There’s very little dividing the Memphis Tigers (19-12) and the Central Florida Knights (23-7) according to online sportsbooks. The spread for today’s game (2:00 pm at FedExForum) opened at Knights -2 with a total of 148 O/U. The tight spread is due to location. This year’s AAC Tournament is being played on Memphis’ home court, giving the Tigers an edge throughout the tourney.
This season, the Tigers are averaging 81 PPG, 25th in the country, while connecting at 42-percent from the floor and 33-percent from three (264th). Sadly for Memphis fans, the offense (which sits 112th in offensive efficiency) has been the best part of this year’s squad.
On defense, the problems are more concerning. Memphis is surrendering 76 points per game, which puts them 285th overall, and is an off-putting 125th in defensive efficiency. If this team plans to reach its full potential, it’s going to need more at the defensive end.
Offensively, they are paced by Jeremiah Martin, who’s scoring a team-leading 20 points per game. In terms of rebounds, Kyvon Davenport leads the way with 7 rebounds a night.
The Tigers’s performance in terms of rebounding has been better than most. They sit 64th in Division I, averaging 35 rebounds a night.
Memphis is coming off a convincing 83-68 win over Tulane in the first round of the tournament. As has been the case most of the season, Martin came up huge in the win, leading the way with 21 points.
The Tigers will be facing a solid offense today in the form of Central Florida. The Knights sit 92nd in offensive rating and are averaging 73 points per game (173rd).
The Knights pair their above-average offense with one of the nation’s best defenses. They currently sit 18th in defensive rating and are surrendering only 64 PPG heading into their tilt with Memphis (23rd). If and when the offense has an off night, Central Florida can still pick up Ws..
B.J. Taylor has been their go-to scorer, pouring in 16 points a night, while Tacko Fall leads the Knights on the glass, grabbing 7 RPG.
But, as a team, Central Florida is not overly impressive in terms of rebounding, pulling down 33 RPG, which is 154th in the country. Given Memphis’s strength on the boards, that part of the game could be a difference-maker.
The Knights are coming off a loss in their last game, falling to Temple 67-62 in their regular-season finale. Aubrey Dawkins led the team for a change dropping 36 points, but it wasn’t enough to get by the Owls.
Against the number, Central Florida has covered a majority of its games, going 18-11-1 ATS. But tread carefully because Memphis is a solid 16-15-1 ATS, itself. Both teams have been better than expected this year, at least compared to the expectations of oddsmakers. The Tigers haven’t been as good on the road, though, just 3-7 straight up away from home so far. The Knights have a sparkling 15-2 SU record at FedExForum.
Find the latest odds, the history of how the line has moved, and our proprietary projection system’s score prediction for Memphis vs Central Florida above. As always, best of luck betting.