Ole Miss vs. Memphis Odds, Picks & Prediction | College Basketball Betting Preview (Saturday, Dec. 3)
Pictured: Memphis Tigers guard Kendric Davis. (Photo by Matthew Maxey/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Ole Miss vs. Memphis Odds
Ole Miss and Memphis has a lot of the ingredients needed to build a little rivalry. Though they are separated by state lines and conference affiliation, just 75 miles separate the schools.
Both have found themselves on the fringes of NCAA Tournament inclusion in recent years, each reaching just one NCAA Tournament in the four-year run of their current head coaches. A win for either would be a welcome addition to a postseason resume.
After the Rebels won in Oxford last year, the home-and-home series heads up the river to FedExForum.
Which side should you favor in this matchup?
This year is a bit of a make-or-break season for Kermit Davis in Oxford. This is his fifth season since taking over at Ole Miss, with an NCAA bid in his first season being the only one his Rebels have earned in that period.
Last season, Ole Miss was ravaged by the injury bug and stumbled to a 4-14 record in SEC play. The Rebels ended the season by losing nine of their final 10 games.
Despite that, there's some optimism about this year's team. Several key pieces are back, rounding out a roster that has some real talent. Davis' top three scorers were all top-100 recruits coming out of high school. Matthew Murrell scored 12 points per game last year and has increased that to over 14 per night this season. He has the potential to go off for a big number, like his 25 points with six made threes against Chattanooga last month.
Freshman Amaree Abram can be a ceiling-raiser for the Rebels. He scored 17 or more points in each of their three games at the ESPN Events Invitational. Abram's 55% shooting from long range won't hold up all season, though it will do wonders for Ole Miss' spacing and offensive game planning.
Ole Miss ranks seventh nationally in offensive rebound rate and is forcing live-ball turnovers at a high rate.
Ole Miss will hit you with body blows for 40 minutes.
Penny Hardaway was brought to Memphis to recruit talent. Usually, that means bringing in freshmen. This offseason, he pulled his biggest prize from the transfer portal.
Fifth-year guard Kendric Davis was arguably the biggest prize available in the portal this offseason and Hardaway convinced him to move within the American Athletic Conference to Memphis.
Last season at SMU, Davis averaged 19 points, four rebounds and four assists per game. This season, he's been the focal point of Memphis' offense. He has a top-30 usage rate in the country and has scored 14 or more points in every game this year. Davis is averaging a career-high 14.3 field goal attempts per game, as well as 5.3 assists per night.
On the other end of the floor, the Tigers are a top-20 team by defensive efficiency. Hardaway has a roster full of rangy, twitchy athletes who make every trip down the floor a headache for the opposing offense.
Ole Miss vs. Memphis Betting Pick
These teams play similarly, both hoping to be the more physical and more athletic team on the floor. Neither allows easy baskets in transition and both hammer the glass.
My eyes jumped to the total, hoping to see a number that felt right for an under. I liked the opening number of 131.5 and would feel comfortable playing it down to 129.5.
Last season, these teams played to a 67-63 final score. I expect a similar style of game this year, even with Davis boosting the Memphis offense.