SMU vs Memphis Pick, Prediction, Odds | College Basketball Betting Guide (Sunday, Jan. 7)

SMU vs Memphis Pick, Prediction, Odds | College Basketball Betting Guide (Sunday, Jan. 7) article feature image

(Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images). Pictured: Jahvon Quinerly.

SMU vs Memphis Odds

Sunday, Jan 7
5:00pm ET
SMU Odds
-115o / -105u
Memphis Odds
-115o / -105u
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NCAAB odds here.

Here's everything you need to know about SMU vs. Memphis on Sunday, Jan. 7 — our expert pick, prediction and college basketball betting guide for today.

Memphis survived a scare at Tulsa on Tuesday evening to give the Tigers a 1-0 start in AAC conference play as they now prepare to host visiting SMU on Sunday.

SMU has won four straight games, including its conference opener Tuesday at home against Charlotte. The at-large resume for SMU does not contain any bad losses, but also fails to boast any truly impressive victories.

Let's take a look at the matchup and offer an SMU vs Memphis preview and pick.

Southern Methodist Mustangs

Year two of the Rob Lanier era is already showing signs of the progress Mustang fans were hopeful for. After winning only 10 games in its first season with Lanier, SMU has already matched that total through 14 games.

Last year, the Mustangs lacked true ball-handlers, forcing the team's best players in Zhuric Phelps and Jalen Smith into facilitator roles. Phelps and Smith weren't able to do what they excel at: cutting and getting open off the ball while conserving energy to play elite defense.

Lanier brought in a total of five newcomers to help stabilize the shaky backcourt. The best of the bunch has been Butler transfer Chuck Harris, who is averaging over 13 points per game and nearly three assists per game while often guarding the opponent's best ball-handler. Harris' primary responsibility will be limiting the success of Memphis' star guard Jahvon Quinerly.

Like his teammate Harris, Phelps may find his most important role Sunday will be effectively guarding a Memphis star. Forward David Jones transferred to Memphis for the 2023-24 season and has been playing at an All-American level for the Tigers. Phelps may be a better defender than offensive playmaker, so limiting the success of Jones is a task Phelps may be up for.

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Memphis Tigers

It's always difficult to earn road conference wins. Memphis was reminded of that reality Tuesday when Tulsa nearly upset the more talented Tigers. After Tulsa tied the game at 75 in the last minute of play, Quinerly hit a difficult 3-pointer to give Memphis a narrow win to begin 2024.

In terms of pure talent, the Tigers had a clear edge over Tulsa, as they will in most conference games. The talent gap won't be as significant against SMU, but the two best players on the court will still be wearing blue.

Jones and Quinerly chose to transfer to Memphis and play for Penny Hardaway this season. After playing at a high-major level at St. John's and Alabama, respectively, Jones and Quinerly have been featured much more prominently in their roles under Hardaway.

The recent addition of Nae'Qwan Tomlin from Kansas State in the middle of the season could make a huge difference for Memphis. Tomlin had 17 points and seven rebounds off the bench against Tulsa and creates a unique matchup issue for opponents. His athleticism and skill at 6-foot-10 stand out, so if Tomlin continues to develop and become increasingly comfortable in his new setting, Memphis has the ability to separate from the rest of its AAC foes.

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SMU vs. Memphis

Betting Pick & Prediction

The Tigers should be focused and comfortable in a home environment, knowing they are facing a much more capable SMU team than the version they played last season.

SMU has proven it can hang with tougher competition, but it hasn't managed to earn a big win yet. I don't think the Mustangs will get their doors blown off Sunday against Memphis. I just don't think they're quite ready to win on the road against their toughest conference opponent.

Pick: Memphis -4 (Bet to -5)

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Sean Treppedi
Apr 12, 2024 UTC