Alabama vs. Memphis Odds, Picks, Predictions: Road Favorite is the Pick (Tuesday, Dec. 14)
Sarah Stier/Getty Images. Pictured: Jaden Shackelford of Alabama.
- Alabama travels to face a reeling Memphis team after beating both Gonzaga and Houston.
- The Tigers have lost four straight games, including their last outing against Murray State at home.
- D.J. James breaks down where the value lies.
Alabama vs. Memphis Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
The Alabama Crimson Tide have earned their spot in college basketball notoriety. They now have two crucial wins over Gonzaga and Houston, which could give them the best resume in this early college basketball season.
The Memphis Tigers are on another wavelength. They have now dropped four straight ballgames to Iowa State, Georgia, Ole Miss and Murray State in that order.
Needless to say, Penny Hardaway has his hands full entering a painfully tough matchup with Alabama at home.
All signs point to an Alabama victory and cover against a Memphis program which looks to be in shambles at the moment.
Nate Oats has himself a squad in Tuscaloosa that has a multitude of wings who can seemingly play every position. The versatility of this team is next to unmatched across the NCAA.
They run at an extremely fast pace — similar to Memphis — and both are in the top 20 in adjusted tempo, according to KenPom. Bama ranks eighth in offensive efficiency, however, so this gives it a significant edge over Memphis.
Furthermore, the Crimson Tide can knock down 3s with the best teams in college basketball. They do not necessarily hit them at an elite mark, but they attempt a 3 on 43.8% of their attempts.
Jaden Shackelford leads the pack with a 45.6% long range mark, but J.D. Davison, Keon Ellis and Darius Miles all shoot over 34%, as well.
They have enough shooting depth to potentially build an insurmountable lead in the first half.
A major area of concern for Alabama is how poorly it shoots free throws (67.2%). This could become an issue down the stretch if the game is close, but the Tide can very well stretch a lead wide enough where this should not be a factor.
In fact, Memphis is atrocious from the line (66.8%) as well, so this should even out by the final buzzer.
Memphis’ saving grace is it typically has a rebounding advantage over its opponents — at least on the offensive side. The Tigers do, however, yield 34.3% of rebounds on the defensive side, so this will allow for a litany of second chances for the Alabama offense.
Bama is not strong on the defensive glass either, but it snags about six percent more boards, so this should be consequential.
The Tigers have an Achilles heel, and it is coughing up the ball. They turn the ball over on 25% of their possessions, ranking 350th in all of college basketball.
Even if Alabama only forces turnovers 17% of the time (275th in the NCAA), Ellis, Jahvon Quinerly and Juwan Gary could all cause plenty of havoc in the Tigers’ backcourt. Each averages at least one steal per game, so this will play into Alabama’s already fast tempo.
However, Memphis has a likely edge in the post. Jalen Duren averages 10.4 points and 7.8 rebounds per game and stands seven feet tall.
The Crimson Tide only have Charles Bediako who can match his height. Otherwise, they are looking at Noah Gurley logging the time down low. Combined, the two surpass Duren’s production, but if Alabama can stop him early, Memphis could be sunk.
Emoni Bates is another slight mismatch, but Alabama has enough wings to cancel his contributions out. He is one of four Tigers who turn the ball over more than twice per game, so they might negate their contributions on their own.
Alabama vs. Memphis Betting Pick
It is hard to envision a scenario where Alabama does not win this game and cover its spread. The Tide have a far more efficient offense and have the weapons to strike from long range.
Memphis makes too many mistakes at this snapshot of the season and it will not begin to turn it around on a top-10 team like Alabama. Take the Crimson Tide at -3.5 and play it to -5.