over Temple earlier this week. Tulane's inconsistency is confusing because you'd imagine a better record than 13-9. The Green Wave boast arguably the best trio of players in the AAC in Sion James, Jaylen Forbes and Kevin Cross.

Cross in the engine of Tulane's offense and operates as a play-making five-man from the perimeter. The 6-foot-8 forward is one of college basketball's most unique players, averaging 18 points, seven rebounds and five assists per game. Cross posted 21 points in Tulane's win over Memphis in New Orleans.

It's a little surprising that Tulane's offense isn't better as the underlying stats look promising. The Green Wave sit 78th in offensive efficiency, but rank top-25 in both effective field goal percentage and turnover percentage.

I have some real concerns about Tulane's rebounding in this matchup — and in general. The Green Wave play smaller with Cross at the five to maximize their offensive output, but that causes problems on the glass, where they 335th in defensive rebounding percentage.

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Memphis Tigers

You should shield your eyes before peaking at Memphis' KenPom numbers. The Tigers rank 75th in offensive efficiency and 95th in defensive efficiency. They also have a turnover rate above 19%. From a raw underlying numbers perspective, Memphis is worse than in the past few years.

I often toss shade at Penny Hardaway's coaching chops, but I credit him for shortening the rotation to only eight players against Temple, a game the Tigers won convincingly. Hardaway also stuck with the lineup that led a furious comeback against Wichita State in the prior game, inserting Nae'Qwan Tomlin into the lineup for Malcolm Dandridge.

The one thing that remained the same during Memphis' struggles was David Jones' elite scoring. The dominant lefty wing has trickled in 18 or more points in the past five games and is averaging over 21 points per contest. He's the one guy Memphis can entrust to consistently score.

On paper, Memphis should rank better than 95th in defensive efficiency. The Tigers boast plenty of athleticism and length, which makes the defensive issues puzzling. Additionally, the turnover bug has bitten Hardaway-coached teams for years and giving away free possessions is an absolute momentum killer.

Tulane vs. Memphis

Betting Pick & Prediction

This line feels a little strange. You can circle the revenge angle for Memphis after having already lost to Tulane, but Memphis' last win by eight or more points came a month ago against Wichita State. I'm taking the points and running.

Pick: Tulane +8.5 (Play to 7)

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