College Basketball Betting Odds, Predictions: Our Top Pick for Memphis vs. Houston (Sunday, March 13)
Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images. Pictured: Josh Minott (Memphis)
Memphis vs. Houston Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
The American Athletic Conference tournament stuck to form and gave us a matchup of the top two teams, who really don’t like each other.
Houston has dominated everyone in the AAC this season, except for its rival in Memphis. The Cougars own a 15-3 record in conference play but have two losses to the Tigers. Now they are gifted with an opportunity to avenge those losses, but that will be no easy feat as Memphis has been one of the hottest teams in the country over the last two months.
Penny Hardaway’s squad has won 12 of its last 13 and covered the spread in 10 of those games. Memphis has been living up to the preseason expectations since the group has finally gotten healthy.
Will Houston get revenge or will Memphis complete the season sweep in the final game of the 2022 regular season?
Penny Hardaway has a dynamic duo in the frontcourt in DeAndre Williams and Jalen Duren. The two combined for 23 points and 14 rebounds per game. Williams has shot 56% from the field this season while Duren leads the conference hitting 62% of his shots. Duren also leads the AAC in rebounds nad blocks per game.
Both Williams and Duren missed extended time early in the season and it wasn’t until mid-January they were finally on the floor together.
The Tigers play with a blistering up-and-down pace while dominating the paint. The group ranks fifth in the nation in offensive rebounds and gets to the charity stripe at the 12th-highest rate in the country. That’s important against a Houston defense whose tenacity leads them to fouling at one of the highest rates in the country.
Scoring on the inside against the Memphis defense is a challenge. The Tigers hold opponents to 45% on 2-point attempts (19th) and block 17% of shot attempts which is the fourth highest in the nation.
Houston has also been cooking recently winning eight of its last 10 games. The only issue is both of those losses came to the hands of Memphis.
The Cougars own a top-12 offensive and defensive efficiency ranking according to KenPom. Kelvin Sampson’s group plays with high intensity and holds opponents to 44% from the field which is the third best in the country.
Sampson deserves to be considered for coach of the year after the season he has had with Houston. Especially given the fact that the program lost All-American guard Marcus Sasser in the first month of the season.
The Cougars are relentless on the offensive glass, finding extended possessions at the top rate in the country. The offense is reliant on scoring in the paint where the group connects on 55% on 2-point attempts and finds 53% of its total points. Houston has been able to expose some of the smaller teams in the conference with its size, but not the Memphis Tigers.
Memphis vs. Houston Betting Pick
Houston plays bully-ball against the rest of the American Conference, dominating them on the glass and forcing a boatload of turnovers. Memphis beat Houston at its own game, winning the rebounding and turnover battle in the first two matchups.
Good ball movement has proven to trouble the Houston defense. The Cougars are just 2-4 when giving up 14 or more assists this season. Memphis has assisted on nearly 60% of its made field goals this season and exceeded the mark in every game since November.
The defense is clicking for Memphis, which has held eight of its last 13 opponents to below 40% from the field. The Tigers are hot as a pistol and covered the spread in 10 of those 13 matchups.
I anticipate that trend to continue for Penny Hardaway who finally has his program healthy in time for a deep tournament run.