Memphis vs Vanderbilt Odds, Picks: Expect Tigers to Win on Road
Abbie Parr/Getty Images. Pictured: DeAndre Williams
Memphis vs. Vanderbilt Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
Finally, college basketball is back! While opening night may feature many top teams, this is the marquee mfatchup of the slate. The Memphis Tigers will go on the road to take on the Vanderbilt Commodores.
Penny Hardaway's Tigers had many ups and down last season. They were projected to compete for the AAC title, but wound up being very streaky, as it took them a long time to find their offensive identity.
However, they found it at the right time, as they go hot in March and eventually gave Gonzaga quite a scare in the NCAA tournament.
As for Jerry Stackhouse's club, it has a big hole to fill as leading scorer Scotty Pippen Jr. is now a Los Angeles Laker. However, much like their counterparts, the Commodores return a good amount of senior leadership.
On opening night at home, that experience may pay dividends.
So, which team will start the season off on the right foot? Let's dive in to find out.
Memphis had a very different team dynamic, as freshmen Jalen Duren and Emoni Bates were supposed to lead an exciting program.
However, that was not the case, as Bates essentially flopped out of Memphis while Duran turned into a lottery pick. During Bates' absence, this team found itself on offense as Alex Lomax and DeAndre Williams began to thrive in more prominent roles.
Fortunately, those two are back this year and are a part of the nine seniors on the roster.
However, the offense won't be on the shoulders of Lomax and Williams, as they brought in a key transfer. Kendric Davis should be the leader of this club offensively.
The Tigers saw a ton of him last year as he lit up Memphis while at SMU. Davis is an athletic two-guard with NBA range and efficiency. His ability to stretch the floor will add a new wrinkle to this offense.
The senior leadership of this Memphis club should give it an edge on the court tonight. It would not surprise me to see the Tigers start out hot, as they can attack the Commodores from inside the arc. Vandy was 217th in 2-point percentage allowed last season.
Expect Williams to be their primary weapon in the paint, as he was second on the team in effective field goal percentage last season, making 59% of his attempts.
If the Commodores are going to win this game, we'll need to see Jordan Wright and Myles Stute step up. Wright is projected to become the team's leading scorer, as he has all the skills to get buckets at will. The senior two-guard shot 42% last year, and that includes being 35% from behind the arc.
If there was one area from which the Tigers were susceptible last year, it was from deep, as they ranked 80th in 3-point percentage allowed.
Stute should complement Wright well in this matchup, as he was dynamite from long-range last season. The 6-foot-7 small forward led the team in 3-point percentage, as he made 43% of his attempts from downtown.
While those two could lead the way, the Commodores may have issues creating consistent looks for them. This Memphis defense is projected to finish 15th in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency, and you already know its scouting report says to close out on shooters vs. this Vandy club.
If Wright and Stute struggle from behind the arc, it could lead to many Memphis runs, as the Dores don't have a reliable third option.
Memphis vs. Vanderbilt Betting Pick
The season is young, so tonight will be as much of a learning experience as possible. However, these two clubs are very experienced, which makes projecting this matchup a bit easier than teams with a bunch of turnover.
When it's all said and done, the Tigers will walk away 1-0 on the year. They are the far better defensive team, and are much deeper on the offensive side of the court. I'm excited to see what Davis does tonight in the national spotlight.