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Memphis Tigers vs. Creighton Bluejays
NCAAB: Friday, March 22, 2019, CHI Health Center Omaha, Omaha, Nebraska, 8:30 PM ET
The NIT Second Round showdown at CHI Health Center Omaha will see the Memphis Tigers going against the Creighton Bluejays. Both Memphis and Creighton dominated their rivals in the first round. These two schools will meet each other for the first time since 1967, and the Bluejays are listed as slight favorites in front of the home fans.
The Tigers easily outlasted San Diego at home
The Memphis Tigers (22-13; 11-7 Conf.) are coming off a 74-60 home victory over the San Diego Toreros in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament this past Tuesday. The Tigers put on a strong defensive performance, limiting the Toreros on 36.7% shooting from the field while forcing whopping 22 turnovers. Jeremiah Martin led Memphis with 21 points and seven rebounds, and Tyler Harris added 16 points off the bench. The Tigers recorded their fourth victory in the last five outings, losing only to the Houston Cougars 61-58 in the semifinal of the AAC tournament, while they are 2-5 straight up and 3-4 ATS in their last seven games on the road.
The Tigers entered the NIT as a No. 46 at the NCAA NET Rankings and a No. 61 at the KenPom rankings. They are scoring 109.0 points per 100 possessions (82nd in the country) on 45.2% shooting from the field, allowing 97.7 points in a return (62nd in the country). The senior guard Jeremiah Martin is leading the way for the Tigers this season, averaging 19.7 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 4.4 assists per contest. The senior forward Kyvon Davenport is a go-to-guy in the paint, posting 13.3 points and 6.9 rebounds per game, while the senior guard Raynere Thornton is adding 7.2 points and 6.2 rebounds per outing.
The Bluejays are looking for their fifth consecutive home win
The Creighton Bluejays (19-14; 9-9 Conf.) are coming off a 70-61 home victory over the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers in the NIT First Round Monday night. It was Creighton’s fourth win in a row on the home court and sixth in its last seven games overall, losing only to the Xavier Musketeers 63-61 in the quarterfinals of the Big East championship tournament. The Bluejays played well against the Ramblers, especially at the offensive end, making 49.1% of their field goals along with 15 assists. All five starters scored in double digits, while Martin Krampelj had 17 points and eight rebounds.
The Bluejays entered the NIT as a No. 53 at the NCAA NET Rankings and a No. 53 at the KenPom rankings. They are scoring 112.9 points per 100 possessions (34th in the country) on 48.2% shooting from the field, surrendering 99.5 points in a return (86th in the country). The sophomore guard Ty-Shon Alexander is a key player for the Bluejays, averaging 16.0 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game. The junior forward Martin Krampelj is posting 13.8 points and 7.0 rebounds per contest, while the sophomore guard Mitch Ballock is tallying 10.9 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 3.2 dimes per game.
- 6-1 SU and ATS in the last seven outings
- 5-1 SU and ATS in the last six games at home
- Under is 11-3 in the previous 14 games overall
- 3-6 SU and ATS in the last nine outings on the road
- Under is 7-0 in the last seven games overall
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
After the first-round matchups, the Bluejays stay at home, while the Tigers will have to travel to Omaha. The Tigers played the AAC tournament on the home court, so they will leave Memphis after three weeks, and Penny Hardaway’s team hasn’t been successful on the road lately. On the other side, the Bluejays are playing very well at home, so I’m backing them to cover tonight.
Prediction: Creighton Bluejays -4.5 (-110)
Full-Game Total Pick
Although the Tigers’ pace is the 7th-fastest in the country with 74.0 possessions per 40 minutes, their defense has improved lately, so the under has hit in the Tigers’ last seven games. On the other side, Creighton is averaging 68.6 possessions per 40 minutes (119th in the country), but the Bluejays know they have to slow down the Tigers, so I’m backing the under.
Prediction: Under 158.0 points (-110)
Full-Game Prop Bet
Four of Creighton’s last five games overall were decided by nine or fewer points, and three of the Bluejays’ last five contests at home were decided within six and nine points. Also, the Tigers’ last four games on the road were decided by ten or fewer points. I expect to see a tight battle tonight, so I’m going with the winning margin within six and ten points at some nice wages.
Prediction: Winning Margin: Any Team by 6-10 points (+230)
Half-Time Side Pick
The Bluejays were leading at halftime in their last six showings on the home court, while the Tigers were trailing at halftime in four of their last five outings on the road. Both Creighton and Memphis had a lead at halftime in their first-round games, but I’m backing the Bluejays to stay hot on the home court and cover the spread tonight.
Prediction: Creighton Bluejays -3.0 (-110)