NCAA Basketball Pick: Memphis Tigers -7½ over UAB Blazers

LT Profits Sports Group

Saturday, January 12, 2013 5:00 AM GMT

Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013 5:00 AM GMT

Memphis is 12-3 with all three losses coming vs. teams in the Pomeroy Top 15, and the Tigers should have their way inside with a weak UAB interior defense in Birmingham Saturday.

There looks to be a mismatch in Conference USA play Saturday night when the perennial conference powerhouse Memphis Tigers (11-3, 1-0 away) pay a visit to the UAB Blazers (8-8,7-0 home) at Bartow Arena in Birmingham, AL at 8:30 ET.

The point spread at 5 Dimes has Memphis as a road favorite for this contest with the current line at -7½ with odds of -107.

Memphis began this season ranked in the top 20 nationally, but it fell out quickly after losing two game early in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament to Minnesota and VCU, losses that now do not look bad at all considering how well those teams have gone on to play this season.

That left the Tigers at 2-2, but they have since gone on to win nine of their last 10 games with the only loss in this span coming to one of the best teams in the country in Louisville! Memphis is still ranked just 50th overall on the Pomeroy Ratings, but that still makes the Tigers the highest ranked Conference USA team as they are probably set for another dominant season in the conference just like the 26-9 team last season that had a 13-3 conference mark.

Memphis is already off to a 1-0 start in C-USA play after beating East Carolina 67-54 on Wednesday. Granted this will be just the second true road game all year for the Tigers, but they passes their first true road test with flying colors by going into SEC territory last Friday and beating Tennessee 85-80 as 2½-point underdogs on the NCAA Basketball odds.

The Tigers are a young team that starts five underclassmen including freshman 6-foot-9 forward Shaq Goodwin, who should end up playing a key role in this contest by dominating UAB defenders near the basket. Memphis is led by Joe Jackson with 13.8 points per game, but the Tigers have a balanced offense with four players averaging in double-figures.

Memphis is a mediocre three-point shooting team, but it ranks 32nd in the country in two-point shooting at an excellent 52.5 percent and that could be all the Tigers need to win this game by double-digits on the road vs. a soft UAB defense.

UAB is ranked just 165th in the Pomeroy Ratings and has a new head coach this season in Jerod Haase. Haase has the team at an even .500 through 16 games, but the Blazers have lost two straight games including their conference opener 64-48 at UCF on Wednesday where they shot a disgusting 26.0 percent from the floor hitting on only 20 out of 77 attempts!

In fact, the Blazers have had problems on both ends of the court this year, ranking 211th in effective field goal percentage on offense and 237th in effective field goal percentage against on defense. The only reason UAB has eight win is because it has not beaten a team ranked higher than 161st by Pomeroy.

The biggest mismatch in this game appears he be the great Memphis two-point shooting vs. a UAB two-point defense that ranks 239th in the land. Look for the Tigers to exploit that early and often en route to a handy double-digit win on the road Saturday.

[gameodds]14/217131/19-238-93-92-1096/us[/gameodds]

NCAA Basketball Pick: Memphis -7½ (-107)

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