Memphis Tigers at Tennessee Volunteers
Time: 8 PM EST, Jan. 4, 2013
TV: ESPN 2
Spread: TEN -2
M/L: TEN -130, MEM +110
Betting Odds from Bookmaker
The Memphis Tigers are on a three game winning streak with wins over Loyola (MD), Oral Roberts and Lipscomb. Those aren’t exactly premier opponents, and the team lost their last (and only) matchup against a ranked opponent this year, dropping a contest to then-No. 6 Louisville by nine points on Dec. 15.
Facing Tennessee will be their toughest test since that matchup against the Cardinals, and NCAA basketball oddsmakers are setting the line two points in favor of the home team Volunteers.
The 9-3 Tigers are led by the quartet of double figure scorers Joe Jackson, Tarik Black, Geron Johnson and Adonis Thomas. Jackson paces the four with 13.2 points per game. Jackson, a 6’1″ junior guard, has improved every season at Memphis and is averaging 13.2 points per game this season. The Tigers are 1-2, though, when Jackson fails to score in double figures—an anti-feat which he has done three times this season.
Lately, though, Jackson has been brilliant. He hasn’t had a single-digit scoring performance since the 84-75 loss to Minnesota on Nov. 23, and he put up 22 points last game against Loyola (MD) while shooting 5-of-6 from the floor and getting the to line 12 times (hitting 10).
Jackson is a pure point guard, and his backcourt mate Chris Crawford has struggled this season. Crawford is a combo guard who was expected to have a great season this year, but he’s averaged just 6.6 points per game while shooting a dismal 34.1 percent from the floor. The Tigers need more from Crawford if they are to contend this March.
Tennessee, meanwhile, has been rolling and has won their last four games. The Volunteers are only scoring 63.1 points per game this year, and rank near the bottom of the nation in assists. Their offense could use an injection of life.
Even in their last game, a win over Xavier, they managed just 51 points, but held Xavier to just 47.
Trae Golden leads the way for Volunteers scorers with 12.5 points per game, but the 6’2″ junior guard is shooting just 37 percent from the floor, down over six percent from last season’s 43.9 mark. Last game against Xavier, he managed just five points on a horrid 0-of-5 from the floor. The previous game, he wasn’t any better, hitting just 1-of-9 from the floor against Western Carolina.
Golden must rediscover the shooting prowess he displayed last season if the 8-3 Volunteers are going to be competitive in the rugged SEC.
Tonight’s matchup should be a good one, as both teams look to further their chemistry and address some early season issues in preparation for the latter half of the season. NCAA oddsmakers have set the line close in this one, and the action will be great to tune into on ESPN 2.
Memphis Betting Trends:
Tigers are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 Friday games, and 3-7 ATS in their last 10 overall.
Tennessee betting Trends:
Volunteers are 14-5-1 ATS in their last 20 at home.
The Underdog is 8-2 ATS in the last 10 meetings, and the Memphis Tigers are 2-7 ATS in the last 9 meetings between the clubs.