Memphis vs. Ole Miss Odds & Picks: Bet the Tigers to Cover (Saturday, December 4)

Memphis vs. Ole Miss Odds & Picks: Bet the Tigers to Cover (Saturday, December 4) article feature image

Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Jalen Duren and Emoni Bates.

  • Memphis takes on Baylor in Saturday college basketball action.
  • The Tigers enter as 1.5-point favorites, according to updated odds.
  • Keg breaks down who will come out on top below.

Memphis vs. Ole Miss Odds

Saturday, Dec. 4
12 p.m. ET
Memphis Odds
-110o / -110u
Ole Miss Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

Memphis and Ole Miss, both at 5-2 on the season, will meet in a battle between rivals separated by 83 miles of interstate. Memphis makes the trip to Ole Miss, badly in need of a win after a tough loss to Georgia, but it wont come easy in a rivalry environment that is expected to be a sellout.

The last game for Memphis was quite rare when you look at the numbers. The Tigers have had six games since 2010 in which they recorded seven or more 3s, less than 11 turnovers and shot better than 80% from the stripe. And it was just the second time they've lost a game where they performed that well. 

What's even more concerning is the Tigers had the No. 1 recruiting class in the country in 2021, per the 247Sports Composite. Jalen Duren and Emoni Bates were both top-10 recruits, while forward Josh Minott was a top-50 recruit.

So what's the issue? Is Penny Hardaway struggling to find ways to coach this level of talent and get them to work as a team? If so, it could spell trouble this weekend in a big rivalry matchup. 

With the struggles the Tigers have had, Ole Miss has an outside chance at a Quad 1 win this weekend, but head coach Kermit Davis and the Rebels fully expect the Tigers to come into this game with plenty of motivation after the loss to Georgia.

Will the Tigers be able to bounce back? Or are they just unfit to operate as a team?

Memphis Tigers Have Underperformed

The Tigers have had a rough start to the season, entering this game having dropped their last two games. Memphis lost to Iowa State in the NIT Tip-Off, a game in which it only scored 59 points, its lowest output of the season.

That loss was followed by another letdown on the road to Georgia, where Memphis was outscored 82-79. The Tigers looked much better against the Bulldogs in what was a back-and-forth game the entire way. 

Memphis is currently ranked 29th, per KenPom, and ranks 54th in offensive efficiency. And while it has been one of the fastest teams in the country (ranked ninth in adjusted tempo), the Tigers have still been a dominant force on defense, ranking ninth in adjusted defensive efficiency.

Through seven games, the Tigers are averaging 78.6 points, while only surrendering 67.6. 

Bates and Duren have been the driving force for the Tigers. Bates leads the team with 12.1 points per game, but Duren isn't far behind registering 11.1 a contest. Memphis also boasts three other starters averaging above nine points per game in DeAndre Williams, Landers Nolley II and Lester Quinones. 

One of the biggest issues for the Tigers this season has been turnovers. Two players average more than two a game and as a team, Memphis ranks 316th in the country.

But another issue the Tigers may encounter this week proved to be a bigger factor than previously expected against Georgia. Chandler Lawson and Malcolm Dandridge both remain questionable for the Ole Miss game. Neither have been a huge factor for the team, but not being able to rotate them in for starters led to issues against Georgia.

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Ole Miss Rebels Bring Strong Defense

The Rebels enter this game off of a dominant 75-51 win over Rider, a game they led for nearly the entire contest. Ole Miss out-rebounded the Broncs 57-36 in the contest, and it had four players in double-figures, led by guard Jarkel Joiner, who added a game-high 18 points.

Ole Miss is 5-2 on the season and a big reason for most of those wins has been the Rebels' defense.

Ole Miss has held its opponents to 70 points or fewer six times in seven games and 60 or fewer in each of the last four. The Rebels also rank third in the SEC in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.4, while also ranking 37th, per KenPom, in defensive adjusted efficiency.

Opponents have been held to just 38.3% shooting against the Rebels, putting them at 31st in the country. 

The Rebels are averaging 74.1 points per game offensively while allowing only 61.7 points to opponents. Joiner leads the Rebels in scoring at 15.4 points. The Rebels will be Memphis' second opponent in its last three games that ranks in the top 50 in adjusted defensive efficiency.

Memphis vs. Ole Miss Betting Pick

Memphis has had a tough start to the season, but it has had it against solid teams. Meanwhile, the Rebels were down five at half to Mississippi Valley State, one of the worst teams in all of college basketball.

Yes, Memphis is coming into a hostile environment, but it is the far better team here and opened much lower than I expected it to at -1.5.

I'll be taking the Tigers in a game I expect them to bounce back and get their season back on track.

Pick: Memphis -5 or better

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Jul 12, 2024 UTC