Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 2:15 PM EST.
7:00 PM EST. Memphis was at home last game and as a small 3-point favorite over SMU, they destroyed the Ponies, 83-61 to run its conference record to 4-1. The Tigers have also won three straight and six of seven. Memphis scores points in barrels. They’ve put up 90 points or more seven times already and rarely are they under 80, except when they lose, which is likely to happen plenty the rest of the way, especially on the road. The reality is that the Tigers stock is much higher than their low ceiling. The team’s two top-100 wins are against No. 70 South Dakota State and No. 97 Yale, both of which were at home and the latter of which required two overtimes. The Tigers have some good senior leaders in 6-3 guard Jeremiah Martin and 6-8 forward Kyvon Davenport as well as an exciting freshman point guard in Tyler Harris, but they are not disciplined enough defensively to make the NCAA Tournament. In other words, unless they shoot lights out, they’re always in danger of getting whacked and they’ll now play their third toughest game of the season and maybe even their second toughest. When the Tigers played at Houston on the 6th of January, they lost by 13.
Temple has played the 91st ranked strength of schedule (SOS) in the country while Memphis’ SOS ranks 191st. The Owls have already defeated Houston and they own a 14-4 overall record to go along with a 4-1 conference record, which is identical to the Tigers conference mark. Big difference between the Tigers and Owls is on defense and what that means is the Owls don’t need to score 90 to win. With a grizzled veteran coach – who now enters his final season at the helm – along with an experienced and talented returning core, Temple is as good as any team in this conference. However, the Owls are coming off a 77-70 home loss to Pennsylvania and that left a sour taste in this market. Combine that with Memphis beating SMU by 23 and recency bias is in play. It’s basketball and anyone can have a bad game or an off night shooting. It happens and it’s why we look at the entire body or work and not one lousy game. We actually love that the Owls lost to Penn because it means they’ll be more focused here and it also means that we get the Owls at a discount. Memphis will prove once again why they’re not tournament worthy.
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#610 TEMPLE -5 -107 (Risking 2.14 units - To Win: 2.00)