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Memphis Tigers vs. UCF Knights
NCAAB: Friday, March 15, 2019, FedExForum, Memphis, Tennessee, 2:00 PM ET
The Memphis Tigers will face off against the UCF Knights in the 2019 American Athletic Conference championship tournament quarterfinals at FedExForum in Memphis. Tennessee, this Friday afternoon. These two teams split the series in the regular season whereas each team has been victorious on the home court. The Tigers have won 77-57 as 1.5-point favorites, while the Knights have defeated Memphis 79-72 as 6-point favorites.
The Tigers easily outplayed the Green Wave
The Memphis Tigers (19-12; 11-7 Conf.) defeated the Tulane Green Wave 83-68 in yesterday’s first-round matchup. The Tigers dominated their rivals, but they failed to cover a 16-point spread, while the clash was finished in the under. We saw 90 points in the first half, as the Tigers dropped 52 on the hapless Green Wave, but they slowed down in the second half. The Tigers shot 46.6% from the field, nailing 11 treys out of 27 attempts from deep while making 23 assists and 15 turnovers. Jeremiah Martin led his team with 21 points on 4-of-13 shooting from the field and 12-of-15 from the charity stripe. It was Memphis’ fifth win over its last six outings.
The Tigers enter the matchup with UCF as a No. 53 at the NCAA NET Rankings and a No. 75 at the latest KenPom rankings. They are scoring 109.5 points per 100 possessions (73rd in the country), allowing 99.7 points in a return (93rd in the country). The senior guard Jeremiah Martin is leading the way for Memphis this season, posting 19.7 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 4.5 assists per contest while hitting 46.8% of his field goals. The senior forward Kyvon Davenport is averaging 13.2 points and 6.9 rebounds per outing, while another senior guard Raynere Thornton is adding 7.5 points and 6.4 rebounds per game.
The Knights want to reach the semis for the second time in three years
The UCF Knights (23-7; 13-5 Conf.) have finished the regular season as a No. 4 seed in the AAC due to a 67-62 defeat at the Temple Owls in the season finale. The Knights shot just 36.4% from the field while making 18 turnovers, so Aubrey Dawkins’ 36 points just couldn’t help them to extend their winning streak to five games. UCF is 7-2 straight up and 8-1 in its last nine games overall, defeating both Houston and Cincinnati during that span, while the Knights are 4-4 straight up and 5-3 ATS in their previous eight showings away from home.
UCF enters the matchup with the Tigers as a No. 28 at the NCAA NET Rankings and a No. 36 at the latest KenPom rankings. The Knights are scoring 111.1 points per 100 possessions (49th in the country), surrendering just 95.3 points in a return (35th in the country). The senior guard B.J. Taylor is leading the way for UCF, averaging 16.2 points and 3.3 assists per game while making 39.1% of his field goals. The junior guard Aubrey Dawkins is adding 15.4 points per contest on 46.2% shooting from the field, while the senior big man Tacko Fall is posting 10.9 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks per game.
- 1-12 SU and 4-9 ATS in 13 road meetings with Memphis
- Over is 7-4 in the last 11 games overall
- 19-6 SU in the last 25 meetings with UCF
- 5-2 SU and ATS in the last seven games overall
- 4-1-1 ATS last 6 neutral site games.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
This will be a great battle between two talented teams that should be decided by a few possessions down the stretch. Also, both sides are playing in great form at the moment. The Tigers thrashed off the Knights at home during the regular season, while they kept it close for most of the game in Florida. This is not an ordinary home clash for the Tigers, but they are still playing in their arena with the majority of the audience behind their back, so I’m backing them to cover against the Knights.
Prediction: Memphis Tigers +3.0 (-110)
Full-Game Total Pick
While the Tigers are playing at the 6th-fastest pace in the country, recording 74.6 possessions per 40 minutes, the Knights are averaging just 65.0 possessions per 40 minutes (308th in the country). Both teams can play some tough defense, especially the Knights, but the Tigers can put on a strong offensive performance on their hoops. The majority of H2H duels were finished in the over, and I expect to see pretty low chalk, so I’m backing the over.
Prediction: Over 147.5 points (-110)
Full-Game Prop Bet
Eight of Memphis’ last ten games were decided by ten or fewer points, and it’s an identical case with the Knight’s last ten outings. Also, three of the last four H2H duels were decided by a single-digit margin. I expect to see a close game that will be decided down the stretch when a couple of shots can make the difference between a really tight outcome and a more comfortable one, and I think it will be the latter.
Prediction: Winning Margin: Any Team by 6-10 points (+210)
Half-Time Side Pick
The Knights were leading at halftime in four of their last seven games overall including a 7-point lead over Memphis at home in their previous H2H duel during the regular season. On the other side, the Tigers were leading at halftime in three of their last seven tilts overall including a couple of leads over the worst team in the AAC Tulane Green Wave. Hereof, I’m backing the Knights to cover the spread at halftime.
Prediction: UCF Knights -1.5 (-110)