NCAA Basketball Picks for Memphis vs. Rutgers

Jeff Grant

Thursday, February 20, 2014 3:21 PM GMT

Let’s take a closer look at the college basketball odds for this American Athletic Conference matchup at The RAC, with the opening tip scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET on the CBS Sports Network.

The Memphis Tigers absolutely hammered the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in their first meeting, but things may be closer the second time around Thursday night. 

Trying to bounce back

Memphis had its three-game winning streak snapped last Saturday, as it dropped a 86-81 overtime decision to the Connecticut Huskies as 6.5-point road underdogs, while going OVER the betting total for the fourth time in five contests.

The Tigers have compiled a 35-4 SU record in games following a loss under head coach Josh Pastner.

Over the last two-plus seasons, the program is 17-5 SU and 14-8 ATS in Feburary, with the OVER going 13-7 in that situation.

Humiliating loss 

Rutgers is 3-7 SUATS over its last 10 games, as it returns home after suffering a 102-54 blowout loss to the Louisville Cardinals as 21.5-point road underdogs Sunday, while going OVER the betting total for a seventh consecutive affair. 

The Scarlet Knights have dropped 12 straight games against ranked opponents, including all four opportunities during the 2013-14 campaign. 

College basketball handicappers will find that the team is 9-8 SU and 6-8 ATS at home. 

Quite a performance 

The Tigers earned a 101-69 victory over the Scarlet Knights as 14.5-point home favorites in the first meeting on Feb. 4—shooting a season high 59 percent from the field.

Memphis will be led on the offensive end by senior guard Joe Jackson, who is averaging 17.4 points on 56.3 percent shooting over his last eight games.

Backcourt must deliver 

The Scarlet Knights are going to be hard pressed to pick up the SU underdog victory, but they’ll have an opportunity to cover the point spread if guards Kareem Jack and Myles Mack play at a high level.

Sports bettors will find that the duo is combining to score 29.8 points a game.

[gameodds]14/258614/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

Prediction 

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Scarlet Knights as one of their college basketball picks, as they’ve gone 4-1 ATS in their last five games following a loss off 20-plus points. 

From a handicapping perspective, I find little value at the current number, as I established Memphis as a 8.5-point road favorite in this affair. 

NCAA Basketball Pick:  Rutgers Scarlet Knights +9