NCAA Basketball Picks: SMU vs. Memphis

Jeff Grant

Friday, March 7, 2014 4:35 PM GMT

The Memphis Tigers will be out for revenge against the SMU Mustangs Saturday, as the two teams prepare to close out their regular-season series at the FedExForum. Where is the college basketball betting value hiding Saturday afternoon?

Let’s take a closer look at the college basketball odds for this American Athletic Conference showdown, with the opening tip scheduled for 12:00 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

Back to reality 

SMU had its three-game winning streak snapped Wednesday, as it suffered a 84-71 defeat to the Louisville Cardinals as 3.5-point home underdogs, while going OVER the betting total for the first time in five contests. 

The Mustangs committed a season-high 23 turnovers in that affair and will now have some anxious moments over the next nine days in hopes of landing a spot in the 2014 NCAA Tournament

College basketball handicappers will find that the Mustangs are 1-5-2 ATS in their last eight games following a double-digit loss at home. 

Fallen into a pattern 

Memphis has alternated wins and losses over its last four games, as it dropped a 97-84 decision to the Cincinnati Bearcats as 5.5-point road underdogs Thursday, while going OVER the betting total of 130.5. 

The Tigers are now 15-2 SU in “Senior Day/Night” games of their own or their opponents, as they prepare to celebrate the careers of five players, including guard Joe Jackson.

Jackson currently occupies the No. 8 spot in the school’s all-time scoring list with 1,637 points.

First meeting

Sports bettors may have an interest in backing the Mustangs as road underdogs on the SBR Odds page, considering they tallied an impressive 87-72 victory over the Tigers as 2.5-point home favorites in the first meeting this season on Feb. 1. 

SMU shot 57.6 percent from the field in that affair—led by Markus Kennedy scoring a team-high 21 points on a perfect 10 of 10 shooting from the floor. 

It’s important to point out that Jackson led the Tigers in scoring a game-high 22 points in playing 37 minutes.

Following a loss 

The Tigers have covered the number in five of their last seven opportunities following a SU loss, which fits nicely with the home team being 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings in this particular series.

Memphis has won all five of its games at this venue after suffering a defeat, but SMU is 5-0 ATS in its last five road games versus teams with a winning home record.

Prediction 

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Tigers as one of their college basketball picks, as the Mustangs may struggle to get up emotionally for this affair after failing to cash in on a major opportunity against the defending national champions.

NCAA Basketball Pick:  Memphis Tigers