Maui Invitational: Michigan Wolverines vs. Memphis Tigers, NCAAB Preview

No. 17 Michigan Wolverines at No. 10 Memphis Tigers
Monday, 11/21/11, 3:00 PM EST, TV:  ESPN2
Opening Point Spread:  Memphis -4
Current Betting Line:  Memphis -4
Opening Total:  131
Current Total:  131
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

College Football Sportsbook
The Michigan Wolverines are a dangerous underdog Monday in the Maui Invitational

Michigan certainly holds an advantage in playing three games already this season, but two of those came against non-lined competition.  The Wolverines failed to cover the spread in a 64-47 win over the Towson Tigers as 28.5-point home favorites in their second contest.  The three victories came by an average of 15.7 points, as the defense is allowing opponents to score just 45 points per game.  The program is competing in the Maui Invitational for the fifth time in school history, but the first since 1998.  Michigan is 4-0 ATS in neutral site games.

The Wolverines only lost one member from last year’s squad, as the roster didn’t have a single senior.  Michigan finished fifth in the country in turnovers per game, averaging just 10.0 per contest.  The team definitely got some major experience versus tough competition a year ago, playing the 19th toughest schedule, going up against 18 teams that reached the NCAA Tournament.  Three players are averaging double figures for the squad, with guards Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. leading the way.

Memphis was ultra-impressive in winning its season opener, 97-81, over the Belmont Bruins as three-point home favorites.  The Tigers returned all five starters from a year ago and saw three players score at least 20 points against a team that took the Duke Blue Devils to the brink just four days prior to their meeting.  Sophomore guard Will Barton is the leader of a team that stars three second-year players, scoring 23 points in the opener.  Memphis is 5-17 ATS in non-conference action.

The Tigers will be playing their 33rd game against a Big Ten Conference opponent, coming in with a 16-16 record.  Memphis has been a dominating program when playing on a neutral court, registering a 21-9 mark in the last five seasons.  College basketball insiders are quick to point out that this team brings back a lot of its production from a year ago, with 88.3 percent of its points and 85.5 percent of its rebounding back on the court.  Since the 1999-2000 season, Memphis is 162-55 in non-conference action.

Bettors will likely back the Wolverines due to their 19-7 ATS record, while the Tigers are 0-4 ATS after scoring 90 or more points.

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