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1/4/2013 9:04:00 AM
The Memphis Tigers are set to play their first true road game of the 2012-13 NCAA basketball season Friday night, as they take on the Tennessee Volunteers at Thompson-Boling Arena.
take a closer look at beating the betting odds for this non-conference affair.
Three wins in a row
Memphis has won its last three games
since suffering an 87-78 setback to the Louisville Cardinals on Dec. 15, which
includes a 78-64 victory over Loyola-Maryland as 14.5-point home favorites
Sunday. The Tigers are 3-6 against the spread (ATS) on the year, while
the OVER is a perfect 4-0 when a total has been sent out on one of their games.
Six-game homestand continues
Tennessee has compiled a perfect 6-0
record at home this season, while head coach Cuonzo Martin has compiled a 21-4
mark at this venue since taking over the program before the 2011-12
campaign. The Volunteers are outscoring opponents by 13.2 points per game
in Knoxville, while also enjoying a plus-five rebounding advantage. The
program is 6-2 ATS at home when the total is between 120 and 129.5 over the
last two-plus seasons.
Sports bettors need to keep a
watchful eye on injury news for this in-state rivalry, as Tigers forward Tarik
Black is listed as doubtful due to nursing a groin injury. The junior
forward is averaging 10.9 points and 5.0 rebounds per game this season, while
also scoring 18 points on 7-of-8 shooting in a 69-51 victory over the
Volunteers as eight-point home favorites in the last meeting in this series.
The Volunteers have tallied a 14-10
all-time record against Memphis, as the two schools are separated by 381 miles
on I-40. Tennessee has dropped the last two meetings, but it’s important
to note that no team has won more than two games in a row in this series since
2000. In terms of betting trends, Friday night’s host is 7-2 ATS in the
last nine meetings, while the underdog has taken the cash in eight of the last
Success against the SEC
The Tigers have won 17 of their last
24 games against Southeastern Conference opponents, but are just 1-3 ATS in
that situation over the last two-plus seasons. Of the 12 games played in
Knoxville in this series, seven were true road openers for Memphis, which is an
important factor to consider when handicapping this affair.
I’m going to recommend that readers
back the Volunteers as one of their NCAA basketball picks—as long as Black is
officially ruled out for the Tigers. Both teams are shooting 33 percent
or less from long range this season, which makes his injury significant in a
game that will be decided in the paint.
College Basketball Pick: Tennessee Volunteers -2 at Bookmaker