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Memphis Tigers vs. Tulane Green Wave
Where and when: Devlin Fieldhouse, New Orleans, Louisiana, Saturday, 8 pm EST
The Memphis Tigers take on the Tulane Green Wave in American Athletic Conference basketball on Saturday night at 8 pm EST at Devlin Fieldhouse in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Tigers stand at only 1 game above .500 in the conference and are fresh off a defeat at the hands of the SMU Mustangs which halted a 2-game win streak. The Green Wave represent the cellar team in the AAC as they have only won 4 conference games all season as they added their 12th loss at the hands of the conference’s 3rd-seeded team in the Tulsa Golden Hurricane on Tuesday night.
Fortunately for the Tigers, they have done well for themselves when going up against Tulane as they have won 9-straight matchups while going 6-3 against the spread to boot. Memphis has also picked up wins in 3-straight at Devlin Fieldhouse, covering the number in 2 of those contests. Important to note that despite their recent success versus the Green Wave, Tulane has covered in 3 of their last 4 meetings, including covering as 15.5-point underdogs in their most recent matchup on December 30th.
Tigers cannot seem to find their footing offensively versus MustangsDespite a 2-game winning streak entering their matchup with the Mustangs, the Tigers of Memphis has struggled as a whole in dropping 4 of their last 6 games. To make matters worse, their offense, which puts up 72 points per game on 44% shooting, continues to sputter down the stretch in averaging 63 points in their last 4 games. SMU held the offense to only 53 points on 34% shooting while the Tigers could only must 5 of 21 3-point attempts on the night. Important to note that the Tigers committed a whopping 20 turnovers in the contest with leading scorer Precious Achiuwa (16 ppg, 10 rebs, 1.8 blks) having 4 as the forward battled foul trouble throughout the contest.
Achiuwa still led the team with 17 points and 7 boards while going 6-7 from the floor as the double-double machine was coming off a dismal outing versus the conference’s top dog in the Houston Cougars with 10 points and 6 rebounds on a 1-9 shooting night. Achiuwa is shooting just under 50% for the year and remain Memphis’ only offensive threat with freshman guard Lester Quinones (11 ppg) shooting just 41% on the year along with other freshman guard Boogie Ellis (8 ppg) connecting on even less at 34% (33% from long-range).
And while the Tigers are relatively young on the offensive end, they mesh well defensively as the team is ranked 1st in the nation in opponent field goal percentage per game at just under 37%, 61st in points allowed with 65, and are ranked 13th in guarding the long-ball at 29% on the year. Worth noting that Memphis held their last 2 opponents to under 60 points, including Houston, who they took out at home by a point. Furthermore, the Tigers held the Green Wave’s leading scorer TeShaun Hightower (15 ppg) in check in their last meeting as he went just 2-12 from the floor (1-4 3FG) with just 7 points.
Tulane needs solid performance from Hightower versus stingy TigersSince their 1st matchup with the Tigers, Tulane’s Hightower has posted double-digits in the scoring department in all but 3 of his preceding 15 outings, including putting up 19 points on a rough shooting night versus the Golden Hurricane (6-15 FG, 3-8 3FG, 4 TO), lowering his shooting average to just 41% from the floor along with 30% from long-range. Points have been tough to come by all season long for Tulane as the team is averaging just 68 points on 41% shooting (34% 3FG) as 57 points on 39% shooting was the final stat versus Tulsa.
And while the team possessed 2 additional double-digit scorers on this night in K.J. Lawson (14 ppg) along with Jordan Walker (8 ppg) Lawson was just 4-12 along with 2 for 7 from long-range. The 2 guards are awesome from distance, however, with Lawson connecting on 39% of his shots from beyond the arc while Walker is shooting 39% on the season. Important to note that each scored in double-figures versus the Tigers in December with Lawson (6-15 FG, 2-5 3FG) ended with 22 points and 5 boards while Walker (6-11 FG, 1-4 3FG) had 13 in the losing effort.
It will be interesting to see how Tulane performs, defensively, versus a struggling offensive unit for the Tigers. The Green Wave, in fact, could use a much better performance on Saturday after giving up 49% shooting to the Golden Hurricane along with 50% from long-range on a whopping 10 3-pointers. Important to note that Tulsa ranks near the bottom of teams in the nation in opponent field goal percentage allowed per game at just under 46% for the year.
- Green Wave is 3-1 ATS in last 4 meetings versus Tigers
- Green Wave is 3-0 ATS in last 3 games
- Tigers are 2-3 ATS in last 5 games
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Green Wave has covered as double-digit underdogs versus the Tigers in 3 of their last 5 contests and I happen to strongly feel that with the offensive inconsistencies with Memphis at this point in the season, the Green Wave can keep this game interesting. And while Memphis has been successful on the road versus Tulane in recent matchups, the home team has only lost by 7 points or less in 3 of their last 4 meetings, overall, thus signaling that the Green Wave may indeed serve as a gut-check for the Tigers. Both teams have sputtered down the stretch and while the Tigers may pull out a win, they will certainly have to fight for it versus a team in the Green Wave that is looking for only their 5th conference win of the year.
Prediction: Tulane Green Wave +5
Full-Game Total Pick
Tulane has posted 80 or more points in 2 of their last 3 home games while the over has been the result in 3 of the last 4 games between these two squads. And while the Green Wave continues to be much more invigorated at home (offensively) expect their defense, which ranks as one of the worst in the nation, to also give up some points to a Tigers team that is looking for a much better offensive performance than illustrated versus the Mustangs. In all, I strongly back the over in this instance as both teams, after 2 dismal shooting outings, will seek to exert themselves on this end of the floor (early and often) in order to erect themselves out of their current offensive slumps.
Prediction: Over 138