NCAA Basketball: Georgetown Hoyas at Memphis Grizzlies Expert Picks

Georgetown Hoyas at Memphis Tigers
Thursday, 12/23/10, 8:00 PM EDT, TV:  ESPN2
Opening Point Spread:  Georgetown -4.5
Current Betting Line:  Georgetown -4.5
Opening Total:  146.5
Current Total:  146.5

The Memphis Tigers are 4.5-point home underdogs against the veteran Georgetown Hoyas inside the FedEx Forum

Georgetown is off to a 10-1 start this season and ranked No. 10 nationally heading into Thursday night’s contest against Memphis at the FedEx Forum.  The Hoyas are led by a trio of seniors in Austin Freeman, Chris Wright and Julian Vaughn.  Freeman, averages a team-high 18.5 points and has scored 14 in three straight games.  The team is coming off a 99-75 win on Saturday and head coach John Thompson III wasn’t sure how is squad would perform due to limited practices due to finals week.  “I was extremely nervous coming into the game, just because of exams,” he stated.  “I wasn’t sure how share we were going to be.”  Tonight’s game is the 10th meeting between the two teams and the Hoyas lead the series, 7-2.  Georgetown is 8-2 ATS on the season and currently a road favorite on the college basketball lines page.

The Hoyas lead the Big East and rank second in the country in field goal percentage, connecting on 52.5 percent of their field goals.  Georgetown also leads the conference in 3-point field goal percentage, hitting 42.5 percent from long distance.  The team’s schedule is currently ranked fourth in the country in strength and six of the first 10 games came against teams picked to win their conference in the preseason.  The program holds an all-time record of 24-5 against teams that currently make up Conference USA.  Since the 2004-05 season, Georgetown is 86-24 against non-conference opponents.

Memphis continues its five-game home stand and enters tonight’s marquee matchup ranked No. 16 in the Associated Press poll.  The Tigers will be playing the third game of their current stay at home and enter with wins over Austin Peay and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.  The team has had its share of ups and downs this season despite its 9-1 record, starting three freshmen and carrying only one senior.  “We’ve been going through this for the last couple of games,” said Joe Jackson about the squad’s recent struggles.  “It’s up and down.  We’re young too.  You have to take that into consideration.”  Memphis is still off to its second-best start in 20 years and is 2-6 ATS on the year.

The Tigers certainly know that defending the perimeter will be a key in this contest due to the Hoyas having four players shooting 39.1 percent or better from beyond the arc.  Memphis has held its first 10 opponents to 31.3 percent shooting from the 3-point area.  The program is 127-139 all-time versus current members of the Big East Conference and are led by coach Josh Pastner.  He is in his second year as head coach and has compiled a 33-11 record.

Bettors will be interested in knowing that the Hoyas are 5-1 ATS on the road, while the Tigers are 1-4 ATS at home.

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