UCF vs Memphis Odds & Picks: How to Bet Thursday’s AAC Matchup

UCF vs Memphis Odds & Picks: How to Bet Thursday’s AAC Matchup article feature image

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images. Pictured: Taylor Hendricks (UCF)

UCF vs Memphis Odds

Thursday, Feb. 16
8 p.m. ET
UCF Odds
-110o / -110u
Memphis Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via BetRivers. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

In a rematch of a double-overtime thriller, Memphis welcomes UCF to the FedExForum on Thursday night for an AAC matchup.

The Knights outlasted the Tigers in the first meeting, but they have since lost five of their last seven to sit at 15-9 overall and 6-6 in conference play.

Meanwhile, Penny Hardaway’s team is in contention for an NCAA tournament berth, losing only one game since mid-January to own a 19-6 overall record.

I’m not sure if both schools can top the previous contest where they both scored 100-plus points, but we can expect great intensity in this AAC matchup.

UCF Knights

Since guard Michael Durr went down to injury, the Knights have struggled to pick up wins. UCF has gone 3-5 in his absence, but a pair of victories did come in the last two games.

Veteran head coach Johnny Dawkins can’t blame his team’s defense for the losses.

On the year, Dawkins’ squad ranks inside the top 60 in multiple categories, including AdjD (49th), EFG% (49th), forcing turnovers (56th) and defending 3-pointers (29th), according to Bart Torvik.

Forward Taylor Hendricks leads the Knights on the offensive end of the floor, where he averages 14.3 points and 6.8 rebounds per game in conference play.

His recent performances attracted attention from the league office, as he was named the AAC Freshmen of the Week after averaging 20.5 points and 3.0 rebounds a night last week.

Memphis Tigers

Coming into this game, Memphis is listed as one of the "Last Four Byes" in ESPN’s Bracketology. However, the Tigers have a great opportunity to improve their resume with the very difficult upcoming schedule.

To close out the regular season, Hardaway’s team has a pair of matchups with No. 2 Houston to go with games against the next-best programs in the AAC in UCF and Cincinnati.

Luckily for them, three of those contests are at home, where Memphis is 11-1 this season and 4-1 in conference play.

The Tigers also boast a conference-awarded player, with DeAndre Williams joining Hendricks as the AAC Player of the Week. The senior averaged 26 points, 8.5 rebounds and four assists per game in a pair of victories last week.

Another key player on the offensive end is point guard Kendric Davis, who is seventh nationally in scoring at 21.8 points per game. He finished with 42 points in the first meeting, and Davis will need to carry the load once again if the Tigers are going to secure a victory this time around.

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UCF vs Memphis Betting Pick

When you get to this point in the season, it's easy to inflate teams on the point spread because they need to win for postseason play, and I feel this is happening here with Memphis.

So, my best bet is to take UCF at +6.5, which I would play to +5.5.

In the previous game in Orlando, the Knights closed as the 1.5-point favorite at home. I don’t believe the line should have flipped a full eight points because of the change in the matchup’s location.

Durr and C.J. Walker will both be out for this meeting, but they didn't play in the first game.

Meanwhile, Memphis’ Alex Lomax is doubtful for this contest after starting in the previous encounter.

As long as the Knights can avoid turnovers on offense, they should be able to crash the boards against a Tigers squad that is outside the top 300 in defensive rebounding.

Give me the program with the better defense and free-throw shooting to stay within the number and cash a winning ticket.

Pick: UCF +6.5 (Play to +5.5)

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