Wichita State vs Memphis Odds, Prediction: Betting Value on AAC Favorite
Charles Brock/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Memphis guard Damaria Franklin.
Wichita State vs Memphis Odds
|Wichita State Odds|
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
Wichita State heads to Memphis on Thursday night looking to extend its conference win streak to three.
However, the Shockers’ last two opponents, South Florida and Tulsa, rank outside the top 140 in KenPom, while Memphis comes in at 37th. A win over the Tigers would be Wichita State’s best win of the season.
Memphis, meanwhile, is looking to break a bad pattern when it hosts Wichita State. The Tigers have yet to win two games in a row since conference play began. They currently own a 3-2 record in the AAC after finishing nonconference play at 10-3.
Memphis has been a tough trip for the Shockers of late. Wichita State has lost its last four on the road at Memphis and is just 3-11 all-time against the Tigers as the visitor. To drive that point home even further, Memphis is 8-0 this season at FedExForum and currently holds a 14-game win streak at home dating back to last season.
Do the Shockers have what it takes to be the team that finally ends Memphis’ undefeated stretch at home?
The Shockers have shown signs of turning a corner.
Not only did they make a comeback after facing a double-digit deficit in the second half of their last two games, but they also scored more than 70 points in both games. It may not sound significant, but Wichita State had not cleared 70 in a game since Dec. 13 against Mississippi Valley State.
We will truly find out if the improvement has merit or if it was just a result of playing the ninth- and 11th-ranked defenses in the AAC. The Tigers rank sixth in the American when it comes to defensive efficiency and will specifically give the Shockers problems in the paint.
Wichita State hasn’t been impressive inside by any means, hitting just 53.8% at the rim and 25.6% in the paint through its first five conference games. The Tigers stand to give them even more trouble, as they’ve held conference opponents to 55.2% and 35.9%, respectively.
They also have Kaodirichi Akobundu-Ehiogu, who ranks second in the conference with 1.8 blocks per game.
Alternatively, Wichita State’s best offensive asset comes from above the break. The Shockers once again haven’t been great, hitting just 32.2% of shots from deep, but they do take 30% of their field goals from long range.
Memphis, meanwhile, has allowed AAC opponents to cash in on 34.3% from that area. If the Shockers can find a rhythm from deep, they could become a serious threat on offense.
The Tigers love to push the pace and have consistently gotten as many shots up as they physically can.
Memphis ranks 34th in field goal attempts per game, most of which come on the interior. Of all of Memphis’ field goals, 59% have come either at the rim or in the paint.
The Wichita State defense, however, will do everything in its power to limit that. The first step in doing so is slowing down the game as much as possible. Wichita State ranks 304th nationally in adjusted tempo — a far cry from the fast-paced Tigers who are 16th.
Moreover, the Shockers have been among the best at defending the rim. Wichita State ranks in the 96th percentile in field goal percentage allowed at the rim, holding opponents to just 53.6%.
But even if Wichita State can provide some resistance around the rim, there’s one thing that separates Memphis and Wichita State defensively: turnovers.
Memphis has been one of the best teams in the nation in this area, forcing opponents into 18.8 turnovers per game and averaging 22.4 points off of those mistakes.
Wichita State has been great about limiting turnovers, giving up just 10.2 per game. However, it has yet to face a team that will pressure it like the Tigers will.
Wichita State vs Memphis Betting Pick
I had originally planned to lean toward the under in this matchup. However, I had hoped to catch a total of around 144, so the current number of 138.5 is too low for my liking.
Instead, I’ll back the Tigers to extend their streak at home while covering the spread in the process.
Wichita State’s recent improvements feel like a direct result of playing two struggling teams at the bottom of the AAC. Memphis may only be 3-2 in conference play, but it’s been on the wrong side of some close results — most notably a three-point loss in double overtime at UCF.
This Tigers team is much better at home and knows it can’t afford many more losses at home.
Memphis separates itself from the middle of the pack in the AAC with a big win at home Thursday night.
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