Back Memphis +10 vs. Louisville with NCAA Basketball Picks

Jeff Grant

Thursday, January 9, 2014 1:58 PM GMT

The series between the Louisville Cardinals and Memphis Tigers has been very competitive when both teams are ranked, which is the case for Thursday’s high-profile matchup. Find out why we are backing the dog with our sports picks in tonight's matchup.

Let’s take a closer look at the NCAA basketball odds for this American Athletic Conference affair, with the opening tip scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN.

[gameodds]14/254244/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

Looking to bounce back

Memphis had its three-game winning streak snapped last time out, as it suffered a humiliating 69-53 defeat to the Cincinnati Bearcats as five-point home favorites, while going UNDER the betting total for the third time in four contests.

The Tigers have compiled a 32-4 SU record following a loss under head coach Josh Pastner, while they’ve covered the number in six of their last eight opportunities after falling by 10 or more points at home. 

Returning home 

Louisville went 3-1 SU and 2-2 ATS on its recent four-game road trip, as it prepares to play at home for the first time in 23 days.

The Cardinals have won all eight of their games at this venue by 16 or more points, while they’ve gone 6-2 against the spread as home favorites of 9.5 to 12 points the last two-plus seasons. 

Series history 

College basketball handicappers need to take a long look at the road underdog in this matchup, considering the last nine meetings with both teams ranked have been decided by a single-digit margin—an average of 4.4 points a game. 

It’s still important to point out that Louisville owns a 53-34 overall advantage in this series, including a 31-11 mark when playing at home. 

All about turnovers

The Cardinals rank second in the country in turnover margin, which has been helped by ranking behind just six teams in terms of steals per game. 

Memphis is fifth in major college basketball in taking the ball away from its opponent, but it’ll need to do a better job or protecting it in this contest.

Tigers leading scorer Joe Jackson had eight of the team’s 24 turnovers in last year’s 87-78 defeat to the Cardinals as four-point home underdogs. 

Prediction 

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Tigers with their college basketball picks, as the Cardinals are going to miss departed forward Chane Behanan, who scored a team-high 22 points against the Tigers last year.

The road team will improve to 6-0-1 ATS in the last seven meetings in this series. 

NCAA Basketball Pick:  Memphis Tigers +10