Memphis head coach Penny Hardaway reacts in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Cincinnati Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)
- The Cincinnati Bearcats (5-7, 3-4 AAC) play the Memphis Tigers (12-6, 8-3 AAC) on Thursday, February 11th
- Memphis is on fire, winning six of their last seven games
- See the odds, spread, analysis, and best bet below
The Memphis Tigers will look to continue their winning ways when they get a visit from the Cincinnati Bearcats on Thursday (Feb. 11th, 7pm ET).
The Tigers handled East Carolina 66-59 in their last game on Saturday. The win was their third straight and they now sit one game in the loss column behind Wichita State and Houston in the AAC Standings.
This game will wrap up a three-game road trip for Cincinnati. It’s been a successful one as they have won both games so far with the most recent win coming over Tulane 64-61 on Sunday.
Cincinnati has won seven of the last eight meetings between the two programs including a 92-86 overtime thriller in the last matchup almost a year ago to the day. The current odds are showing Memphis as a seven-point favorite in this matchup.
Cincinnati vs Memphis Odds
|Cincinnati Bearcats||+7 (-110)||+260||Over 136 (-114)|
|Memphis Tigers||-7 (-110)||-340||Under 136 (-106)|
Odds as of Feb 10th at FanDuel.
Cincinnati Is A Tough Squad
The Bearcats have had all kinds of trouble with COVID-19 this season. Even after resuming play in the wake of five straight postponements, they still are not at full strength. Even with the COVID issues, they were still able to go on the road and beat Tulane 64-61 in their last game.
Highlights from yesterday’s 64-61 road victory over Tulane––presented by @pepsi:
🔺 Williams: 20 pts, 3 reb, 2 stl
🔺 Eason: 13 pts, 9 reb, 2 stl
🔺 DeJulius: 12 pts, 7 reb, 4 ast pic.twitter.com/YZnWlQmCuo
— Cincinnati Men’s Hoops (@GoBearcatsMBB) February 8, 2021
The Tulane game was never one where Cincinnati could get comfortable. The game was fairly even in almost every statistical category including the score. The Bearcats’ leading scorer, Keith Williams, was the difference in this one, dropping 20 points in only 28 minutes.
Memphis Plays Lockdown Defense
As good as the Tigers’ offense has been during their three game winning streak, it’s been their defense that has carried them. On the season, Memphis is ranked fourth in the entire country in defensive efficiency (adjusted for opponent). That defense was the difference in their 66-59 win over East Carolina.
Saturday’s Win vs ECU Recap ⤵️https://t.co/Bnk6F34r4W#GoTigersGo | @Conway_Services pic.twitter.com/PIGO7cFSEz
— Memphis Basketball (@Memphis_MBB) February 9, 2021
The Tigers shot a dismal 38% from the floor against the Pirates but that was masked by their ability to rebound and steal the basketball. Memphis won the rebounding battle 33-24 and stole the ball 10 times, leading to 17 points off turnovers. Landers Nolley led the way in scoring with 12 points in his fifth straight double-digit scoring game.
Best Betting Angle
The key to this game will be whether or not Zach Harvey will play. The sophomore has sat out the last two games with apparent COVID-19 issues, but he could return for this game. He was on the bench in street clothes for the Bearcats’ game against Tulane, an upgrade from not even traveling to the Temple game.
Harvey leads Cincinnati in three-point shooting and has scored in double-digits in three of his last four games. In that stretch, the sophomore has only played an average of 20 minutes per contest but has been a vital source of bench points. The Bearcats are a different team without Harvey.
Even if Harvey does not play, this total could still go over. Both teams are very defensive clubs but they play at top-70 tempos (adjusted for opponents) and turn the ball over often. The Bearcats are 278th in turnovers per possession while Memphis comes in at 318th. Turnovers can lead to fast break points which can cause a low number like this one to go over.
The pick: Over 136 (-114)
John has spent the past 20+ years betting sports on a daily basis and is considered by many to be a walking sports betting encyclopedia. From obscure player props to sides and totals, if there is an angle, John will find it.